This past year has been an evolution of sorts, one in which I am learning that being creative is more than hiding behind a title or a skill set. For one reason or another, my acting career was going nowhere, despite the amount of time, training, and money I invested. Leaving acting behind, even just for a season, was me giving away a part of myself. It was letting go of a title never truly realized. It was painful.
I think we all find ourselves in this intersection at one time or another, whether it’s getting cut from the high school football team, missing the GPA requirement for a specific university, ending a relationship you hoped would last a lifetime, being rejected for your dream job, or failing to attain a level of success you envisioned in your younger years. Life often has a way of throwing us a curve when we expect a different pitch. The question is this: if we swing and miss, will we step back up to the plate, or will we remain in the dugout?
C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” I couldn’t agree more. Each day we wake is an invitation to create something that has never been, to create a future that is yet to exist. Our mere existence is a product of God’s creativity, so why shouldn’t our dreams, our actions, and each moment be a creative expression?
The future is happening because of decisions that were made in the past. Moving to Los Angeles in 2006 was a decision I made that created friendships, hardships, life lessons, financial struggles, and a greater longing to be an artist. Returning to Charlotte in 2008 created a different future, leading to new friendships, the encounter with my wife at Starbucks, and the encouragement from friends to begin writing.
Every moment we are alive is a moment we create the future. It sounds like feel-good pish-posh, but it’s simple reality. You didn’t get through school based on wishful thinking. Rather, you studied, you prepared, and you devoted yourself to earn each passing grade. You made choices to prepare which carried you into a future moment called “graduation”.
What kind of future are we creating today? Why do we often settle with just “getting by” and “going through the motions”? Do we want life to shape us more than we shape life?
And please don’t misunderstand me. Life definitely has a way of throwing us curve balls beyond our control and outside of our own choices. Sometimes the pitch can even hit us where we stand, leaving us numb. But if we are honest with ourselves, much of our existence is lived in a future we created for ourselves. (Side note: for those of you who love baseball, you will know that even getting hit by a pitch gets you to first base…Just something to ponder.)
A perfect example is my own struggle with depression and anxiety. It is only in the moments where I choose to seek help, to believe truth, and to fight against the darkness that I begin to experience healing.
I’m sitting here thinking about my dreams…Thinking about what’s hoped for and what could be. I’m dreaming of books to be written, friends to be made, experiences to be enjoyed, and hope to be shared with others.
What are you dreaming of today that will change the future for the better? If a dream has died in your life, do you believe a new dream can find you, or are you standing still, waiting for life to happen?
We are called to create the future by our love, by our actions, and by our dreams. Let us never forget how to dream.