July 29th, 2003

What A Dream I Had…

How do you handle your dreams? No, not the ones where you meet Freddy Krueger at your local gas station and then introduce him to your principal who makes him the new science teacher and then turns into a giant banana – I mean the dreams you have for your life.

For instance, I have long had the dream of having my own talk show. Look at David Letterman – he’s a goofy-looking Midwesterner, too. I’ve (most) always felt at-ease in front of people, and I generally like to talk to interesting people. I could do this!

Except that, at 31, I’m thinking I probably should do something about it or stop dreaming about it, right?


See, the way I figure, there are three types of people in the world, at least in this particular scenario:

1) Those who have a dream, and then do whatever they can to attain it.
2) Those who have a dream, realize they’ll never attain it, so they give up on it and move on to something else.
3) Those who have a dream, realize they’ll probably never attain it, but hang on to it anyway because of the feelings associated with the dream.

I fit squarely and solidly into category number three. I’ve always been a dreamer. Always. I like to read biographies, but I tend to gravitate towards fiction. I’m definitely a head-in-the-clouds kind of guy. I’m also definitely a not-motivated-to-get-off-his-rear kind of guy. Maybe it’s a fear of failure or something. Why shatter the beauty of what could be by trying for it and failing?

Right now you are having a very visceral reaction to this. Most of you are in the “That is so stupid! If you can’t get it, let it go! Why torture yourself with what you can’t get?!?” camp, I’m guessing. Camp #2 has fewer people in it. Camp #3? Well, there’s me and…like 3 other people in it, and I’ve never met them.

If I did meet them, I’m pretty sure I know what they’d be like: lazy. “Yeah, I’d really like that to happen. I’m hoping it falls into my lap.” I know the type so well because I *am* that type.

The funny thing is, I’ve seen what can happen if I apply myself. I know that hard work produces results. I know that planning makes work more effective. I’ve done it, and I know what it can do.

I think I’m motivated by fear – or UNmotivated, if you like. “I really want to have/do this, but if I fail, it’s totally gonna rot.” How do you get past that? It’s the same thing that keeps me from writing the books that have been bouncing around in my head for years. “Put something on paper!” I’m told. Well, I don’t want to unless it’s exactly right. “That’s what rough drafts are for!” I’ve always hated rough drafts. When I lift pen from paper at the end of my writing, I want it to be completely done.

So here I sit, a potentially great talk show host, handcuffed by fear. If you happen across me and know where the keys are, you might be tempted to show them to me, but I’ll probably think it’s too much work to use them.


One Comment on “What A Dream I Had…”

  1. M. Kate says:

    This made me cry.

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