To all my fellow dream chasers.
All too often, I clomp up the stairs to my apartment in the dark—having forgotten to leave the outside lights on again—fumble to get the key into the lock, stumble through the door, and crash into my desk chair, bone weary and yearning for bed, only to begin another couple hours of work at my second job as a writer.
All too often, I brew another cup of coffee, wrap up in a blanket, and huddle over my laptop staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page. Waiting for the words to come. But either the coffee is not working or my brain is just too tired to function properly, because inspiration proves elusive. Instead, I find myself taking a good, hard look at my life—the life I have chosen—and I wonder if it is truly worth it.
Writing is something I once only dreamed of doing. At the time, I also dreamed of sailing around the world, hiking the Appalachian trail, getting my pilot’s license, and becoming an actress. Oh and saving the world once or twice, of course. Dreaming big has never been a problem for me. Achieving those dreams has always been a little bit tougher … if not impossible.
Life is ever more difficult than the imagining. And discovering after achieving those dreams that dreams in themselves are not enough, is blow enough to leave one winded.
But I am a dream chaser, and so I chase on. Heedless. Reckless. Intent upon the hunt.
Four years ago if you had told me that I would be what I am, where I am, doing the jobs I am doing, I would have found it hard to believe you. In many ways, I am living the life I imagined for myself. In other ways, it is oh so different than I imagined. But even now, it is far too easy to become so entangled in the next dream that it overshadows the moment of victory. To believe that if I can but accomplish one more thing, set my sights upon it and work with all my gut, heart, and strength toward it, then I will have succeeded and then I will be satisfied.
But it is a ghost chase. When—and if—you lay hold of that next dream and go to tuck the accomplishment tidily beneath your belt, you will find it nothing more than an incorporeal wisp. Here one moment and gone the next. The thrill of the moment fades, and the chase begins again. But each dream requires a thousand tiny sacrifices. Each moment of the chase requires a thousand tiny decisions—decisions that determine who you are and what you become.
My fear is that I will become so enraptured (or conversely, so wearied) with the chase that I forget about the moment I am living in here and now. Sometimes a moment is all we have. And it is in the little moments that life is lost or won and time is squandered or made priceless.
Nights belong to the dream chasers. When the world falls silent and others sink into slumber, a dream chaser’s imagination comes awake. Yet sometimes, I find that I can do nothing better than to pull my gaze from the distant light of the stars and turn instead to the light of the sun. To bask in the present moment, simple as it may be, and recall that each breath is a gift. Each moment of life a blessing. Each dream a privilege.
Are you a dream chaser? Do you ever find that you forget to live in the moment as well?