I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with a writer friend of mine about…well…about several things relating to writing, but in essence about what it takes to be a “real” writer. In a response to him today, I realized something about myself that I thought others might find useful.
Here’s what I wrote:
Sometimes I think people (myself included) create elaborate mechanisms to prevent us from pursuing our dreams. For me, it was doing corporate work for years on end. And most of the time we do this without even realizing it. “When I make this amount of money, then I’ll finally be able to…” Or, “When I get out of debt, I’ll…” Or, “When I get promoted, I’ll have time to finally…” But the truth is, if we really wanted to achieve our dreams, we’d make time or find the money or whatever. Instead, we make choices that allow us to avoid our fears. On a subconscious level we choose comfort over the unknown.
It’s always easier to see things in the rearview, but writing this response this morning made me see just how many years I spent (not sure I can really call them wasted, as they shaped who I am today) deliberately avoiding my dream of being a writer.
Yes, deliberately. I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I would whine to my husband how I wanted to be a writer, but do little to actually move toward that dream. My husband, God bless him, would nix my whining with a short, “If you want to be a writer, write something.” Hard to argue with that. But instead, I’d find some other distraction or get caught up with work and busyness.
I wonder in what ways I’m still building walls to fend off fears. I’m sure they’re there, but they’re harder to see in the now. I’d prefer not to wait until they’re behind me to understand what they were.
Are you building walls to keep yourself from your dream? Or are you breaking them down?