Dreams that Breathe

There’s something both relieving and overwhelming about a heavy rainfall. Relieving because it replenishes the earth and allows you to remain indoors and read that book you’ve been wanting to pick up for a few days now. Overwhelming because of its sound, its loudness, its cacophony of noise. I love a slow trickle of rain, but when it begins to beat heavily, it feels all consuming as if I’m drowning behind walls of water.

It’s like a dark space devoid of light. The emptiness and magnitude of the darkness seems to swallow up my senses, as if the darkness itself were some living, breathing thing. That in itself is a loudness that exists in the stark silence. In some ways, it almost feels heavier than the rain. But when there’s light, I can breathe a little easier, the all consuming “noise” of the dark diminishes and it doesn’t feel as loud. It’s but a mere trickle of water filtering into a babbling brook.

Too much of a single thing isn’t necessarily a good thing. We need rain to help our earth, water our land, and nourish the creatures, but if it only ever rained, we’d end up with a second flood. (But God’s already promised that won’t happen again, so don’t fear). And if the world existed in utter darkness, we couldn’t see where we’re going nor receive the necessary vitamin D we all crave in the bowels of winter – though it might be conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Needless to say, too much of one thing negates the acknowledgement of the other. Though if it only rained, one might say, “Wow, we need some sun to dry all this up.” Or if it was always dark one might utter, “I wish I had a flashlight.” But that’s the thing, when we’re so engrossed in the things we love and deem worthy above all else, we sometimes forget the need to pause and take a break. We sometimes can’t see past our own noses, and what we come to love, we eventually idolize.

For example, when I was younger, I was so obsessed with Legos that I would play with them nonstop, waking up early just to go to bed late. And in between? I’d forget to eat my meals and simply build my Lego mansion all day long. Yes, I was only a child and it’s only natural my priorities were a bit off, but I’ve seen how that same mindset sometimes carries into my reality now.

I love writing. Truly, it’s a gift and something I thoroughly enjoy. But I found that when it moved from simply being something I enjoy to scrambling to getting my book finished under any and all circumstances, editing my writing like a fiendish mongrel, researching the publishing process without pausing in between, and trying to find the quickest most cost effective way to publish my novel, I had lost all my joy. I was consumed by my need to “publish now or forever hold my peace” that I just had to stop.

During that rigorous time, I had basically stopped reading. I had given up on one of the things that helps me relax, one of the things that if I don’t do it, I feel the strain thereafter. I was a writing machine, and though productive, I was only focused on the end product instead of enjoying the writing journey. My life began to feel like a heavy rainfall or a room consumed in the dark. I needed the sun to break through the clouds and dry up the water while filtering into my darkened room. I needed a break.

After I decided to slow down, I was able to breathe easier. I have taken a more docile approach to publishing and I am doing my research, but I am not a frantic deer darting headlights anymore. Instead, I feel as if I’m grazing in a meadow.

Writing is a great thing. Hobbies are excellent things in general! But when they become all consuming to the point of obsessions and idols, the only place they can go is crashing down on the ground, leaving you utterly helpless that whatever you had planned didn’t turn out the way it was planned in your head. In my mind, my book would be published and on the shelves of Barnes in Noble only after two weeks of me finishing it. How ridiculous is that? I had a nice dose of reality come smacking me across the face when I found out one: how awful that would be, and two, how in order for my book to be great, I would need to still put forth more time and work.

And that’s okay. Rushing good things doesn’t make them better. And being totally consumed by them doesn’t make them more special. Sometimes it’s necessary to take breaks and leave the darkened room to finally see the sun. Or perhaps instead of waiting for the rain to stop falling, maybe just running outside in it for a bit and letting the droplets hit you on the face is enough of a wake up call to remind you that there’s more to life than all consuming dreams.

I think dreams do best when you let them breathe. Because when you do, you can too.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Carmen Frederico says:

    Nice job Lizzy

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Like

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