Her voice cracked on the other end of the phone. I knew she was holding back tears and trying to keep the tepid surface of her emotions from rippling. I knew what she was trying to say, but let the silence punctuate her fragmented articulation. My best friend had--finally, after years of wishing--come to grips with the reality of her passion. She went to college, earned a Master's Degree, then found a respectable job at a non-profit organization. Just like a good little girl should.
This past week she finally allowed herself to come to grips with the idea of her unhappiness. Just like a Monet painting, her life appeared to be beautiful and perfect from afar, but when you stand close enough, you see it's just one big mess. She admitted to knowing what she really wanted to do with her life--an unyielding passion that's been brewing for years--but just doesn't know how or where to begin. I remained silent. When listening to a friend's dream, fragmented articulation is just fine.
I wanted to shake her. The kind of shake you might do to a person twitching from a nightmare. Wake Up! I wanted to tell her to run, and not stop until her lungs felt like they were about to explode and snot danced in her nostrils. Run toward your dream and don't stop until you can feel it on your on your fingertips. Quitting or, worse, not trying is the easy route and a path marked with convenient stores, all-night diners, and tow-trucks. Dust your ego off, and start failing. Yes, failing. Because you can only fail so long at something before you actually start succeeding.
When I first started my business, I dreamed of the day when I'd be able to do what I love; do what I thought only the best were allowed to do. To wake up, work, eat, and breathe at my discretion, away from timecards and watercoolers. Still to this day I'm running hard toward my dream. My lungs are on the verge of exploding and the snot...well, the snot was wiped on my sweatshirt sleeve. I hate the whole dancing in my nostril thing.
Yesterday, JD and Polo returned from a short walk and I looked up from my computer to see JD reveal what hid in the palm of his hand. Two kumquats were placed on my desk. JD picks them off a neighbor's tree and brings them as a surprise midday treat, away from timecards and watercoolers. I picked up the kumquats and they felt like my dream.
Friend, I know you're reading this. Please run and don't stop chasing your dream. Life's too short to stand by the watercooler.