Pursuing my dreams often causes me a headache, and yet the idea of not pursuing the things I can imagine seems infinitely more painful.
The proverbial rock and hard-place. I am stuck between the looming rock-face I wish to scale, and the hard place behind me which is a hard, flat desert of inactivity.
I spend hours vacantly watching Netflix, procrastinating and grappling with inner demons- the voices which tell me I don’t have the right muscles to make that climb, to scale that towering rock-face.
Though this really isn’t anything new. I’ve been pursuing a better future for fourteen years, ever since that idea of a positive future came under threat.
Prior to that I had been fairly lucky- I was academic enough to get good grades without too much effort and so, up until my twentieth year, my belief- that the future would be relatively rosy- was taken for granted.
Then I went mad and was hospitalised, and that certainty went up in smoke. The future became uncertain and intangible; a positive future became something I didn’t contemplate too intensely for many years, because the voices presented it as unreachable.
The thing which is strange now, in present uncertain circumstances, is that I really have achieved it already. I’m here! I’ve proven those voices wrong and reached a stage of life where I’m able to look around and smile at my situation. I feel pride in where I am, what I’ve achieved and how much I have developed and progressed.
However- what does all of that really mean, in the present, in the current moment and the now?
The world keeps on turning.
Life does not stop or slow down because of the gargantum nature of my achievements thus far.
I am in a bewildering position; living out and realising the dreams I had ten years ago, whilst also sensing the ceaseless and incessant momentum of the dream machine. I have achieved old ambitions, only for them to morph and glide into new ones. New necessities dictate that I keep looking forward, keep contemplating a life which is more than where I am now.
This means I must find ways to support myself, but also, and in a more abstract sense, keep pursuing the things which pursue me. The desire to have a book published, the desire to become more involved in the current mental health debate- the desire to fully realise aspects of myself which are currently lying dormant. These are hopes and dreams which are so very close to my heart at this time, but which I am starting to sense will transform at the point of their realisation.
I’ve come so very far but now that I am here I feel potential open space ahead of me calling out, beckoning me to keep looking forwards.
There is no apparent finish line- no light flashing from the distance indicating a end point and situation where events will slow down for long enough for me to be able to pause and breath my successes in.
I returned to full time employment after a fourteen year recovery from schizophrenia. I think I thought that was some kind of finish line, and yet what I’m really starting to grasp is that it is actually just a starting point.
I recently got told that there was no possibility of my contract of employment being changed from fixed-term to permanent, and so I would need to find a new job. I think in that moment I heard a starting gun firing- the real race, the real pursuit was only just beginning.
So now all my past achievements seem to fade and diminish in the face of present necessity. It was all so very worthwhile and constructive but now it’s behind me. I must let go of old reasons for pride in order to devote that mental energy to new pursuits- searching for new jobs, blogging more regularly and finding agents to send my book to.
Pursuing my dreams is tiring and yet I cannot stop because the world doesn’t stop, life doesn’t slow down, and staying still suggests stasis, inertia.
If I don’t pursue my dreams, they will pursue me- I am still learning to manage the conflict between the present moment and the future’s drag, learning when to sit back and when to stride forwards.
Mindfulness married with the desire for more- a tricky balance to maintain.