Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dream On

A few days ago one of my Facebook friends from high school updated her status with a comment about realizing she has to settle for her life the way it is, that certain things are just not going to happen for her.  Comments made by others encouraged her to just accept that this is as good as it gets.  Now, typically I'm a lurker.  I use Facebook to market, but in my personal realm I mostly use it to keep connected with family and close friends.  I upload a lot of pics.  Sure, everything I post is visible to my more distant friends and acquaintances, too.  And I look through their pics and posts, but seldom comment.  Back to the woman posting about it being time for her to "settle"...

I had to comment, I just had to.  If you see a car accident happen, you can't just keep on driving.  You owe it to those people to at least call 911.  Better yet, pull over, get out, and offer help until emergency pros arrive.  You see, Miss It's Time to Settle is not the settling type.  She is a talented photographer, and her posts on Facebook are smart, sometimes sassy, but always intuitive.  Entertaining and sometimes educational.  She is a true artist, and artists trust their instincts, their dreams.  They takes leaps of faith every time they create.  Settling is for people who are not artists, who don't feel their hearts, minds and souls will erupt if they don't at least try to share their perspective with the world.  It isn't all that important if The World, even one person, really "gets" your art.  The fact that you put it out there at all, that you took the risk, is satisfying enough...most of the time.

Art is dreams made tangible.  If an artist stops dreaming -- because she stops believing in her dreams or loses inspiration -- she becomes stagnant.  If she becomes stagnant and stops creating, she stops living.  She might have a pulse but she is definitely not living.  I couldn't lose this patient on the table; I had to act.  I had to remind my Facebook friend about the importance of dreams.  Being thankful for the life you have, even if it isn't exactly what you had hoped for, is very very different from "settling."  Settling connotes giving up, an exasperation with the rate at which Life unfurls.  You can be thankful and still strive toward your dreams.  But don't settle, don't ever ever give up on your dreams.  You would be giving up on yourself...on Life.

In a later post this same woman announced she was considering entering a photo contest.  I encouraged her to do it.  It doesn't matter how your entries are judged, I coaxed.  Just submit and see what happens.  Worse case, you will get no response.  But you will never know until you try, until you take that leap of faith.

Fine advice.  So why don't I take it?  It's so easy for me to see other people's path clearly, and to nurture them to follow it.  It has taken me a long time to hop on my own trail.  I knew where it was all along -- I could see it.  Always, I have followed it, but from the other side of the greenbelt.  Until now, I always found what I thought were valid reasons (they weren't) to postpone my journey.  I'm on the path now, that's all that matters.  Life's mysteries are unfurling as intended, and I'm dreaming more vividly.  I trust them, I'm revving up for the next leap of faith.  Now I can nurture others' dreams without sacrificing my own.  My inner artist is emerging in every aspect of my life, and I'm listening closely to her.  She has a lot to say, a lot of her soul to share with the world.

That seemed like a sensible ending to this post...until I looked down and noticed I'm wearing pajamas that read "Dream On."  The irony, oh the irony...

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