When I was in high school, I discovered I love to write. Throughout college and the years after, I wanted to make a career out of writing.
I knew it was hard, and it would take connections, and the right niche, and the right voice, and a lot of effort. Everyone told me that few people make it, but I thought I could be one of the people who made it.
But lately, I’ve been feeling this dream slip away.
I’m almost 27 years old and rarely write anymore.
And I know I could still make it. If I put more effort in, it’s possible. There are a thousand books I could read, a million “how-to”s I could follow, a billion pieces of advice I could act on to become a writer.
But most mornings, I wake up and the ghosts start whispering into my soul about how I’m not who I thought I would be by now.
I thought I would have tons of fans by now. I thought I would have multiple books and enough income to support my family and me by now.
Moreover, on a personal level, I thought I would be more patient by now. I thought I would be more tender, and more gracious, and better at expressing my opinions verbally, and wouldn’t be so anxious all the time, and would have learned to comfortable in my own skin, and wouldn’t be so badly out of shape.
A lot of the things I thought I would be, I’m not.
And most days that really gets me down. It makes me feel embarrassed and ashamed and like a failure. And those feelings paralyze me.
Do you ever feel this?
Do you ever feel the weight of all the things you haven’t become?
Will you tell me if you feel this?
Because sometimes I feel like I am the only one.
And I know. I know. I should just fight the resistance, right? I should give the ghosts a dose of truth? I should slay my doubt, my fear, my insecurities, and all the dragons that feed on me? I should hustle harder and grind more, right?
But most days, I don’t feel up to it.
Do you ever not feel up to it?
Will you tell me if you ever don’t feel up to grinding, to hustling, to fighting for your dreams?
Because sometimes I feel like the only one.
And that, too, makes me feel ashamed. It makes me feel restless and trapped.
Lately, I’ve been considering killing off my dreams. Putting them down gently, in a family plot underneath an expansive tree, in a place where they can’t taunt me from the grave.
I’m wondering if I need to go through the grieving process of mourning all the people I will never be, all the dreams that likely won’t come to fruition, all the ways I thought my life would be perfect.
Perhaps I need to come to peace with the fact that who I am right now is enough, and how I love is more important than what I accomplish, and I’m valuable despite what I haven’t and won’t become.
And if you feel the same as me, maybe that is what you need to do, too.
Maybe we need to put to death our dreams, our expectations, our future identities.
And then, after the grieving, after the mourning, after the process of death has been completed, perhaps, we will find that springing up from the grave is a fruit tree.
Perhaps we will find that our broken dreams have been transformed, have been given new bones, a new form, a new spirit.
Maybe we will find that out of death has come a resurrection.