Building Blocks.

“Build a dream and the dream will build you.”
~Robert H. Schuller

Okay, so we’ve established that I’m a quote fanatic. We’ve established that when you take into account all the books, all the Word documents, all the wall hangings and plaques, I probably have a collection of hundreds of those all-important snippets of inspiration. So how in the world is it that I’ve never heard this particular one until now? I’m not sure, but I’m glad I came across it and already consider it among my favorites.

We all have our dreams. No matter what they are, no matter how they were born or where we want them to take us, we all have those wishes for the future and the aspirations of what they could turn into if we put our all into making them reality. But see, here’s the thing. What this publication journey has taught me (well, one of many things) is that the dream we have at the beginning? It doesn’t always stay the same. It bends, it twists, it evolves. We might begin with a dream to build, but it’s the dream that ends up building us in ways we never could have imagined. And that got me thinking. Do our dreams define us? Or do we define our dreams? Say you want nothing more than to be an artist who has the opportunity to exhibit your pieces in a gallery. Say you want nothing more than to be a performer who has the opportunity to write the music you love and then record it in a studio. Or, in my case, say you want nothing more than to be an author who has the opportunity to share your words via published novels. Are we defined only by those dreams, holding on to them and working to make them come true? Or do they take on a life of their own, building us as we continue to build them?

I genuinely believe it’s the latter. Three years ago, if you’d have told me that I’d be focusing on getting my novels into print, working every day to build that dream into a reality, I probably would have looked at you as though you’d just said the world is flat – not because I wouldn’t have loved that aspiration, but because I hadn’t yet considered the foundation for it. When I first got back into creative writing, I never imagined where it would take me. I never imagined it would take on a life of its own, never imagined it would become the kind of passion where I can write every day and somehow love it more and more each time. This publication dream of mine began as a little seed planted in my mind – at the urging of someone who had far more faith in me than I did in myself, for which I will be forever grateful – and has since grown and blossomed into something I can honestly say I will not stop pursuing until it comes true. And that dream? It’s changed over time. I’ve built it. And you know what? It’s built me right along with it. I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of this journey. I’ve learned things about myself I didn’t even know were there, changed in ways I’m so grateful for. I haven’t just grown as a writer, but as a person. I’m stronger now, but at the same time, I’ve also learned that it’s okay to ‘go with the flow.’ I know that there are things beyond my control, so I focus on working as hard as possible on the things I can do. The foundation of my dream is still there, but I build on it every day.

What about you? Have you ever built a dream that in turn ended up building you? Have you ever had a goal that’s changed you in ways you never would have imagined? Do you have those things now?

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8 thoughts on “Building Blocks.

  1. i <3 this blog :D

    so sweet, genuine, and introspective. isn't that what we all aspire to with our dreams? that one day, if we work hard enough to realize them, they will carry us?

    • I always feel like my introspective posts are so boring, so the fact that you liked it makes me smile ;-) I just couldn’t resist using that quote for an entry when I came across it. As strange as it probably sounds, it just resonated with me so strongly that I had to write about it.

      I love, love, LOVE the way you phrased that about our dreams carrying us. It reminds me of a give-and-take … kind of like if we put the effort and hard work into our dreams, then they’ll eventually let us soar to new heights :)

  2. I loved this, Shari! Loved it! Thank you for bringing me a little piece of inspirational pie today. I am so proud of everything you’ve done! You GO girl!

    • Well then, you can consider it as me repaying the favor, because your blogs are always inspiring and continue to motivate me with each one I read! You have done SO many amazing things, and your outlook and spirit never cease to be so encouraging. Thank you for ‘showing by example’ — I’m even more proud of all the things you’ve accomplished!!

  3. Lovely quote and lovely post. My dream is the same as yours, at least at the core: share my words via published stories and novels. (More specifically, I’d like to be really successful at it, lol, but that’s getting into details.)

    As you said, though, that dream has led me on a journey I never expected. I’ve made a lot of tough choices — sacrifices — in order to achieve it, and that has most certainly shaped me and my life to this point.

    Not only that, but I look forward to how this dream will continue to build me, to make me a better person, to push against my weaknesses and to play up my strengths.

    Here’s to the journey!

    • Okay, at the risk of bordering on quote overload here, I have to throw in another favorite: “Life is not a destination, it’s the quality of the journey.” One of my absolute favorite actresses (Megan Ward) said it, and it continues to inspire me. It’s definitely a crazy, exhilarating, overwhelming, exciting journey we’re on as we work toward (fingers crossed!) publication, but at the same time, that journey is filled with so many dreams and such unbelievable quality.

      Isn’t it amazing to think how something as seemingly simple as putting words on a page can evolve into something that’s so complex in a myriad of ways? I feel like I’ve grown right along with my dream, like those choices and sacrifices have shaped me in important ways. It’s not just our characters who get to evolve, but us too.

      It’s a journey I can’t wait to continue on, and like you, I look forward to seeing where it takes me. And as for you, well, I already have an idea … how does a bestseller list sound? ;-) Seriously, I am so excited for you and all the opportunities that are ahead!

  4. I just fould your blog through the lovely Kristan and I really loved this post.. I am mulling this concept over in my head a lot as of lately.. I have been holding on to certain dreams for years and years, since childhood, and just now I am beginning to wonder if I need to let them go.. to let them breath.. and ultimately make a life of their own..

    Thank you for confirming this.
    I will certainly be back.


    Hannah Katy

    • Hi!

      First of all, thank you so much for stopping by! I just clicked on over to your blog and really enjoyed reading your posts. I LOVED your ‘about me’ section. Something about it was just striking. I’m also completely in love with the ‘Ten Thousand Thank You Notes’ idea. What a wonderful, special project!!

      And you know, I think sometimes it can be so important to sort of turn those dreams loose – not necessarily letting them go forever, but opening them up to, like you said, allow them to breathe and make a life of their own. Sometimes that can be the best thing – whether they come back to you renewed, changed, or just with that added bit of inspiration, it can make a huge difference. It reminds me of that whole ‘let it go … if it comes back, it was always meant to be’ notion.

      Good luck … and I look forward to reading about your journey on your blog. I’ll be a frequent visitor!

      Shari :-)

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