I am a dreamer. Now, those of you that know me my find that hard (or rather easy) to believe without the context. I love to picture myself living in these ideal situations, or in ideal places, doing exactly what it is I think that I want to be doing. I like to picture myself in an old Brown Stone in New York, pecking away on my computer, writing some sort of brilliant novel. I can see myself in L.A., at the premier of my mind blowing thriller that I wrote and directed to much critical acclaim, yet somehow I was still able to remain grounded and humble even amidst the awards buzz (quite an imagination). I imagine myself owning a small bookstore in Fort Collins, CO. I ride my bike to work everyday, drink a lot of coffee, have good relationships with all the regulars, and enjoy to the fullist the Colorado landscape, weather, and the small town atmosphere. I close my eyes, and I am in San Francisco, working two jobs just to get by, but loving the city, the people I meet, everything, all of it.
Even as I write this, I imagine myself doing a billion other things. None of them are what I am currently doing, which is living in Dallas, looking for work. Apparently the world hasn’t caught on to the things I want to do.
After I wrote my last blog post, my mind was filled with ideas. If I want to do something bad enough, why don’t I just do it? Again I find people I talk with to be of two opinions about this. One groups tells me to reach for the stars, to go after the ideal, the dream, and who is to say that I won’t attain it. The others listen to me, smile, and try to talk me down from the clouds to a more realistic vision. They are both right, and both wrong.
After much thought and self analyzation I have come to a conclusion about myself. My dreams are romantic. Not romantic in the love sense, but in the way I view reality. I have come to a point where I am placing my hope in location and occupation. My joy in life has become contingent on those two things. And as people who have lived much longer than me in differing occupations or locations will tell me, I am setting myself up for disappointment. I have a romantic view of these things, as if they can fulfill me.
Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of something I learned once. Life is not supposed to be about where I am, or what I do, but who I am. In these visions and imaginings I have about my future, I rarely give myself character traits (besides being humble and grounded in my famous future…but lets be honest, who likes a celebrity that comes off as arrogant?). I never give myself daily struggles or conflict, that is most definitely not ideal. Yet here I sit today, in conflict, unemployed, searching, and longing for a place and time when everything will be “perfect” in my eyes, as if I can possibly know what that would be. Regardless of where I want to be, this is where I am. And these are the times when the who I am gets forged.
So maybe I won’t live in New York, will I be kind? I may not be an author, honest and gentle? I will most likely not be famous, will I be a servant to others? I may never own that bookstore in Fort Collins, but will I still build strong relationships with the people I come in contact with everyday and still enjoy to the fullest my surroundings? I might not be in San Francisco, but am I still willing to work hard so that I can love the city I am in and the people I meet everyday? See what I mean? Life seems so easy in my mind if just certain things will fall into place. Maybe the thing that needs to fall into place is me, my attitude, my desires. I can go on to do a billion things, but if I am not a man of character, what does it matter?
So how do I focus on character now, when so many things are up in the air? Walk through open doors. Not any open door, but doors that makes sense in helping me to be the man God designed me to be. If I am striving after any ideal, I want it be that. I want to be dreaming of a day when I can be like Jesus, with Jesus, and truly conflict free. I don’t think that will be in a New York Brown Stone, but I can start that journey right here where I am at.