Living The Dream


            I’ve gone from silent and confused going along for the ride. Then to the life of a party I don’t want to end. I found a door open and I bolted through to build something. Then I found myself burned out and bitter and, worst of all, believing I was entitled. Then I found myself both broken and blessed.
            Leading me to this place on the page. An endless sea of white in front of me full of question marks and commas and exclamation points.
            It’s funny to live the dream I’ve wanted to since I was in third grade. The sights look different than I thought they’d be. The feelings, however, sometimes linger on. The feelings of uncertainty and restfulness and complete terror.
            Yet the words have remained at my side.
            Weeks sometimes pass. Isolated weeks compressed with projects. Lost in little worlds of my own making. Breathers come and beautiful people come across my path. But I always go back to that place. The one where it’s time to work with the words again. I wanted to say “wrestle” but I don’t do that. Words are my friends and I borrow them. I want them to like me. I want them to treat me kindly.
            Occasionally, they’re good to me.  
            The life I couldn’t control as a youth grew to be one I thought I could control. But in both cases, God wanted me to understand something. Nobody controls it except Him. Nobody is the author of their own life except Him.
            I’m stubborn and hard-headed and sometimes I’ve simply put on the noise-canceling headphones of life and kept running. But God likes unplugging them or letting the battery in them die or allowing me to keep running right into a brick wall.
            I’m attempting to let Him control things. Not just the writing but everything. It’s a long To-Do list that I haven’t even finished. I never get around to finishing it, either.
            Thankfully, God is patient and loving.
            And thankfully, He keeps letting me do this writing thing.
            I say something occasionally and sincerely mean it. I simply want to keep doing this writing thing and take care of my family. And I want to do so without killing myself.
            So far, so good.
            Well, sometimes the good is average, but that’s okay.
            The kid who wanted to do it and then actually started to do it and then got into this in order to do it is DOING IT. Morning, noon, and night. He’s writing.
            What a privilege.
            Last week several unexpected projects came my way. Possibilities of picking up some words and working with them. Each one different, each one interesting, each one certainly something I could have never predicted.
            I didn’t do this for fame and certainly not for fortune. Never.
            I’ve wanted to do this because of the way I’m wired. Fortunately, I’ve learned and I keep learning.
            I’ve received praise along the way.
            I’ve also seen doors continue to open.
            I don’t want to be cynical and I don’t ever want to grow entitled again.
            I don’t want to battle with the craft. I want to respect it and have some fun with it. I want to keep trying, keep working, keep providing for my family, keep dreaming, keep plugging away.
            And then I want to wake up one day and finish my own To Kill A Mockingbird.
            It’s as lofty of a dream as the one that third grader living in Germany had. I won’t know or believe it happened the same way I don’t feel I’m living the dream.
            But Travis—you are living the dream.
            Doing the thing you were born to do. Day after day after day.
            Thank you, God. 

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