Friday, January 30, 2009

The painful in between

Yes, this is a repost from, sue me...
There's this interesting concept that's been rolling around in my head.  It's something I haven't been able to shake for quite some time and since it is all too well known amongst my friends that I process best when I write, I figured I would give it a go.  My question is this- at what point does dreaming become an exercise in futility?  More specifically, at what point do we retire (or perhaps put on hold) the pursuit of dreams for the realities of surviving in daily life?

I was raised in a household that taught and encouraged my sisters and I to shoot for the stars, to believe that anything could be accomplished, and that there was nothing which could not be done if one put their minds and expertise to it.  I grew up believing that failing was to not try, not to not succeed when you did (was that confusing to anyone).  I saw a father who, even at the point of his death, had not seen the realization of his dreams- but even then he dreamed.  He left behind a strong name, passion for people, and an ability to dream that was unmatched, but not necessarily a sense of what it looked like to see those dreams accomplished.  Of late, I have felt that I have been following suit.  What I mean is this- I have been striving for some indeterminate dream for quite some time now...and I still don't seem to be getting anywhere for all my dreaming.  

More times than I can count, I have struck out with little but a dream- no plan, no actionable items, just a passion to do...something more than I currently found myself doing.  And, more times than I can count, I have found myself in this exact place- desperately wanting more, but being confronted with the reality that what I have now is barely enough.  All around me, I see friends and associates accomplishing their dreams, I see what appears to be God's blessing on the various aspects of their lives.  I see marriages thrive, careers taking off, lives being lived with a joy and an abandon that only comes with something I can't quite put my finger on.  And here I sit with a dream that is as of yet unfulfilled.  I sit in between what I feel is a destiny and the reality of the shortcomings of my right now, and it hurts.  

It hurts because I feel directionless at times.  It hurst because I feel like I'm spinning my wheels without really gaining any traction.  It hurts because I don't even know how to make it stop.  And before you pose the standard answer, yes I pray- dear God do I pray!  I pray for direction, I pray for correction where I'm missing it, I pray for favor, I pray for humility, I pray for boldness, I pray for inventiveness.  Truth be told, I pray for anything I can think of that will help me get past this, that I've been in for far too long.  And yet I'm still here.  And I don't know what else to do.

But do I give up on dreaming?  Do I decide that the pursuit of a dream isn't worth it, and instead decide to chase the available and expedient?  Do I fold my hand and throw in the cards (ironic references considering that I suck at all things gambling) and instead decide to just drone on through life?  We all believe, or at least want to believe, that there's a more to which we are called; a greater that we are supposed to accomplish.  But what is that for me?  There are talents and abilities that people continually point out in me, but where have they ever gotten me- I mean, really gotten me, in the long run?  Better yet, have I held onto my supposed "talents" for too long when I should have just been putting nose to the grindstone and doing what was necessary to survive daily?  Yes, I mean regular things like just getting a "regular" job that has things like benefits and health insurance.  But I also mean so much more and so many other things which are entirely intangible.  Things like is "fulfillment" that important in your job, or is that just a crutch to keep you from working hard at something you don't particularly care for?

I've got more questions than answers right now.  There will undoubtedly be more to come.

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