I was always a very goal oriented kind of girl and I’ve always had big dreams. I’m also not a very conventional person. My family moved to the small suburban Massachusetts town of Wayland when I was in first grade. I think they thought it was a good decision for the family because the school system was great but it was literally death for me. I’m not sure the rest of my family really liked it either.
But for me, I was a weirdo, a creative Jewish girl with black hair and fair skin. I had a hard time fitting in because I wasn’t blonde, normal, good at sports or Christian. Literally every chick I grew up with married and had kids with some dude from High School or college and is either a nurse or teacher. I knew that conventional life was not for me. I tried my hardest to make it fit for me when I married my first husband in my 20’s and subsequently got divorced in my early 30’s. It turns out when you’re on a ton of tranquilizers and alcohol that you inadvertently marry a man who may be gay. There’s me being unconventional again.
I still had the dream of having children and getting married to a straight man and I did marry a straight man the second time around but the dream of having children is evading me. The other dream that is escaping me is my career. I’ve had some success as a writer and a stand-up comedian but nowhere near where I’d like it to be. I have a day job at an entertainment law firm and each year I’m here I truly feel will be my last because I’m sure I will get my break. I’ve written novels, screenplays, teleplays, articles and even started this blog but sadly I just can’t make it my full time job or seem to make much of an impact.
I feel like a complete failure. Or Am I? All of my “dreams” are outside things and maybe I’m not getting the point here. Maybe my idea of success and happiness is still rooted in my old beliefs that to be successful in life means that you have to have money, fame, and a conventional idea of family. Will a baby make me happy? Well, probably, but do I need one to be happy? No. Will being a full time writer make me happy? Well, probably, but do I need to be famous and make a lot of money to be a writer or happy? No.
What’s most difficult for me is not giving up the dreams. It’s realizing that the old ideas of these dreams will not buy me happiness because happiness is an inside job. The lesson here for me isn’t that I need to give up my dreams but that I have to give them to God. My dreams have become more important than my relationship with God. That is the big epiphany that I had honestly, just right now. My sponsor always says to me, “you have to get to a place where nothing is more important than a relationship with God.” When I realized that the first time, I slept next to the Dalai Lama.
God has to be enough or will I only be content with God plus something else? I have to be happy with my current life, it was the role that God assigned me. With God our dreams never die they’re just re-imagined and sometimes redirected. The key is that I have to give the dreams to him, entirely. It’s not what I can make of my life but what God can make of me. Maybe my being in turmoil of having things not go my way has led me to this epiphany. Maybe that was the lesson all along. And maybe these disappointments and challenges are happening to me to lead me to a closer relationship with my higher power and deeper down a spiritual path.
So, to all of those out there who feel like failures because your dreams have supposedly “died,” it means your dreams have become way too important in your life. Your life is not your own, it’s your higher power’s, so those dreams belong to him anyway. I’m going to try and take my own advice and stop obsessing over my dreams. Some days are easier than other days. When I have a disappointment I fall off the spiritual beam, but the time span is a bit quicker now getting back on the beam. It’s a daily surrender and reminder to give myself entirely to my higher power. God does not make failures, he does not crush dreams, he just wants you to be happy, joyous and free with the many gifts he gives to us all. Most importantly, your dreams cannot take priority over your relationship with your higher power. He’s got to be numero uno. Once you put God first all things are possible.