My dad spoke at our church once. He titled his message “When Dreams Die”. I honestly don’t remember much of the content (give me a break, I was probably 13), but I’ve always remembered the concept.
And it always scared me.
Can dreams die? Yeah, they can.
Ever since I was about 6, I wanted to be a writer. Not just a writer, but a novelist. That idea was so captivating. Sure, I explored becoming a firefighter, gymnast, dancer, musician, carpenter, ranch owner, chef, and the First Lady (not much luck there), but I always knew I wanted to write books.
As I grew, it was a source of pride, in a way. Not that I wanted to be a writer, but that I knew what I wanted to be. So many kids didn’t. I already had a plan. I knew where I was headed. Didn’t that make me settled, mature, and well on my way to literary success?
I thought so.
At about my junior year in high school, I hit writers block. Hard.
I began to doubt myself. Am I really a writer? What if I’m never going to be published? Am I writing the right genre? What if I’m not good enough? You can’t make money writing fiction anyway. There are so many people better than me. Is this where God wants me? What am I going to do with my life? I’m probably going to be broke. Will I have to work at McDonalds? Maybe I’ll just find a nice box and be homeless under a bridge somewhere.
Woah, Erika. Slow down girl.
Yeah, I tend to over-think things just a bit. But all the same, it was a legitimate cause for concern. I’m on the verge of launching into a career, and I wasn’t sure if I was headed in the right direction.
Last summer, someone approached me about interning for him in communications at our church. I’d been praying about an internship, and it seemed like God had dropped one in my lap! Needless to say, I accepted. From September to May, I learned a lot about communications. In March, I started working for Shining Light Marketing, first as a copywriter and web design assistant, now as the communications manager. The owner of Shining Light Marketing just happens to be the woman I’ve been nannying for over the past 2 years. Coincidence? I think not.
The funny thing is, the more I’m working in and learning about communications, blogging, web design, and branding, the more I could see myself loving this for a long time. I’m able to weave together my love for writing, photography, and people, with threads of design and art. It’s holistic. It’s creative. It’s where God wants me. It makes my heart happy.
My job has become a joy.
The part of my brain that is resistant to change still screams that I’m supposed to be a novelist. Maybe I still will be. But for now, I’m content in allowing my dreams not to die, but to change.
I’m changing too, and I think I like who I’m becoming.
All the best,