By Sally Stap
Think of the many interviews of someone who lost a dream of being an athlete, actor, entrepreneur, or whatever? Disappointed, some struggle but find new passion. Disappointment still remains in hindsight, but a new perspective is gained over time for the importance of one lost dream. Countless other stories tell of people who lose their dream and become entangled in pain and fail to move forward, sometimes for years.
Acceptance of unwanted change is sticky and gooey. Anyone who has found success at something then lost churns for period of time. Risking full disclosure, I’ve found felt quite sorry for myself at times. I wake in the morning and find myself laying still, making an analysis of my options. Will I wallow over where I am, or move forward to seek an achievable goal for that specific day? Breaking down obstacles allows me to find joy in each step toward a new dream.
When making the decision to spiral down or up:
On my down pajama days, laying horizontal, staring out the window:
- I allow the loss of a dream to loom over all other dreams and accomplishments.
- I exaggerate to myself how lost and alone I am in the big, bad world.
- I chaff at not being able to control everything in my life.
- I compare myself/my life/my circumstance to others and minimize my own accomplishments.
- I dislike being on a need to know basis with God.
On other, better days, I’m more balanced (admittedly maybe still a pajama day):
- I allow myself time to regenerate if needed. I sleep a little more, read a book, or spend time in thought without allowing thought of misusing time.
- I let my disappointment go, even if for a moment. Life is a series of days we must live.
- Some will, frankly, be better than others. Each day takes us somewhere. No day takes us nowhere, even if we are still.
- I think about God. Not how short I find myself in actions, but, quite simply, how big He is even while guiding my little life in the huge scheme of things.
- I focus on others. How can I reach out to someone? What can I write to brighten someone else’s day?
- I recognize the value in nature of a safe cocoon. How it provides protection to delicacy. I recognize how God puts us in a cocoon, kept from knowledge at times. A hedge of protection until we are stronger than we thought possible.
I’ve found it to be an interesting journey to transition from the corporate world with strategic plans, performance evaluations, and service level agreements to embracing the world of art. Touching someone’s day by writing a paragraph is as rewarding as achieving a corporate objective used to be. If I hadn’t had downward spirals mixed with some incredible upward ones, throughout my entire life, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t appreciate what I dream today. I wonder who I’m yet to be.