Stand Up for Yourself and Your Dreams
Updated: Feb 7
If you are a dreamer, it can be easy to feel like you live a little bit of the time with your head in the clouds. You live in the world of tomorrow. You see the things that could be, but aren't that way yet. You live in the world that you hope for with all of your being, and you hope you can have a part in bringing it into reality.
There are a lot of naysayers when you are a dreamer.
A lot of people will tell you that having big dreams is a way to get yourself into a big disappointment when they don't pan out. The thing is though, those of us dreamers who go on to be successful are more afraid of not trying than we are of trying and failing.
Failure is a part of the journey. Just like Einstein who learned all those hundreds of ways not to make a lightbulb. But then he didn't give up. And he succeeded.
Not every new business venture is going to be a success. We know that. But some of them will succeed. And we won't know if it is going to be ours until we give it a try.
Not every writer will write the next great novel. Not every painter will become Van Gogh.
But someone made the Starry Night. Someone wrote Carrie, The Fountainhead and The Year of Yes.
All of them were dreamers. But all of them were doers too. They were people who went after their dreams and grabbed them with both hands.
When you have a dream, you do whatever you have to do to make it real.
I dreamed of being a writer for years through years of laying manuscripts aside, even burning one out of rage that I didn't have time or the support to be able to work on it. But I still kept silently filling notebooks with thoughts and poems in the middle of the night. I kept silently honing my craft in corners of time and on corners of napkins.
We can't all do it right the first time. I didn't finish the two books I started when I was young. But it is never too late. If you have the dream inside you then you can light the fire of your soul and keep going. You can do whatever it takes to make your dream a reality.
I have two kids, one grown, the other who is small and demanding on my time. I take the time to take care of her first and meet her needs. Then, I get up early or stay up late to take the time to write. I write with the TV playing kids shows in the background.
I write in little corners of time throughout the day.
I had to stop writing this blog post to handle a kid meltdown and get my daughter to stop crying about how she wanted salmon instead of brautwurst for dinner, and how YouTube wasn't working on her Nintendo. I stopped to be mom for a while and calm the storm.
The storm almost got me. It almost got me to turn in early for the night without eating my own dinner.
Believe me, chasing a dream isn't always easy. There will be obstacles. Sometimes mountains, sometimes molehills. But even a molehill is hard to climb when you are tired from everything else that has happened that day.
Raw honesty. That is what you get tonight.
The story of a writer's journey. The story of how I wrote and published six books in two years while going through an overseas move. It hasn't always been easy. There have been days so much harder than today. Days where I felt like giving up and making myself do something else that seems reasonable.
But even under the sometimes soul crushing weight, I still keep going.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
But it isn't just that first step that is hard. Sometimes you can run for miles like Forrest Gump and it just feels easy and effortless. You get into the flow and you just go like you are doing exactly what you are meant to do in that moment.
But other times you are tired. Other times you feel like quitting. You feel like you can't go just one more step. You want to lie down and stop. You want to give up.
It is those steps that you take when you want to give up that are the ones that matter the most.
It is the steps that you take when you are bone tired.
It is the steps you take when you have to change direction because everything seems to be going wrong.
Those are the steps that will make you a champion.
Those are the steps that will help you break out of the pack and keep moving when other people are quitting all around you.
I have lost a lot of my writing tribe along the way. Other friends I made through writing who aren't really writing anymore. Friends who were encouraging me to keep going through all the tough times because I knew that someone else had my back.
But a lot of them are still writing too. A lot of them are still sending their words out into the night, gasping to be heard. They are trying, they are keeping on, they are making a difference for the people who are following along.
I know several other writers who write about trauma. Who want to make an impact and help other people. And I think that like me, they believe that if you help even one person, than that is enough. If you make an impact on one life, then you have done something worthwhile. You have paid it forward.
I hope that is what my writing does. I hope that it can help at least one person who reads this article not to give up their dream.
Dreams are beautiful.
Dreams are wild.
Dreams have power to move us forward.
Not just ourselves, but us as a collective humanity.
Dreams didn't just create the lightbulb and the Mona Lisa. They created the couch that I am sitting on. (And after months of not having a couch I don't take that for granted!) Dreams created indoor plumbing. Dreams created cars, airplanes, cell phones, and rockets to the moon.
Dreams have created infrastructure like highway and rail systems that connect people together. Dreams create movies that entertain us. They create music that moves us. They create everything that is, everything that was, and everything that will ever be.
Every idea has to exist in the mind before it can exist in life.
Don't let your good ideas die. Don't let the difficulty of the path make you falter so much that you give up. Don't let yourself become nothing because something got hard, or someone said that you should stop.
Who knows, your dream might just change the world.
And even if it doesn't, chasing it is going to change YOU.