Keeping Dreams Alive

When a friend of mine became a grandmother she loved to tell stories to her grandchildren. In fact she even she tape-recorded some of them. Her family thought she should try and have her work published. With a bit of encouragement, she wrote a few of her stories down. Another friend offered to type them up since she didn’t own a typewriter. While she admitted that she loved creating stories, and dared to dream of being a published author one day, over time she managed to convince herself that it wasn’t worth her time trying.

Let’s face it, not all of us were encouraged to express ourselves creatively when we were growing up. If we spent too much time writing or painting it took time away from something “more important.” Pursuing the arts was, considered by some, to be self-indulgent. After all it’s not something necessary for our survival and realistic people measure the world in practicalities.

Some might say:

It’s just a passing fancy,

a notion that holds no substance,

a complete and utter waste of our precious time.

Those are the ideas that often hold us back, that squash our dreams before we are able to get them off the ground.

We allow our fears to prevent us from even trying.

—I’m not good enough. I’m too old.

I know that my friend would have found rejection very difficult. And let’s face it, as writers, we’re all going have our share of rejections. But I’m convinced that it’s better to suffer the disappointment of rejection than to spend our days thinking about the “if onlys”.

We won’t always succeed at everything we do. But if we try enough things we’ll eventually succeed at something. It might take a bit of time to find out what that something is, but the yearning to try can eat away at us if we give up before we ever have the courage to get started.

Although publication was a dream my friend had for herself, she lacked both confidence and courage. Still, she rarely missed an opportunity to encourage me. I’ve always been grateful for her little notes of encouragement, in her faith in me to one day have a published book, faith that I did not always have in myself.

A few years back my friend passed away.

How I wish she’d had the courage to pursue her dream.

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