This was supposed to be yesterday’s post.

I woke up at 5:30 in the morning yesterday. I tossed and turned for a little while until I came the realization that I wasn’t going back to sleep. Waking up at 2:30 AM everyday for work can unfortunately change the meaning of “sleeping in”.

After rolling out of bed I proceeded to straighten up a bit, then decided that I would create Sunday’s post. I am still unsure what the Sunday post will be on a weekly basis. Since I am a self-proclaimed overgrown 8 year old I am leaning towards a comic, based on the weeks adventures at work.

As I sat down to write I realized that I needed to sweep. After I finished sweeping up the floors I noticed that the table that I was sitting at needed a fresh coat of Windex. After the table was spotless I felt hungry so I grabbed a bowl of cereal (Fruit Loops, I am 8 remember), and sat down to eat it. I finally opened my laptop an hour after I initially intended to, and immediately preceded to open up my daily browser tabs. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, CNN, and ESPN; if anything I am a creature of habit. I read through posts about the world not ending, saw that the Mavericks almost choked a game away, and read about Ocho Cinco’s trek on a bus. I then started to hear the sound of running footsteps above me. My son was now awake, and funny enough wanted to go outside to play. While my son was busy playing I grabbed my shovel and rake and continued the process of converting a sandbox in to a garden. After my son let me know it was too hot outside, we went back inside and I made him a French Toast Breakfast. My wife then woke up, and after she had her morning coffee I went in the garage to finish up building a grill. Three hours after starting a grill that the instructions stated would take 45 minutes to complete I was done, and was now ready to go outside and grill some chicken. After we finished eating I noticed that it was 6:00 PM and there was a WWE PPV on tonight (WWF for those who haven’t watched wrestling in years). I was sure I could find a live stream of the event (8 year olds still like wrestling). Three hours later Randy Orton and John Cena were still champions, Bret Hart made a rare appearance, and Jerry Lawler made Michael Cole kiss his foot. It was 9:00 PM and my bed was now calling for me (bedtime of an 8 year old as well).

The point to all this rambling is this. I woke up at 5:30 AM and decided to start writing. By 9:00 PM I had written little more then 3 sentences. I never scheduled time for myself during the day, even though I was up before the crack of dawn. If we don’t schedule time for our passions, and ourselves then we will never put it to use.

Schedule time for your dreams, otherwise you can never fully realize them as life has a funny way of getting in the way.

How do you deal with making time for what you love, and not what you like? How do you stick to that goal?

Why Do We Poison Our Dreams?

Posted: May 21, 2011 in Writing
Tags: , , ,

So this is scary. I spent a full year after being fired from my last employer trying to find myself and it led me here. After hours of reading, thinking, and trying to figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” I end up in front of a computer sitting at a text prompt. Funny enough, since my computer screen is shiny I can see myself as I write this. I guess this is the way to keep me honest.

It is funny, you try and figure out for so long why or what you were put here for and you sometimes don’t realize clues along the way. For the past 6 months I have gone on a journey of self-discovery and although I could always give advice to those who were struggling with their career choice I could never figure out what I was supposed to do. It is simple to suggest things to people when you can openly see what qualities and traits fit them. My wife for example likes to bake, and after suggestions to pursue it and discussions with each other she is attempting to run it as a small business. She has found her place to “hustle” a word that may define the next few months of our lives. Hustle in this sense is what defines us, to quote Jon Acuff’s Quitter “Do more of the things you love and less of the stuff you like”.

Which leads me back to writing. I enjoyed it when I was younger. I received compliments and praise as I got older, but each time I would hear something positive I would discount it as people just being nice. The best example I can give is this. In my freshman year of College English my professor assigned a creative writing assignment. Most people groaned but my eyes lit up. Over the next few weeks I put my heart and soul in to a story. I crafted it lovingly and would often stay up late to work on it (and this just wasn’t me sitting up until 2:00 AM the night before to piece it together). I let my mom read it prior to turning it in and remember her telling me that the story was great, but the voice in my head (which is the poison to our dreams) said “this is your mom, her opinion doesn’t count”. No matter that my mother has read about 14,000 books over her lifetime, and knows what makes a good story. I immediately discounted her opinion, nodded my head in appreciation, and filed her compliments to the back of my brain. I turned my paper in to my teacher and waited to get it back.

A+, and comments to see her after class. I was a bit nervous to see what my professor had to say, and I almost pulled the fake phone call I have to go trick, but I stayed.

“Have you ever thought about being published?”

Those were her words. This wasn’t my mother, this was a college professor. This was someone trained to know what good writing was. I sat there stunned. Immediately the voice in my head started. “She is just being nice” was my first thought. How could anything I write actually be good enough to be published? We discussed my story for a few minutes. She let me know that she enjoyed it, and had a hard time putting it down. She also said that she had a friend in Chicago who might be interested in it, and if I wanted she would forward it to him. And what did I do in my infinite wisdom?

I walked away.

I thanked her for her praise, said that I had to think about the offer, and left class. I never brought it up again. Here I was at 19 years of age, struggling to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and after being thrown a lifesaver I let myself drown.

Why do we let that voice in our head dictate so much of our lives? Why when have the lifeline in front of us do we choose to keep sinking? Why do we let ourselves poison our dreams?

Has this ever happened in your life? Was your dream in front of your eyes, but you were to busy listening to doubt to act on it?