(Although I use ‘you’ plenty in this post, it is pretty much a soliloquy. After all, I am experimenting on myself. Even though I am no where near giving up my dreams, I sometimes fall into brief periods of rut- I’ll admit that. But I gotta lug myself out of it. I do it by reminding myself of the ‘shadow’ archetype. The very things that I fear. Those traits that I would be disgusted to embody. That face- and Jungian psychology reassures me that it lies dormant within me and will rear its ugly head if I look away for too long- that I would dread to find myself as having grown into. Nobody’s holding me back except me, if at all).
Sure people come and give you unsolicited advice to stay on course and follow instructions. But that’s only because it makes no sense for anybody to waste their breath only to not be taken seriously.
Of course it is easier to walk the trodden path. It is familiar, nicely broken in, and there will never be anything formidable in your way. There will be no surprises, adventures or shocks. Not even the good kind. No good book or movie was ever made about such a life. You can crawl or trudge through it as long as you are still on it, and nobody will raise hell over the sad state of affairs. In fact, I think there is a name for such a path- purgatory! You are alive, but not really. You might as well be dead, but you just can’t bring yourself to confront the truth. Nobody envies you. Nobody eggs you on. You have no fight in you, and nobody poses one either.
But what the hell happened to your dreams? As a child, did you dream of growing up and schmoozing? Chatting around the water cooler as your beer belly slowly bulged farther and farther out of your belt. You spend all of your hours either groaning or moaning or whining, and your weekends distracted to the point of mindlessness with fizzy drinks, more beer, and lots and lots of TV. Your mind has gone limp, and you have bled it of all creativity. You say all the cliche things as other people of your age- you hate Mondays, you call your reporting manager ‘your boss’ and you hate him too, you look forward to the weekends and vacations, and a typical conversation with your peers involves flaunting that latest gadget that you broke bank to buy instead of healthy food everyday, or a small ranch over time. You’ll invent soul-crushing, self-deprecating terms like ‘quarter-life crisis’ and laugh it off, simply because others claim to have climbed into the same boat (Such a boat would only sink silly; and you’ll go down with it as its Captain!)
Through all of that you have given yourself and the world excuses. You have rationalized it. You have believed that you deserve nothing better, and you have convinced the cosmos of it. You have settled snug under the layers and layers of murky cognitive dissonance.
But really, is anybody holding you back from giving your bestest? Is anybody holding you back from speaking your mind? Did anybody load all that imaginary weight onto your shoulders? You did that to yoursefl. You fret the little things and lose sight of the vision. You listen too much to other people, and that constant chatter dins out that inner voice that is always affirming its faith in you. You have compromised on your happiness for the sake of being perceived as well-adjusted.
Stop right now. Come here, let me give you a hug. No more. I’m telling you that I believe in you. Nobody ever understood, and sometimes neither did I. But it is upto you to bring those very dreams to life and enchant them. I dream with you. Nobody’s holding you back. Cut off those imaginary ropes. They can’t keep you down forever if you won’t let them. Don’t give me another excuse or I will have slap you right back into your senses. It might be easy to have something to fall back on- a nice nest egg, a convenient day job that pays you even if you slack on some days. But let me remind you that that’s not what you want. You wanted to touch lives. You wanted to connect. You wanted to be inspired as well as inspiring. You wanted to be a hero/heroine to your grandchildren. You wanted to tell them stories, and you wanted them to beam with pride as they told their friends about it. You wanted to leave behind a legacy, even if it were to only be heard about in the whispers of the rustling leaves. And most importantly, you wanted to live a life without regrets.
Give things your best shot or nothing at all. Everyday. Wake up by reminding yourself your purpose. Don’t roll over and mumble ‘5 minutes’ to yourself after waking up. Don’t give into the distractions as you never have in the past. Revolutionize and amaze them with results that they never thought possible. Show them what you meant by living it; no one can deny that example. Some days you will probably need to take some time off. You will have to give in and spend some time with yourself. Spend that time by listening to all your thoughts with alertness, for they will let you in on the secret of your inner self. They will tell you truths that will spur you into action. These are important moments as they realign you with the path that you meant to take, instead of getting crowded into ‘purgatory’.
You have fought every odd and pursued everything you whimmed for. Everytime you won, you could turn around and smirk at the naysayers. What did you see in their eyes? That tiny twinkle of admiration that could simply not be hidden hastily enough. You have cultivated a good heart, spoken the truth and been courageous to face realities. Sometimes it can all get a little overwhelming, but at the end of the day, you will always be able to say you, and only you, lived your life. You never let anyone live vicariously through you. You are nobody’s work of art but your own, and darling aren’t you a masterpiece!