May 13, 2013

Waiting on the Dream

I hear the sound of my own footsteps pounding out a drum beat on the great grayscale of concrete below. They’re coming faster now. Louder. Like my feet and my heart are in a race of their own. Running towards something. Away from something. And like they just might leave the rest of me, in pieces, behind. They know what they want, and they know where they’re headed. The rest of me just hasn’t caught up to figure it out yet. And in that moment, I fear that I never will.

To my right, the water stretches on in pale blue paradox: calm on the surface, but just underneath a constant struggle of rip tides and torn currents. The silver light from a gray sky dances across it and never quite lands. As if it is buoyed up on some unseen, just out of reach tight rope. It plies & pirouettes without once fear of falling- the steady confidence that only comes of knowing what it is you were born to do. And over the sound of my own racing footsteps & racing heartbeat, I can’t help but find myself envious of its fearless endeavor.

A little while back I wrote about the promise of giving up on someone else’s dream. And the big blank slate that it opens up for you to be able to pen your own. The only problem, of course, comes when you haven’t a clue what that should be. Lately, I’ve been feeling….restless. Agitated. Stirred up. Like that dream you have where that one thing you’ve been looking for is always just on the other side of the door, but every time you open it you just find another, more tightly locked door.

It’s the hunger that inevitably follows, when you remove all the other voices you’ve been listening to…and realize you’ve forgotten what it is to hear your own. So you sit in the emptiness, (or as my friend Anne likes to say) sit through the edginess. And learn to love the silence again. You listen to the sound of your own footsteps and pray that they might one day lead you back. Or lead you forward. But that wherever they lead, it will be a path and a drumbeat of your own making.

I sit in the uncomfortable in between that resides & lives between what the world says you ought to do and figuring out what it is you were born to do. And I don’t like it one bit. It’s frustrating. It’s frightening. And it makes you feel lost.

So I write this post to remember, because I never want to forget. Never want to forget how it feels to chase a dream, because the key word there is chase. Never want to forget what it is to wait and wish and work. Because it is the waiting and the wishing and the working that makes it all worth it. Never want to forget that if this dream were handed to me tomorrow it wouldn’t mean a thing…because it’s the journey in getting there that makes the finish worthwhile.

And so I start with the sound of my own footsteps, because they keep moving me forward.

  1. Joe Don Richardson

    Thank you so much. It helps so much to realize that I am not the only one who struggles with where I am and where I want to be while discovering who I am.

  2. Liz and Ryan

    So needed this today Mary! Thank you for the reminder to relax a bit and enjoy the ride!

  3. Emilia Jane

    Mary, I’m crying in the kitchen now reading your words aloud. You so beautifully describe exactly how I feel. This makes me look forward even so much more so to our time together next week. Love you.

  4. Christy Tyler

    LOVE. And I’ve been feeling the same way lately because I too have been trying very hard to follow my own dreams and not those of the industry. You’ll get there. And you’ll look back on this post & remember how far you’ve come. I know it. xoxo

  5. Alli McWhinney

    This is beautiful, Mary. Thanks for sharing :-)

  6. Jennifer Bacchiocchi

    Cezanne is quoted as saying "It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas." It’s so hard being patient, but keep following your own path, Mary. It will lead you somewhere beautiful.

  7. Jenny Lee

    You’ve touched on some feelings I’ve been struggling with lately. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Lea Ciceraro

    This was so beautiful! Nicely written. Geez I could just spend all day reading your blog, post after post. :) You never put up anything boring or useless. ;)

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