One of the hardest lessons for most people to learn is that we don’t have as much control over our lives as we would like. We can’t just snap our fingers and bend the universe to our will, and sometimes having a dream isn’t enough… fighting tooth and nail for it isn’t enough.
Sometimes, the things we really want are just out of our reach.
This is an especially difficult thing for driven and Type A personalities to accept. We want to believe that we can create the lives we imagine for ourselves, just by wanting it enough. Just by working hard.
The truth is, not everything is achievable. Or at least, not right now.
Hear me out: I am not advocating for giving up on your dreams. What I am arguing for is cutting yourself a little slack.
Maybe you have goal of writing a book. But then you get a promotion at work, and things are crazy. And you meet the love of your life, only to find all your spare time swept up in that. You get married, you have a baby, you have another baby, and… life. Life gets in the way. The next thing you know, you’re staring at 10 pages of a wholly unfinished manuscript, too tired to think of where to take those chapters next.
It’s easy to beat yourself up over that abandoned dream, but what if… what if that book of yours wasn’t ready to be written yet. What if you needed a few more years, a few more life experiences, and a few different changes of perspective to be able to tune into your characters and craft something that might actually propel a writing career?
What if time was what your work really needed after all?
Because the thing about dreams is, we don’t ever have to abandon them completely. But sometimes… sometimes we have to be willing to give them some space to breathe. Because life is crazy and the timing is all wrong. Because the best we have to offer, may not be offered up today.
Now, to be clear—none of this is an excuse to give up and sit back on your couch with the remote in hand for the next 15 years. You should still keep pushing. Keep striving. Keep working towards your goals.
But you should also be willing to accept that timing is everything. And sometimes, the most amazing things can come out of a willingness to take a deep breath and let go.
Let go of that stringent timeline you set for yourself that seems to be stifling your best ideas.
Let go of the vision you had for where you would be at this point in your life.
And let go of the could haves, should haves, and would haves that seem to constantly nag away at your soul.
Let go of the past and live in the now.
Because who knows… maybe what’s happening right now will turn out to be the best inspiration you ever could have asked for. Maybe getting laid off from your job, and scrambling to find a way to put food on the table, will lead to an introduction to someone in a similar position who might just one day turn out to be your business partner.
Or maybe that devastating divorce that has you spiraling out and spinning down the drain will actually produce some of the best artwork you’ve ever created; art that speaks to people and opens doors for you to a fuller, happier life.
Maybe where you are right now is exactly where you’re meant to be. And you’re just supposed to take a deep breath, let go, and see where the ride takes you…