Dream a Little Dream for Me

 

I stopped in the middle of my New Year’s Eve walk to take in this moment—the sun setting on December 31st, 2015.

 

new years eve sunset - sig

 

I stood on the path and thought about my recent posts. I’ve been talking a lot about true colors, my identity crisis, and letting go.

I reread these past few pieces and saw a theme: I’m unhappy with how I perceive myself and how I’ve presented myself to the world.

I had limited space to write a bio about who I am and what did I put in that profile? “Mum. Lifestyle Writer.” Really? That’s who I am? That’s not who I want to be.

And so the sun sets on my old life. It’s bittersweet.

I know I’m supposed to be optimistic in the beginning of January with everything I’m going to accomplish for the New Year. But, as I said in my Scrooge post, I don’t make resolutions.

I do, however, set goals for myself throughout the year.

Have you ever considered quitting to be a goal?

I know the definition of “quit”. I know the connotation of it, as well. (I love turning connotations on their heads.) Quitting is considered bad, something you shouldn’t do.

Ever thought about it in a positive way? Because, of course, we should quit bad habits. I’m all for quitting a job you hate. And, personally, I feel it’s an excellent decision to quit reading a book you’re not enjoying when there are so many good books out there.

What happens when you realize that a dream you’ve harbored for over thirty years isn’t working? When you finally realize that you’re not very good at it? Do you hold on for dear life to that one dream or let it go so you have a chance to discover something else you like that you might actually be good at?

You’ve always wanted to be a ballerina and have worked your whole life to get the lead in The Nutcracker but you’ve only ever been able to get a part as one of the Mouse King’s minions.

There has to be a time when quitting isn’t bad but actually the best thing you can do for yourself. And that time for me is now.

I’m quitting writing.

I don’t enjoy the type of writing I’m doing and had made a decision to switch genres from nonfiction to fiction.

And that was when I had a painful realization… I suck at writing fiction.

I have nothing waiting for me to fill the emptiness where my dream used to be. But I’ve never been one to wait until something better comes along. I will bury my dream. Or, if it sounds better, I will let go of my dream and watch it sail away on the breeze.

People have lots to say about quitting:

“Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed.”

“You just need to try harder.”

“Quitting is not an option.”

“You’re taking the easy way out.”

Easy? Have you ever willingly given up your dream? It’s excruciating.

I’ll continue my blog. It’s a tiny thing, yes, but without being able to write my little Thought Bubbles I’d burst. Get it? Burst my bubble? That was fun. So, yes, I will continue that outlet for my creative longings and hope that is enough.

I’m jumping off the cliff of my dream that I have stood on since I was 9 years old. It’s scary. I might fall. But I might fly.

 

Have you ever given up on your dream? Why? Did something happen to prevent you doing it or did you decide? Was it a specific age (turning 30, 40, 50) or an event in your life? Did you find something you loved after you gave up your dream?

 

Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you — Doris Day

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Dream a Little Dream for Me

  1. Oh Sarah. How brave you are. Quitting, I think, must be even harder than beginning. Slamming the door behind and stating, “I’m never coming back.” But maybe like a friend I was talking with today, you just need a little break away, a time to contemplate and reassess. I’m pleased to hear you will continue your thought bubbles. But I’m sorry that you are not enjoying your nonfiction writing. It is sad to let go of a dream. I had to do it once. It wasn’t a choice. It was forced upon me. I grieved for it for years. It is now 20 years since I gave up my dream of starting my own independent school. I think I accepted it long ago, but the sadness lingered. I still wonder what if, and long for the opportunity of putting my philosophy into practice. But the dream has died. It’s no longer practical. Now I work towards my website. It’s not really a dream. Just a way of sharing a small remnant of it.
    I wish you well as you step forward into the unknown. As the shadows take shape and your vision clears I hope what you see is just what you are looking for. Best wishes. Hugs. xo

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Don’t think of it as quitting. Think of your decision as changing course. Who knows, you might still achieve your dream one day, albeit from a completely different direction.

    And to answer your question – yes I have. I chose to stay in the same city as my future husband even though I was concerned I would never get a job in my dream career. Would we have worked through a long distance relationship? Maybe, but I am sure my boys are happy I made the decision I did.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I know what you mean here and in some ways I feel the same about other aspects of my life.
    If it’s good for you then you must do it, it’s not quitting, it’s changing, adapting. What’s the point of sticking at something that makes you miserable?
    I’m glad you’ll still be about though Sarah. I hope you find what you need this year. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I need a dislike button. I am heartbroken you went live with this. I hope the break makes u see you for what you are. Talented…. No gifted. You know how much I don’t want you to quit. I don’t have any more words. I’m sure everyone else will support your decision. Maybe I’m selfish, but I don’t support it. I support YOU and your dream. I believe in you Sarah Brentyn and I believe in your talent.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Was sad reading this. I don’t see how you suck at writing fiction, I actually think you are really good at it.

    Over the last few weeks I have heard of and read about writers quitting. It’s such a shame that stringing words together can be stressful and heart wrenching.

    Keep blogging!
    Hugs!

    Liked by 6 people

  6. In the end do what makes you happy, Sarah. You really won’t know if quitting makes you happy unless you do it, will you? No one should ever point a finger at anyone and ridicule them for quitting. Because, as you say, we have no idea what you’ve gone through to get to this point. There is only one thing I would like you to continue if you don’t mind? Please continue to be a wonderful and supportive friend. It is a pleasure to know you. All my best to you, Friend. PS. You are not losing your hashtags. you are stuck with them. #awesomeauthoress #superscrivener #wonderfulwordsmith #mast

    Liked by 3 people

  7. ‘Follow your bliss’… whatever that is. We follow things a lot of the time because it somehow reminds us of a vision we once had… but eventually we realise it was only a ghost. I agree with Sacha… I think you are darned good writer. But if you don’t feel right about it, then close this door…at least for a while… and see what other doors open. You can always come back 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Maybe think of it as turning on a different path. I’ve quit tons of things in my life: calligraphy, card-making, dancing, to name a few. I realize I failed in some of them, or didn’t try hard enough on others, or simply didn’t know enough at the time I was pursuing it.

    Still, I don’t regret any of the things that didn’t pan out in my life. I think they all lead somewhere, even if indirectly.

    I never dreamed of writing fiction. It never really flowed for me the way non-fiction writing has. It seems waaaaay harder than I want to know haha.

    The most important thing is reflecting on what we can learn from the process. What went wrong, what we can do better. And yep, realize that some things just aren’t in line.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. On one level I’m sorry to read this post, but on another level I think you need to do what makes you feel happy.
    Life is short! The years you will have with your kids can never be replaced, and giving up even one second of that wonderful, amazing time for something you don’t feel the NEED to do, and that makes you feel like the best version of yourself, just seems foolish to me.
    Keep blogging, keep writing when you feel the need to write, and search for something that makes you feel great!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There is a cost to pursuing a career as a writer, and you have decided the investment to date has not paid off, and you do not want to throw good money after bad. That is perfectly reasonable, and you are the only one who has the right and the perspective to decide when that is. But I don’t see this as quitting writing – what’s a blog, chopped liver? 😉 – and I don’t see anybody here who sucks at anything; quite the contrary. I see someone who has decided that her blog is her best platform for self-expression at the present time, and is putting her writing in the context of her other values. Which I most certainly get. And I see a whole community who is willing to support her and wants to hear from her. Regularly.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Sarah, I think you are a magnificent writer, fiction and non-fiction. I remember asking you if you had a book out because I would have bought it 😉

    But you need to do what’s best for you and if that means pausing, then writing will always be there and you can come back. Even if you decide on a permanent pause. Like a stop. You don’t have to make the “stop” decision today if you don’t want to.

    I’ve quit everything in my life. I spent 7 years trying to surf Huntington Beach, CA. Not a surfer, great swimmer, don’t have the balance.

    I quit a master’s program I took ten years of college to get into because not a rich kid, ran out of student loans, broke my heart.

    I quit like 30 jobs because my degree (of said master’s program) is angry business people. I started when I was a teenager and now at almost 31 I hate what I spent my time, money and effort acquiring.

    I say this because I get you. I’m not talented, I have no hobbies, and I’m not really a people person.

    I was always the kid who begged to write in elementary school, then I went to this nasty foster home where they stomped on my dreams and stole my writing and read it out loud and humiliated me and I never wrote again until I was 30.

    But I will not quit writing today. Because those nasty foster kids can suck it when they see my books on shelves one day. I should’ve never quit and I won’t now because I love it.

    I never thought I would love anything. Ever.

    You need to find for you what writing is for me. It’s not too late. It’s annoying how for some people the clouds part and they have all the answers. I’m not that way. But I do hope you keep in touch with us no matter what decision you make. XO

    Liked by 3 people

  12. It’s not quitting Sarah, it’s a decision taken now that can change. Like Maynard Keynes when the facts changed so did his opinions. Nothing’s irrevocable. And can I say with no fear of contradiction that in my early days of flash writing over at the ranch there were two, maybe three writers who blew me away with what they achieved in 99 words. Larry, Pete Fanning and you. You have a real talent and don’t let anyone, least of all yourself tell you differently. By example you taught me to see a story in small spaces. In a bubble maybe. I’m glad you’ll keep blogging. A small window to let your writing breathe.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Burst your bubbles…okay, I chuckled at that. The rest, I understand. Life is a current and whether we flow or resist, it changes us. Identity crisis and dropped dreams can lead to something unexpected. It’s brave and honest to recognize how you are feeling and it’s not easy to quit. I stand with Sacha and others that you are a gifted writer, but it has to be more than that. Innate gifts can carry us far, as can skills we learn, but if it isn’t the right path, find another. Keep seeking and sharing your thought bubbles. May they lift you to higher perspectives. 🙂 And, hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to tell everyone here that you are the BEST anthology editor I could hope to work with and you are a marvelous teacher and I hope both feed you in a good way.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I’m at the same crossroads, but looking in different directions. Do I continue blogging because it’s necessary for building a writer’s platform, or do I feed my desire to write fiction?

    For a long time I was a dancer. I gave up that dream when I realized I didn’t want to put in the discipline to become a professional dancer. Then I was an actress, and gave up that dream when I realized I didn’t want to move to L.A. or N.Y. or Chicago where the work was.

    My quitting probably had more to do with having a problem with commitment. Every time I reached the line where I was close to success, I backed away.

    That said, it’s important to honor your inner voice. As long as it’s not the fearful one.

    Time away might give you clarity. I’m hoping that’s what it will do for me. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Have I ever given up on my dream? As a matter of fact…
    Strange coincidence that you and I would have given up on the same dream at almost the same moment (though, since I’m older, it took me longer to get around to this than you). I didn’t make quite so conscious a decision as you, I just realized a week or two back that I’d been letting go of this for a long time. Probably that’s why I’ve been rather depressed for the last few months, though I didn’t realize it at the time.
    I don’t suck at writing fiction–and neither do you, by the way–but I’m not good enough at it to be paid for it or to be read by more than a handful of people. And it’s too damn hard to do for free or just for me. (Gosh, that MFA really paid off, no?)
    So, yeah, at least for now, and maybe forever, I’m quitting. Yay, me.
    I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Sarah, But I DO get it. It sucks beyond belief. Hang in there. Maybe your new dream, when you find it, will be even shinier.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope you find what makes you fly. I enjoy your writing here and think you are a good writer, although I don’t know the first thing about professionally succeeding as one.

    I have a really vivid memory from when I was 15 and was going to be a Olympic swimmer. I was at senior March Break training camp in Florida and we were basically swimming through a hurricane in an outdoor pool. Everyone would swim until they started turning blue, and then they’d get out and run.

    I pushed through and kept swimming. I swam longer, and faster, and better than many swimmers better than me at that camp and the coach – who had coached Olympians – noticed.

    He pulled me aside to congratulate and told me that I “swam very well for someone with no natural ability.” This “pep talk” – which was devastating to me at 15 – continued with the encouragement that if I kept this up I could “make” nationals. Not place. Make.

    I quit swimming the next year. Was it the right choice? I think it was. But it certainly felt like quitting. That said, I went on to swim Varsity three years later and excel there. I coached. I’m still involved with my team and university sports.

    I think what I’m saying here is what you are doing might not be quitting, but a re-evaluation of where/how something you love – writing – fits in your life.

    Because from reading your blog, I can’t imagine it won’t still fit.

    I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Sarah, sometimes we just plain get stuck. Breathe. Pause. It won’t be tomorrow, but at one point, your heart will tell you which direction to fly next. I for one am a huge fan your your Thought Bubbles. I love how you seek and ponder some of life’s simplest things. May they help you find your next adventure.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What can I say? Just to echo points already made by others: you’re a skilled writer of both fiction and non-fiction; you’ve a duty to yourself to choose the path that seems right for you at the time; I don’t want to see you go but respect your decision; you can always change your mind; giving up a dream takes courage and can be the route to another. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. If you want to change how you are, then go for it. Reinvent yourself! Pursue your passion. Pour it out! Whether it’s through physical expression, paint on the wall, or words on paper, just pursue the best possible you. Write down (or don’t write) who you want to be and pull it out occasionally to remind yourself.

    I might have had an odd upbringing, but quitting has always easy for me. My parents offered lots of opportunities and never pushed me to do anything. They never made me feel bad for wanting to quit. I was in girl scouts. I quit. I was in ballet. I quit. I was in gymnastics. I quit. I enjoyed all of it, and then I moved on.

    I had a dream of being in theater, performing before an audience. I wanted to attend school in New York and pursue it as a career.

    And then, I considered my personality. I hate confrontation. I don’t enjoy competing with other people. Theater is a tough field and a very small percent of the people who pursue it actually make it. Theater is all competition. Who will get the big part?

    It came down to a choice. Do I want to change me to pursue my dream? Or do I give up my dream to save me. I’m a perfectly happy programmer now. So, no flack from me if you want to quit writing.

    To go with that, I also decided what kind of person I wanted to be. If you knew me in person, through everyday interactions, you might say I’m reserved. Serious. The task-mistress to get things done. Because that’s who I want people to perceive me as*. It’s only a small fraction of who I am, but it has affected me so much, that I’m now terrified to let out my inner thespian. The thespian is dramatic and I try to be anything but. What would people think if I suddenly exuded intense emotion? Will my friends who are better actors than me judge me and disdain the talent I had once hoped to pursue as a career? I do regret having that fear. Sixteen years later, I still feel the sting of giving up my dream. But I’m pleased with who I am.

    *I do love the looks I get when I change my hair color, wear steampunk, hit the dance floor, or talk about pole-dancing. Having honed the serious persona, people don’t expect that from me.

    Well, now that I’ve written you an autobiography in a comment, I want to say, I hope you find your happy spot, and if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.

    P.S., I’ve read one of your stories before about a scared little girl, and it was excellent. You don’t suck. You masterfully conveyed emotions and pulled me in. If you ever decide you want to come back to writing, I will happily read what you have.

    P.P.S. You are incredible, caring, insightful, thought-provoking, and a darn good photographer. These are just a fraction of you that I’ve seen on your blog. I hope you know how amazing you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I’m back but failing to find words or at least daren’t write them here. Please don’t say never. I’m guessing the time is terrible and I’ve been catching up on your other posts trying to fill in between the lines (sorry I have been MIA) but there’s a lot of life left yet for the time to be right. Think progress not perfection. Think, not now but maybe later.. Give yourself a breather, no strings or expectations. Make it years if necessary but don’t say never or I’m going to feel like I’m delusional, battling on with my own sucky writing!
    Sending love and hugs. ❤️ 👭

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We all have the right to our own decisions and to obey our own path. After all, life is about the search for happiness and if something is not making us happy, then something has to change.

    As for quitting being a goal… it can and should be, especially in regards to things that don’t bring you joy or are damaging. A resolution is like a reboot I would like to think, one that takes annoying effort, but is effort well spent. So you’re quitting is not a bad thing and it takes guts to say so in public. Quitting is not an across the board bad term.

    Trust me, more than one thing you say here resonates deeply… even stinging a little, and that’s a good thing. I am also reading the last book I’m not enjoying and will leave a comment about that… have a lot to say about that book so that’s why I’m insisting.

    I think much of what you say about not being good at something goes to expectations. What are our expectations of ourselves and what we create? You say you wanted to switch from nonfiction to fiction… lovely intention but it begs the question, why the need for exclusivity or labels? I mentioned recently I think you’re a very talented writer and truly and deeply mean that. So my question is… why can’t you just be a writer?

    Quitting is one of the hardest things ever. In regards to have I ever quit on a dream… here’s some examples. I quit insisting on someone I once loved. The reason was that it ceased to be mutual and it almost tore me apart. I was old enough to think I knew what any pain could be like and how to handle it… such a silly boy. And indeed I did find something (someone) I loved AND love. As for writing, my music and all the other dreams I have… well I’m stubborn. Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn eventually 😀 But for now, I shall dream and so can you because, why not? Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

  22. It takes huge courage to end a thing to make room for something else to take root. Like so many others, I enjoy your words and am glad you’ll still be here on the blog. Sometimes we just need to step away from our dreams to take stock and know ourselves more deeply. I hope this decision brings you not only what you need but what you desire. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I gasped out loud when I read the sentence, “I’m quitting writing.”

    But I get it.

    In my life I have tried writing fiction and plays (stage & radio), and I realized I’m not the writer I want to be in those areas.

    So what I am doing is helping others be that writer. I mentor a group of young writers (ages 10-14) and each year we self-publish their work. Some of the kids have written novels – last year, a 13 year-old girl wrote an 81,000 word novel (!). These kids are wonderful and inspiring and smart. They may not be famous novelists when they grow up, but I want them to find joy in writing.

    I secretly hope you’re not giving up writing, and that maybe it’s taking a different shape. However, I’m so glad to see that you plan to keep blogging! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sarah this is a bit of a shock although I have read your previous posts and knew that something was happening in your world. I echo others when they say you can most definitely write but perhaps it is not giving you the satisfaction or achieving the goals you are wanting but for what ever reason it isn’t doing it for you so I am not going to try and change your mind. You will do that if the passion returns. In my twenties I was a great believer in Creative visualisation with Shakti Gawain as my guru. Her premise is that you can achieve anything as long as you visualise it creatively and have the passion in that belief. The journey to achieving that goal may be long and along the way you might diverge, to follow a different goal. This is not quitting it is simply recognising that you have found something you have more passion for and you then use your visualisation on it. I hope that you quickly find that passion for whatever. I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t have an inkling. The most important thing in life jump in, take risks, be prepared to regroup if it doesn’t work out but find that passion.
    Glad to know that you will still be around the blogosphere and know that I am rooting for you to succeed in whatever your dreams may be. If its the monkey on your shoulder — I just biffed him in the face.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wow, brave and heart-breakingly beautiful. You’ll fly, Sarah, no doubt there. This is true vulnerability. And when we let ourselves feel it and come on the other side, truly amazing things happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Follow your heart & may it lead you to your path & the place where your dreams are. My best wishes for you – hope you’ll find what you’re searching for. Your words touch people’s hearts & that’s something you should be proud of & happy with (at least a little bit).
    I’ve quitted too many things/dreams for various reasons – some I don’t mind & others I’ll regret till the end of my life. Sometimes quitting is really easy & other times it’s really tough. I hope you’ll have the courage to come back if you feel like it some day. I’m lacking it myself but hoping I can find it one day not too late.
    Do what feels right now & I believe that destined things/dreams will shine through or grow no matter what. I wish you to find happiness in any form you want ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I commend you for knowing where your weakness lies and for having the strength to admit it to yourself. I don’t think quitting is the right word. You tried something, it wasn’t for you, so you’re moving on. I hope you find that thing that you’re great at and passionate about. I’m glad you’re going to continue to blog.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s