Thursday, August 18, 2011

Follow Your Heart's Desire

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Chasing dreams is generally encouraged by most everyone. When you're little, your parents and loved ones tell you that you can be anything you want to be. They boost your confidence and remind you that there are no limits to what you can do in your life. If you want something badly enough, you can work for it, fight for it and accomplish it. Fall down the rabbit hole, Alice.

What we're not always prepared for are those people who seem to know which buttons to push to make us doubt ourselves, to pack away our dreams in a cardboard box and store it in the back of the closet and make us feel unworthy of finding the greatness within us.

Your heart's desire might not ever bring you fame and fortune. You might pursue something for which you have no real talent, but if it brings you a brief moment of happiness or joy or inspiration, then it has accomplished something because it gives you the opportunity to taste the richness of LIVING your life doing something you enjoy.

As a writer, I've waffled back and forth over the years with so many detrimental emotions in this regard.

There are some who just don't understand WHY you want to do what you do and they never will. They tend to ask WHY a lot and then still blow you off when your answer doesn't satisfy them. There are those who act like they're supportive, but say harsh and hurtful things. I don't know if they do that purposely or on a subconscious level, where they don't realize how much pain they inflict in the heart of us. I imagine some disregard dreams simply because they've failed in their own. Perhaps they're jealous to see another person pursuing their dream while they don't because they're fearful of even TRYING. Some are just so critical, they want you to fail, or they want you to be the way THEY want you to be. If your interests or dreams veer off the path of what they think is "right" then it just doesn't belong. You're a square peg in a round hole. Sadly, this generally means they don't love you for who you are and aren't willing to accept you, faults and all. That's a truly sad state of affairs there when they are people you admire, respect and love.

Some of the people who do this are inconsequential, but then there are those you have to contend with- parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, neighbors, authority and even yourself. Those closest can generally hurt you the most because they don't realize they're attacking a part of you when they find fault with what's in your heart.

I've had some people stand behind me 100% about chasing my writing career and others who pshawed me as if the dream were too big and I were too small to accomplish it. It hurts when others beat it into your head that its not worth all the time you're "wasting" on a dream you can't achieve. It breaks your heart because you end up adding their doubts to the mix and stir it into your own doubts and fears. What's left? A very thick Doubt Soup- a recipe for feelings of utter hopelessness and it can happen to the best of us.

I spent a great deal of time in previous years NOT writing because no one seemed to believe in me and those who did, couldn't get me to see it because I'd convinced myself it wasn't worth it. If no one else believed in me, why should I believe in myself? I thought being a wife and mother was all I had to give. I was just someone's daughter, someone's sister, someone's wife, someone's mother.

But a writer? Who was I kidding?

The only problem was that I got up daily, thinking about how much I wanted to write. I went to bed thinking about how much I missed it. I felt dead on the inside, intent on just living the life I had in my empty little shell, even if it meant I didn't write. But my heart wouldn't let me. The embers of my desire to write crackled deep below the surface, kindled and started burning me from the inside out, filling my days with an ache to write so badly, I finally had to give in to it and let it take over. And I'm glad I did. Somehow that desire broke through the barriers of sadness, despondency and hopelessness until it filled me up with a renewed belief in myself, more confidence and ideas and inspiration.

I recently told a friend that I'd just as soon die as to stop writing. There was laughter, but I know it was the laughter of understanding. I think sometimes we neglect our biggest responsibilities- to ourselves-We spend so much of our time bending to other people's demands, other people's views of us, their "will" for us, that we forget we have just as much responsibility to be true to ourselves and grasp hold of our own free will to be who we're meant to be- no matter what that might be.

If we don't "take care" of us, take care of OUR heart's desire, we die a little inside. Sometimes, in fact, we die a LOT inside before we realize we can't please everyone all the time and we shouldn't even attempt to. There comes a point when you have to decide if the sacrifice of your heart, your dreams and your own feelings are worth it when it makes you feel like you have no reason to exist, as though what you are doesn't matter. We forget to "matter" to ourselves while we're so busy worried about what everyone else thinks.

It's one of the most deplorable things in the world when someone else thinks they can dictate your heart's desire or make you feel like what you love or enjoy is meaningless or unworthy. I will never be one to say you "can't" follow that dream. I believe it was my 4th grade teacher who said "Can't never could do anything."

Follow your heart's desire, enjoy life and be true to YOU.

To thine own self be true.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
~Dr. S~

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.”

~Dr. S~

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
~Eleanor Roosevelt~


Devon Matthews said...

To everything you said, a big AMEN. We must have the same kinfolk and acquaintances. :o)

I could never, ever tell you what a deep, black pit my family and hubby's family dropped me into after I first published. It's taken me nearly 4 years to climb out. And it took giving up on *them* to do it. Now, what keeps me going is the handful of personal notes I've gotten from readers. These days, I don't even let family know what I'm doing. It's not hard because they're not interested and ask no questions. Hubby excepted. He's always been supportive.

Taryn Raye said...

Thank you and glad you enjoyed the post, Devon.

I'm also glad to hear you're still keeping on, no matter what the fools around us think! LOL What's that saying, "I keep my head while all around me are losing theirs."


Cherie Marks said...

You are a writer through and through. Keep at it, Taryn. Through the ups and downs, you have people who are going to support you and those who aren't. But in the end, live your dream because you only live one life. Nuff said.

Madison said...

We write, therefore we are.
To the people who pshaw writers, I say a pox on you. *your Shakespeare reference has me going...*
Everyone needs writers, and to those who say they don't, hang up your X-box controller, put aside your computer games, stop watching T.V., and never, ever Google a query again.
Without words, none of these things would exist. So, keep scribblin' Taryn. You, me and other crazy writers are what makes the world go 'round.

Lynn Romaine said...

Ditto! Good thoughts - lynn romaine

Amy said...

Such a lovely post! And so true. Our dreams are a big part of what defines us, and we MUST be true to them.

I write because I love it, and because it gives me something in return. Publication is the goal, of course, but even without that, I'd still be putting words together... for the sheer, simple pleasure of it.

Keep writing... always!

Teresa Reasor said...

My biggest doubter is my husband. So, I don't share anything about my writing with him. Including the money I make from it.
I'm retiring from my day job in October and I'm going to follow my dream.
After all, I don't require a lot. My computer, a little paper, a few printer cartridges. I may have to stock up before that last day on the job. But I'm going to be a heck of a lot happier living broke and doing what I love than working two jobs and never getting to do anything that I want.

Thanks for the post. I can really identify with it.
Teresa R.

Christina Wolfer said...

So glad you found your voice and pursued your dream.

Taryn Raye said...

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by.

Thank you Cherie, and too true, we only have this one life to put our writerly parts to good use, so now or never. ;o)

Madison- I totally agree and it's not just the writers of the world, but those who pursue any artistic endeavor that lends itself to the world in which we live- art, music, & the written word. Without it the world would probably be a very quiet, very bland black & white thing with little to spark the imagination.

Thanks for stopping by Lynn, appreciated it.

Glad you enjoyed it Amy. I'm like you- whether published or not, writing is part of me and would be part of my life regardless of where it does, or doesn't, take me, so long as I don't let someone else determine its worth.

Taryn Raye said...

Teresa- I sympathize in regard to your husband. When I first took up my pen and paper again, something I hadn't really done in the first few years of my marriage, my husband seemed to disregard it as a mere hobby or something to "occupy" me, so long as it didn't interfere with my wifely and motherly duties.

He's more understanding now, but there are still times when he's off work in the middle of the week that he thinks I should put away my edits or whatever I'm working on and spend HIS day off with him instead of getting things done that I need to do. It can be mildly to moderately infuriating. ;o)

Good luck with your retirement and your pursuit of true happiness. And here's hoping your husband comes to understand and appreciate it more as time goes on. If not, you know you have us KYRWs. We've got your back. {hugs}

Thank you, Christina. It's a funny thing about a writer's voice. I'm not sure if it's so much about finding it, or if it's more about finding the courage to use it, loudly and clearly. It's there, we just have to open our mouth, or put pen to paper or slice a vein.

Again, thanks so much for stopping by. Made this blog, and me, feel all warm and fuzzy. ;o)

Ciara said...

It is a dream come true when an author finds their voice. I've always been a dreamer it took time to figure out how to use the bad habit for good. :)