Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dropping Dreams

Not sure what's going on this week. Last week, either. I'm restless and jumpy and... expectant, somehow. Nervy, I guess. I've eaten little and slept less.

It started one day last week. Can't remember which - all the days look the same once you're into new ones. All I can say with certainty is I awoke with a start and exclaimed, aloud, "What in the world am I doing here?" Just like that. And once said, it was as if my words continued to bounce around the room - like tiny, rubber balls - and spring back into my ears again.

Is there really such thing as a quarter-life crisis? I need to look it up because I think, perhaps, I'm in one.

I used to be a dreamer. A go-and-do-er. Not sure what's happened, exactly. Somewhere along the way I think I dropped some dreams, as an ailing car litters parts along a highway. As a child, I never doubted what I would be when I grew up: a reporter. I started, unofficially, with a hairbrush for a microphone in our living room in Oklahoma. I started, officially, in 1997 -ten years ago - at a small ABC radio affiliate in Texas. The newspaper came one day to take my picture and I remember stopping, turning in my chair, and smirking. (Jim? Do you remember taking this photo?) You can see it in my face. The thing that grabs me about this photo is that my hand is still holding a pen and resting on my mouse. I wouldn't stop multi-tasking, even for the picture. I thought I was busy and had things to do. Places to go.

And, as it turned out, I did. I moved along to bigger markets and tougher assignments. I ate dinner with Walter Cronkite and interviewed the president. Judges. Law enforcement. Martha Stewart. Once I even threw up shrimp on Phil Graham and got in trouble for being rude (unknowingly) to Roger Staubach. I hated the hours and the commitment but loved the thinking and the writing. So it captured me and I went, willingly, further and further down its path until one day it - stopped. I left it altogether. I came here.

Some friends and I sat down, just before college ended, and wrote down where we wanted to be - and where we thought the others would be - in five years... ten years... twenty-five years. My friend Lisa, of course, decided she would be eyeball deep into covert operations with the CIA, and was promptly dubbed Special Agent Lisa. SALL, for short, because her initials are "LL". She's now a school teacher who sews and wears her own aprons to her classroom every day. I think she also has 7 Master's degrees.

Another friend... the one who believed she'd be a foreign missionary in a hut in Belize... lives not too far from the school we graduated from. She's built a wonderful life there and delivers makeup to the masses. She sells Mary Kay. Quite successful, too. Drives the car and everything.

Another suspected she might settle on a ranch in Wyoming or Montana and spend her days with horses and rugged terrain. She fell in love and wrangles twin boys now. They say she's a wonderful mother.


I suppose we all, along the way, see our fair share of dream dropping, don't we? Can't see why I'm having such a hard time with mine - such a hard time finding and running with my new dream. I am, after all, the same stupidly fearless girl I always was.

Who knows. Maybe sometimes we need time to reflect. Wrestle. Decide. Maybe I'm in the calm before the dream storm and I just don't know it....

As you look back at your life,
there are just a million different things
that have happened, just in the right way,
to allow you to make your dreams come true.
And you know, Someone has all that under control.
-Michael P. Anderson


Anonymous said...

I think we all go through times of refining our life and seeing where God wants us to go (not just where we thought we were going!). I felt that same expectant, restless feeling last fall, knowing God was stirring something in me, but I didn't know what. I started a business in interior design, thinking that is exactly what I always intended to do. But what I didn't intend to do was WRITE! But here I am blogging, and soon will be doing a monthly article for an online magazine. God works in His own ways. He always has a plan, and it is amazing to see it unfold over our lifetime! He never ceases to surprise or amaze me with what he wants to do in and through all of us, if we are just willing to go as He leads. One step at a time...

Terri Steffes said...

I think that feeling comes when God is thinking about using you in his work. That feeling is preparing you to hear Him when it was time. Can't wait to hear what he asks you to do!

Unknown said...

ugbmyehOh Brin, I wish I could reach through blogland and give you a big ole hug!! But we all go through these times in our life, I think they are what keeps us grounded in a way. I NEVER thought I'd end up in Missouri, married three times ( I had to kiss a couple frogs before finding my prince) and have raised 5 kids ( three were mine and two his) and working for myself as a cleaning lady. But here I am, I still have my dreams ( your living most of them) of becoming a paid writer, I can be found all over the iternet as I write for many online publications, but no book deal yet! lol I was meant to take this path, and I trust I will find my pot of gold at the end! Hope your doing better! Hugs!!
P.S. I love that old photo of you!!

Cottage said...

I agree with Melissa...It can be especially hard when you achieve so much so fast. And I know in some smaller areas (markets) there is a sense of keeping the status quo, "as is, don't mess with our good thing" kind of attitude. Are you closer to a larger market you could ease yourself into?

Sometimes rest if the hardest thing to do...and like Melissa said, it is through our plans that serendipity presents us with a new venue and new road.

One thing I know...YOU are not one to be held back. Just hang in there for a season and see what unfolds, if nothing happens, get out that sledgehammer and move some things out of your way!

Sending hugs,

Kathleen Grace said...

Dreams are often based on unreal expectations and scenarios. They give us a direction to head in, but we seldon end up where we thought we would. It doesn't have to be a bad thing. Life never happens as we expect it will and sometimes that is a good thing! Sometimes it's a great thing and we just don't know how badly things would have turned out if we really lived our dream. I just trust that God is leading me and has everything under control, not my will but His.

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking for awhile and have enjoyed your blog so much. What you described is so normal. I agree with Melissa.....just wait & see what God has in store for you. It's going to knock your socks off!
Myself, I was always going to work in an office, live in the city, have two children & be content. God didn't see it that way. I did work in an office for awhile. Hated it. My two children? Adopted 7 & working on #8. City? Country as country can be. Content? You betcha!

Anonymous said...

Boy have I been there..4 years now as of this coming Oct 3rd and there are days I still find myself littering the roadways with parts. I think it's a sure sign of change....which isn't a spectator sport, it's hands on. You'll be okay, just take ONE day at a time, even a half day if needed. Take time to have fun and enjoy life and be with friends. Don't be too hard on yourself, give yourself a break. Love ya and see ya soon.

Debe said...

I fell in love with your blog a couple of months ago and I am old enough to be your mother. I think you are enchanting and admire you so much for your courage. Your thoughts today are interesting. You will find your dreams...the hard part is when you don't have any of your own any more (me)! Hold on and everyone is right, God will take care of you, He always does. Some of us just have to wait longer. From a fellow Texan...we're strong, it will come.
You are an inspiration, remember that!

Anonymous said...

Now don't go blowing my cover! Hopefully the other spies aren't frequenters of your blog, or else I'll have to move on to a new assignment. Maybe a little more glamorous than an elementary school teacher this time -- perhaps a lounge singer (think ole' timey, WWII kind).
If I recall correctly (and I might not be correct -- 4th graders tend to suck the brains out of teachers) you are the one who most closely reacher her goal. You were to become the new and improved Martha Stewart. And in my book, you fit that bill!
I'm sorry you're experiencing that restlessness, though. I know that feeling, and I know it's not fun. But God has wonderful adventures on your horizon. He speaks. You listen. He leads. You follow. You jump. He catches. (We're practicing parts of sentence and 2-worders are the best!)
I love ya and know what you're feeling. I look forward to what God has in store for the both of us! SALL

Anonymous said...

My sweet friend, I read your blogs everyday thinking about the dreamy life you lead. Its not at all what we projected sitting in that tiny yet cozy above the garage apartment of yours sipping hot cocoa.
Thankfully looking back, Im so glad I am not living in a hut anywhere, I have become a high maintence, give me electricity girly girl and the thought of the hut doesn't at all sound appealing, nor does the 10 children you said I would one day have!
And I believe that Sall, as funny as she is, probably is thankful she isnt a secret agent.. or maybe she is a secret agent and the bazillion degrees she has keeps us guessing at what she really does, will we ever know?
All this to say, Im thankful that about 7 years ago, when we thought we knew it all, that we didnt. I am glad that someone other than me has the plan all worked out and knows what it will take to give me a future full of hope.
To me it looks like you dream a new dream everyday, and wake up and make it happenen before you go to bed. Your dreamy life looks great from here. Enjoy every second and I will see you on that DREAM vacation we are taking in a few weeks! Can't wait!
Much love,

~Dawn~ said...

Hi Brin - trust me when I tell you that what you're going through is totally normal. Sometimes I get that restlessness so bad I feel like I should pack up and make a change in a BIG way. I think your mind and your heart just compete sometimes - and you have to cautiously sort it all out. Don't worry - it will go away, and even if it doesn't it might quiet down to at least a soft roar! I've missed chatting with you...

BellaColle said...

Ahh..thank you for your post...cute picture by the way....I too have a dream that it sometimes makes me "sick" because I can see it...but just can't touch it yet..

Jim Looby said...

Wow. I do remember taking that photo... wasn't that for one of the "Women Leaders..." sections the paper did? That newsroom brings back some very hectic memories for me as well. I was lucky to figure out that radio news wasn't my calling after all. That cranky old reel-to-reel in the photo probably had something to do with it. I remember installing that software in the background too.

Wow. Thanks for sharing that photo. That took me back 10-12 years in a second!

And yes, there is such a thing as a quarter-life crisis. John Mayer said so, so it must be true.