“Have you ever wanted something so much yet nothing at the same time?”
My cursor blinked at the end of the line, asking if I was ready to hit send. The question was posed to my dear friend who lived more than a thousand miles away.
“Yup… I want my dream so bad, yet at the same time, I fear it and don’t want it. It’s weird,” he replied.
“…I fear it…” I repeated to myself. “I want my dream so bad…and I don’t want it.” I agreed it was weird, indeed, yet all too familiar.
How does one explain this bizarre contradiction? How does one confront the battle that rages within, war drums pounding in your chest?
Fear: anxiety, impending danger, apprehension…reverential awe.
How can a person be so fearful a dream will both die and come true?
I think we’re all familiar with the what-ifs. Usually, it’s regarding a negative outcome.
“What if I’ll never have the money to travel Europe?”
“What if I bomb the interview?”
But what if the dream happens? What if, somehow, you actually traveled through Europe? What if you held that paycheck in your hand?
Dreams: we all have them. They could be anything: Stay-at-home-Mom/Dad. Astronaut. Farmer. World Traveler. Rock star. Multi-lingual. Hermit. Artist. Reader of all the books. Expert in Norse history. Jarl of a recreated ‘Viking’ village. Anything.
Some days, there is a burning passion that drives us to achieve these goals. On others, we may find the fire barely smoldering, or even completely devoid of energy.
Perhaps you’ve tweaked the dream a bit, adjusting as life happens, stoking the fire.
It might be that you’ve realized it was left unattended for far too long, nothing but ash and soot, barely breathing.
Maybe you’ve examined the dream, analyzed it, and re-imagined it, finding just the right place to shift things around a bit, giving it more oxygen.
My dreams, my goals, my ambitions have gone through all of these stages, and I am certain they will go through more.
Right now, however, I am deathly afraid my dream will never happen. I’m afraid a torrential downpour will quench it.
Afraid: feeling fear.
Feeling this fear evokes the desire to push it away–to not want it–in an effort to avoid feeling the pain of a broken heart from the once more shattered dream, to avoid feeling as though I am dying on the inside, on the brink of just…existing.
Becoming Friða has helped me realize I let existing happen far too many times. Time and again, I set aside my desires, my hopes, my dreams, my self for the sake of someone else’s, thinking I would be able to just pick up where I left off and continue on…Nope.
This is my dream and no one else’s.
Others may choose to join me, if they wish, but I am ultimately the one in control of it. Most will not fully understand. Many will ridicule. And some will be intrigued enough to try it out but have no commitment to it. I cannot ignore any of them, for each may have a role in making my dream come to life, as little or big as their roles may seem.
Then, there are those, like my friend here, who truly understand. Their dream doesn’t necessarily have to be the same, but they understand the passion that burns deep within. They understand what it’s like when your conversations have tangents that randomly incorporate the latest factoid learned about the dream. They know what it’s like to not be able to sleep out of excitement for the idea you came up with that day. They know what it’s like to eat, to breathe, to sleep, to live with an all-consuming passion to see the dream through to fruition. They know what it’s like when no one believes the dream but yourself. They, too, try to make it through each mundane moment of every day, hoping with all that is within them the dream will become a reality.
It is in friendships like these we find encouragement to press on. When expressing my fear with my friend, he encouraged both our spirits by saying:
“I know what you’re saying, and if you wish your dreams to begin to take shape, you must begin to move towards them. First a crawl, then a walk, then a run, and eventually, everyone calls you ‘crazy’ as you leap from the mountain you’ve just run up (the hard work leading to the moment of truth) and then suddenly leap off of the cliff in an attempt to fly. Hoping wildly that you sprout your wings and grab the air to soar aloft.”
One day, Friða will leap off this mountain she’s climbing with sprouted wings.