Friday, January 3, 2014

Naming the Dream

Dreams are funny things, aren't they? (The ones you dream while you're awake, that is.) They have a way of nagging you while simultaneously causing you to seriously doubt everything you believe about yourself. It's enough to drive you over the edge--or to give up. Which is likely why so many people die without ever pursuing their true passion.

Dreams can be scary and overwhelming. And easier to ignore than pursue.

What have you hidden away and shoved down so deeply that no one will ever find it?

And what exactly are you waiting for?

No, seriously. What? Your death, so the ones you love can find your passion tucked away in a box in the attic alongside old photos and crayon drawings of people with giant heads on stick bodies?

Editor's note: the crayon drawings of people with enormous heads on puny stick bodies are inhabiting my attic. Art, clearly, is not my life's dream.

Or is it your imminent failure, so the voice in your head can finally shut up already? I know you have a dream, without even asking you what it is. And I know it kills you to tuck it away day after day until it just goes away and you don't have to think about it anymore.

And I know how much that hurts. {And I realize that much like problems, your dreams have a way of floating back to the surface.}

In the spirit of telling those voices to shut the hell up already, I'm going to tell you my dream:

I want qualify to run the Boston Marathon. Yes, THAT Boston Marathon.

And I'm terrified that I won't be able to do it, so I've kept it to myself. I tucked it away in a box. It sits next to all the medals I've earn running other races--ones I hoped would satisfy me somehow. But that's the funny thing about a dream. It cannot be silenced with anything but the real thing.

I find it helps to create a list of all the reasons why you shouldn't pursue your dream.

Here's mine:

It's going to be impossible difficult.
It will be hard on my body.
I have a full-time job--and a long daily commute.
I've only run one full marathon previously.
I need to shave 1 hour and some change off my finishing time in order to qualify.
And I'll probably fail.

Then, throw your list into the nearest trash receptacle.

When I strip away all the outside noise, my dream remains. It stares me in the face often--even in the moments when I'm not sure if it can be accomplished. I reached a point where I knew shoving my dream to the side was affecting me. So, I did something that felt scary:

I said it out loud.

To my husband, who I immediately conned into running my second marathon with me. Which will be his first.

Hey, if you're going to have a dream you might as well drag someone else along for the ride.

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