A few days ago, blogger Hannah C. Howard wrote a lovely, encouraging post about believing in your dreams. Because it really resonated with me, I wanted to write a post of my own in response.
While ruminating on what my dreams are, I was reminded of my acting class in college, where my wonderful professor had us, during one of the earliest classes, sit in a circle and go around saying, “Where we would be in ten years.” He emphasized that we were not to say, “Where we'd like to be,” because that would be admitting impossibility or impracticality.
Here's what I said:
“In ten years, I will:
be married (sort of cheating because I was already engaged),
be living in an old house with beautiful property,
have three or four children by then who I will be homeschooling,
have written at least two books,
and have at least one book published.”
That was five and a half years ago. Now I am married, live in a beautiful old house, have three children who I've begun to homeschool (well, you know, the baby is learning, um, how to roll over, so...), and have written four manuscripts. Looking at it that way, that last point on the list doesn't seem too crazy.
Hannah remarked in her post on how difficult it can be when unbelievers, the pessimists (or realists, as they like to call themselves) of the world, put down your dreams. We've all been through those awkward moments, where you decide to be honest in response to the question, “So what have you been up to?” and are met with a blank, frigid stare.
On the other hand, hopefully we all know someone who has always believed in us enough to encourage and help us along every step of the way. I know without a doubt that one of the reasons so many of my dreams have come to fruition is that I have many, many people who believe in me:
My parents, who told me, “The word 'can't' is not in your vocabulary.”
My siblings, siblings-in-law, parents-in-law, and good friends, who have helped babysit children, move furniture, cook meals; have listened to me rant; have prayed for me; have been fulfilling dreams of their own.
My critique group partners, who have been honest, insightful and constantly inspiring.
The many writers who I have met in person or through blogging, who remind me, in the words of one of them, that "no one is born published."
My daughters, whose beautiful smiles can get me through the darkest days.
And most of all, my husband Mark, who is loving and persistent and generous, who believes in me when I don't, and who has been known to calm a crying baby while carving a violin scroll, so that I can finish a sentence/page/chapter.
Thank you, all of you. I hope I can help to make your dreams a reality, too.