Maybe My Dream Isn’t Supposed to Come True

THE SEASON THAT I’M CURRENTLY IN has been especially meaningful. It’s also been perplexing and beyond my comprehension. I feel a calling deep within my soul to travel the world, learn, and write.

Writing is a gift that I’ve been given to capture what I find inspiring and beautiful about life.

I long to get out there and see what I’m made of. I feel called to explore my interests: philosophy, culture, history, art, spirituality, health, relationships, meaning — and document the great unfolding.

I don’t know precisely how it’s going to happen, but that’s the direction I strive to move in. Traversing into the unknown, physically and spiritually, makes every day a profound journey.

I thought I had a plan to do so.

I was going to move to Japan, teach English and write about my travels. I made this decision right as the pandemic rocked the world.

I don’t know when it’s going to happen — yet my curiosity to be a traveler, an explorer, a student of the world, has only become more overwhelming.

Finding peace while not knowing when this dream might become a reality has been my greatest teacher.

The books I hope to write embody the spirit that urges me to go, the same energy that compelled me to self-publish my first book recently, Arrows of Youth.

Arrows of Youth tells my story so far — who I am at twenty-five years old — set against the backdrop of a winter road trip through California and the Pacific Northwest. I explore philosophical concepts and apply them to my own life; I contemplate my relationships and family and who I strive to be.

Writing the book brought me so much joy.

As I wonder about my next steps — if I’ll move to Japan in the near future, if I’ll start on another book, I can’t help but believe that the next one will be about my first legitimate experience out in the unknown.

I don’t know what’s going to happen; although I don’t want to make the mistake of missing the moment right in front of me because I’m transfixed on the future.

That’s the thing. We have no idea what our future entails. I wonder if it’s a hinderance that I’ve been consumed by this dream of moving to another country with little of a plan.

The Indian yogi Sadhguru says in this interview with Matthew McConaughey:

May your dreams not come true.

“Your dreams are just exaggerations of what you already know,” he says.

“If you go like this, you’re ensuring that nothing new ever happens to you. So my message is may your dreams not come true. May things that you could never dream of happen to you.”

That’s an interesting idea. I’ve had this concept in my mind for over a year — perhaps everything I’ve done, my thoughts, my desires, my goals, have been geared towards one result — moving, so I can “begin.”

And maybe that is stopping me from pursuing something else that would bring just as much purpose into my life.

But a second book based on my travels abroad seems like the fitting follow-up to Arrows of Youth. Just thinking about it brings me tremendous wonder, and that means something.

Yet, it’s not just about writing the next book and continuing my career as a writer.

Perhaps life isn’t only about our career. In the ideal world, our career supplements our greatest passion and vision. In the people I admire who do indeed change the world, this is what I recognize. That’s a pursuit worth undertaking.

When it’s real, you can tell.

Still, coupled with the thought of my next step is an apprehension, as there’s doubt associated with anything big, new, and worth pursuing. There’s a weight attached to the idea of starting a project, leaving home, writing a book, following the desires placed in our hearts.

In author Joseph Finder’s article “Just Write the Damned Book Already,” he discusses the number one thing, the only thing, that writers need to do. They need to write.

Writing is the only profession I can think of that requires no license, no certificate, no special training, and no special tools. Anyone who wants to can be a writer. All you have to do is write.

This is a blessing and a curse, for the hopeful writer. The power is in our hands to create something out of nothing.

Nobody’s going to make us write. So we have to find the time, the determination, the grit, to make it happen.

We have to overcome the voice in our heads that says we’re not good enough, talented enough, qualified enough. But if we can overcome, the opportunity is boundless.

My first book began when I followed my curiosity and let it guide me. I couldn’t have fathomed what would come. That’s really all it takes. A desire to do it, an inkling of a call, and the will to go forth and write. No matter what, that’s what I shall do.

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  • Stuart Danker
    Posted at 16:54h, 14 July Reply

    I totally agree with Finder’s quote. In fact, among all the writing advice, I feel like that’s the only one that can be blanket-applied to every writer under every circumstance. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    • Vincent Van Patten
      Posted at 08:44h, 15 July Reply

      That is a great point my friend. I can’t help but share this quote about advice on writing from Neil Gaiman: “When people tell you there’s something wrong with a story, they’re almost always right. When they tell what it is that’s wrong and how it can be fixed, they’re almost always wrong.” Everybody has an opinion, even me! But what we can all agree on is that we just need to continue. Thank you for the comment Stuart! Hope all is well with you 🙏🏻

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