My life right now is as good as I could realistically imagine, all things considered. And by all things I mean:
- I'm writing a book and freelancing instead of taking a "normal" job.
- Said book's original publisher was forced to, though regrettably, back out of the project as the economy ravaged its bottom line.
- Thus, instead going through the entire process of landing a publisher again, which would mean the book would take another two years or so to get released, the wife and I have decided to self-publish it. Which is borderline insane, I feel some days.
But man, things have been phenomenal the past year.
Am I where I want to be? Have I "arrived," in the writer's sense? Oh my word, it's not even close. I've achieved some good things and taken some fantastic steps in my first year as a full-time freelancer and real-life grownup -- that is, my first year out of college -- but life's like climbing a mountain, and I feel like the mountain I've picked is Everest, and I've just finished Day One of The Climb.
Does anybody in their right mind graduate and immediately focus on working toward becoming an author? Especially knowing that the odds of making a living off writing are almost as good as the odds of making it as a pro athlete?
Normal people take jobs and write on the side. Normal people thus don't feel insane for trying what they're trying.
Anyway, all of this is to say that I should be completely happy with where my life is right now. And truthfully, most hours of most days, I am.
But, speaking of pro athletes, there remains that kid in me who misses baseball. You see him, in the blog post below, sitting next to the other kid who just signed a pro baseball contract. And the grownup baseball player in me who's matured out of his stupid fears that doomed his college career really, really wonders what could have been.
Don't misunderstand me -- I'm unbelievably happy for my brother, Kramer. He's literally living a dream. Nowhere in our family's genetic history have we had a professional athlete. Well, now we do. He's shattered that barrier. Now all the younger kids in our family know to believe, because he made it. I'd say I'm proud, but that feels underwhelming. I feel more like the older brother of one of those ancient kings who conquered a country. Which isn't a great metaphor because that involves lots of bloodshed, but you get the point.
Every once in awhile I find myself getting a little bummed out, though, because I wanted that, too. And for some reason, some days, I still want that.
Of course, I know Katie's right when she tells me, "Just remember, you're living a new dream." And yeah, my life is definitely that right now: a dream. It's beautiful. I'm writing and paying my bills with it. That's incredible.
But to live one dream, and sometimes simply to live a life as life's circumstances demand, other dreams must be left solely for our dreamworld. Last night, I dreamed I was playing baseball with Kramer. I was catching him again, and we were winning, and we were Braves. I know he just signed with the Yankees, but when we were kids, we were always the Braves.
I'm not sure what that would feel like in real life, and I'll likely never know again, but for a few fleeting moments in my sleep, I had it again, and it was one of the best fake moments of my life.
I mention all of this to ask this question:
What dreams have you had to sacrifice in the name of life? And how has that decision, or those decisions, affected your life?