A friend is close to achieving her dream of living by the sea and writing the livelong day. She just needs to wait a bit to make sure her sales will remain steady before she quits her day job. She attributes her dream coming true to talking about it, planning it, visualizing it. This is the way many people make their dreams come true, and it seems to work, but what if, like me, you only have vague longings rather than a concrete dream?
I would like to have a dream, to work toward something I am passionate about, but so far such passions elude me. I’d like to make a living off my books, of course. Do you notice I said “off my books” rather than “from writing”? Almost anyone can make a living by writing nowadays if they write sexy romances or mystery series and churn out two to four books a year, but I am a slow writer with few ideas. I average one book every two years, and to increase my output, I’d have to write all day every day and far into the night. Even if I could dredge up all the necessary words, I’d have to contend with the physical hardship of sitting in one place for hours on end. Besides, I don’t like romances or series of any kind. And, unlike my friend, I have no interest in spending all my time writing. There is still real-world living I have to do before I can totally immerse myself in fictional worlds.
Outside of wanting to make a living off my books, I have no real dreams. Never have had. I want, of course, but I want something greater than my imaginings. Something so wonderful or awesome that my life becomes transformed.
As a child, I loved the mystique of presents. There was the possibility of getting the gift I always wanted but didn’t know I wanted. Oddly, the most disappointing gifts were when I received what I asked for. As an adult, I don’t want to limit my dreams to what I know to ask for. I want the perfect dream — the life I always wanted but didn’t know I wanted. The problem is, if I don’t know what that dream is, if I can’t imagine it, how can I make it come true?
All I know is that I need to find a way to open myself up to the possibility of surprises. So far, I’m doing this by exploring my inner and outer worlds — searching for ways to connect more deeply to life, being present here in the now, being me. Perhaps one day, as I continue to grow and develop, I will find the surprises and unknown wonders that I have to believe are waiting for me.
Pat Bertram is the author of the conspiracy novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+