A Dream Delayed But Not Discarded

Did I ever tell you about when I first started “working on my book?” It’s a dramedy, that’s for sure. (And air quotes because, at some points, that’s the characterization my effort has deserved.) But, it’s a good story. Pull up a stool and let’s rewind. I’ll give you the abridged version.

Act I: Summer 2014. Girl, on a whim a year post corporate life, starts a social media account. Calls it You Are Not Stuck. Gets a few hundred followers and feels like hot shit. Girl invites her hero Elizabeth Gilbert to like her page. Shockingly, Liz does and throws in an encouraging word. (Maybe it was just an encouraging exclamation point. No matter.) Girl believes she can fly. Girl is six months sober.

Act II: Spring 2015. Girl’s 11-year marriage has unexpectedly fallen apart. She didn’t see it coming and is devastated, confidence stolen. She spends more time crying than writing. But that page keeps her going. The community props her up. She keeps tells her story because it seems helps others. Brazenly, curiously… Girl decides she can write a book. She is still sober (though perhaps delusional).

Act III: 2016. Writing gets some legs and Girl decides it’s time to fish for a book agent. She is told not to get discouraged until she has been rejected at least 80 times. On just the fourth cast of the line, an agent in LA asks to see her book proposal – which, of course, has not been written (or even started). Girl does crazy freak out happy dance and then promptly crawls into bed, pulls the covers tight over her head, and sobs. Girl is terrified. In late fall, after 18 months of earnest effort, Girl and husband call it quits. There is relief. And yet. Remarkably, girl is still sober.

Act IV: 2017, a doozy of a year. Emotions rule heart and home. Girl is alternately grieving, flying, depressed, rage-y, and paralyzed with anxiety. She’s as unpredictable as a Colorado spring. Antidepressants help. New love brings blessings and challenges both. Girl narrows the circle around her in self-protection, fills it in with furry creatures. It’s a hibernation year, of sorts. A year to find new footing, new normals. Girls is still sober, but it’s hard.

Act V: 2018. The shaky ground still settles itself, but Girl becomes more surefooted. New love means new home, new marriage, new dynamics. The number of kids multiplies, and Girl realizes that blending families ain’t for sissies. Ahhhh, but this love! Freud’s words, which seem to sum up everything, get inked and become motto: “How bold one is when one is sure of being loved.” Girls is sober and grateful.

Act VI: 2019. Girl decides she’s screwed around for far too long and finally steps back into herself. She gets busy. Focused. Decides it’s time to come out from under the covers she hid under three long years ago. Decides it’s time to get back to the book proposal. COMMITS, IN CLEVER WRITING, TO ALL HER FRIENDS THAT SHE WILL HAVE THE PROPOSAL COMPLETE BY JULY 1. (Gulp.) Girl is still sober. And she is happy.

A dream delayed is not a dream discarded.

So that’s my tale in six acts. Point is: A dream delayed is not a dream discarded. And when the universe holds a door open for you – perhaps for longer than is reasonable – you’ve got a goddamn duty to walk through it.

You’ve got a door, too, you know. Ready to walk with me?

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