For as long as I’ve known what a book is, I’ve wanted to be an author. I guess in the cultural vernacular you’d call it “my dream”, although I’ve never really liked that term myself. Something about referring to our deepest desires as dreams feels like a cop-out to me, as if we’re content to just go back to sleep and imagine them for a little while longer until we have to get back to the monotony of our everyday lives. I know that the idea behind the phrase is that our dreams are only in our imagination now and yet we can make them a reality if we try, but how often are we really honest with ourselves about how much work that takes? Yes, I believe that you and I could achieve and become much more than we expect if we truly gave it our all, but I’m not so sure that most of us, myself included, have ever stopped to consider what an incredible, life-changing challenge giving our all to reach a goal is.
Take my dream, for example. I want to be a writer, but if you took stock of my daily activities, you’d never guess it. I write for this blog, but rarely anything else, because it turns out that putting my thoughts into words is really, really hard to do properly. I know that I need to write regularly if I’m ever going to get better, and I need to get better if I’m ever going to be a professional author, but it’s so much easier to consume than to create, and when the choice presents itself I go with consume disturbingly often. I file away my desire to be an author, to write things that matter and to make a difference in the world, in the “it would be nice if that happened” category and go back to sleep and dream a little more, never admitting to myself that I could make it happen if I’d just wake up and write.
I, for one, am tired of dreaming. I want to be, to do, to create, to use my life for more than just imagining a better one. But wanting isn’t enough. Dreaming cannot change reality. Life demands action, victory requires a battle, and I’d rather fight for a life that matters than surrender to one that is nothing more than a dream.