Take Pride in the Life You’ve Chosen
It came to my attention after a second not-so-amazing date.
If you know me at all, you’d know I haven’t dated much in the last few years, choosing instead to focus on building my writing and teaching career and publishing a new book (yay!)
But recently, with my book finished, I made the decision to focus on dating a little more. So In the course of three weeks I’ve had two “mediocre” dates. I say that very carefully, with the emphasis on the actual experience and not the persons. Both of the men were very nice, and I think will make nice partners for someone, someday.
But not for me.
I don’t blame them at all. What I discovered on both of these one-hour coffee sessions was that I’m not comfortable talking to everyone about my life and the choices I’ve made for myself. I felt a little embarrassed by the fact that I wasn’t transparent in the face of criticism.
I’m aware that I have some fears about being judged (especially by men) about my choices. And I also know that my life choices haven’t always produced the results I imagined. My mind can easily get caught in a quagmire of self-doubt if I’m not careful. What if I’m making a big mistake? What if I can’t make it as a writer? What if my income never reaches “normal” levels? Does my life make me less desirable? What if? what if? Ugh…exhausting!
And so it was after the second of the two dates where I realized my unwillingness to share was a protective strategy. What I really didn’t want was to have to defend my decisions, my life. I didn’t feel like I had any evidence of my success. And what it really came to was the money issue that always comes up…”How much money are you making with that? Or, is it just a hobby? Not everyone can live that way..”
I felt mad at myself for allowing my own fears to add weight to what I imagined both men were thinking, even though only one of them said it out loud. Sharing our dreams with others is tough when they are still so fragile and new and not yet producing what society calls success.
Reading Levesque and McNeil’s book, Dream Crafting, I realized why that is.
They say, “What if it turns out the only reason not everyone succeeds in making their own “imagined possibilities” a reality is that there’s a special knack involved? What if anyone might be able to realize their Big Dream, as long as they developed the key skills to overcome the failure factors listed above. The lucky ones are those who apply these skills automatically, unconsciously, intuitively. Most people don’t even know they exist.”
Those who don’t know that anyone can make their imagined possibilities a reality with the right skill sets mostly look to concrete results. They won’t be able to see the value in baby steps, the micro-movements that must be sustained even when there is no visible movement on the forefront. They can’t see the Universe conspiring in its not-so-conventional ways to make space and time, the resources needed for change and shift to happen without catastrophe. It would be hard for them to understand the “why,” when there are no real results.
But I could definitely see these things happening in my life. The only trouble is they’re hard to explain to someone who doesn’t believe in “dream crafting.” My problem however had more to do with protecting my image than trying to convince anyone about the magic of creation. I wasn’t feeling proud of my accomplishments. I was feeling afraid of how my decisions would be used to judge me incompetent or irresponsible (by society’s measure)
And so it was time to choose. I could save my ego in the midst of non-believers, or I could side with my soul and simply share what I know is true, regardless of how I appeared to others.
And of course, I’d already made the choice, I just needed to stand firm behind it.
And that’s when I realized it wasn’t important to make them understand and I needn’t “defend” my decisions. I believed in them wholeheartedly. I am proud of the life I have chosen and if I were to date anyone (more than once), they would have to see that. And there’s only one person who can show it to them.
Are there any parts of your Big Dream that you have trouble sharing with people you fear might judge you for your decisions? Share in the chat below.
As always, Thank you for reading and sharing this journey with me!