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Why I’m OK With Failing At My Dreams of Yesterday and How I’m Learning to Dream Again

Recently, I’ve been rediscovering hope, reinventing what I dream, and rethinking what it means to live a “meaningful life”. What if it’s so much more than accomplishing a dream that was meant for yesterday? What if it is much more than the dreams others have for our lives? What if it’s more than we can understand or know in this moment?

When I moved to Los Angeles in 2006 I genuinely believe it was the right decision. God was moving me to that city in that time and place. It was in that city that I learned to connect with people from different backgrounds, beliefs, and political leanings. It was in LA that I learned what it was like to have my heart broken. It was in Los Angeles where I learned that there’s nothing shameful about admitting that I struggle with anxiety and depression.

But that city was a dream for yesterday.

Over the past several years since returning to Charlotte I’ve evolved through studying acting, creating music, building new relationships, and rethinking my creativity. Last year was my effort to see if acting was still a dream for my present…At this season in my life, it’s not. Will it return? I can’t predict what will come…But it’s not a dream for now, not here, not in this moment.

Failure is sometimes a reminder that our identity shouldn’t be found in a specific job title, accomplishment, relationship, or ability. All of those can be taken from us in a single moment, but the love of God lasts forever. I tend to forget that…Every day.

I am the first to admit that I failed as an actor. It didn’t go as planned and it left me feeling defeated, as if I was inadequate and lacking. What if I don’t need to remain in that failure? What if this is an opportunity to begin again? And what if you have that same opportunity, either now or in the future?

This I am more certain of today than I was yesterday: we are alive, we are loved beyond our present understanding, and we are not alone. Meaning isn’t just the accomplishments and activities that we identify with in this life, but it is much more rooted in who we love, the acceptance that we are loved, and reminding others around us that they are loved, as well.

I’m beginning to forgive myself for failing at my dreams of acting. Others may think that it was a waste of my 20’s and they may be right…Maybe it was. But what if it was exactly where I should have been? What if I’m OK to let it go now, to dream again? What if failure doesn’t define me?

Have you failed at a dream that leaves you feeling inadequate and broken? What if you could accept that failure and forgive yourself? Wouldn’t you like to dream again? Dream something new? Wouldn’t you be relieved to know that you aren’t summed-up by your failures, by your inadequacies, and by your wasted yesterdays?

You are not your failure. You are loved and you are cared for, regardless of how you feel in this moment.

It feels good to rethink, to dream anew, to find hope for today. If you’re in the same place of failing to realize a dream, I hope you find hope in these words…I hope you never forget to dream. I hope you never forget that you are living now, in this moment, not in a yesterday dream.

As long as we are alive, let us dream of hope, of life, and of a better future.