I’ve been thinking about those big dreams we have. Sometimes people call them “the God-sized dreams.” Sometimes we call them wild. Sometimes we call them brave or reckless or even the dumbest thing we’ve ever thought. At some point, I’m guessing you’ve heard yours call out to you, and you’ve said all these things and more about it.
But the moment that we have this dream, even while we resist it and we run away from it? We also start to expect it to arrive. Immediately.
We want progress towards the goal, we want to start running, we want to see the fruits of this big dream we can hardly dare to dream, and all right away.
When we move across the country or the world, when we start the new program or job, when we give up the things that were familiar and safe because we have this dream of becoming something really unexpected and delightful, we unload our bags and think, “Where are you, dream?”
Where is the fullness? Where is the business I’ve successfully started, the website with 3,000 views a day, the advanced degree with a specialization in metabolomics? Where is the person I’ve come to become? I’ve asked this almost every day since I graduated and set off to chase a big dream of writing, a dream of higher education, a dream of wild love. I drive along the same roads piled with melting snow and look at the same sunrise spilling through the black fingers of the trees, and I want to know, Why haven’t I gotten my big dream yet?
Do you think the answer might be, it isn’t quite time?
We weren’t ever promised that we would receive in full what we envision at first. We weren’t ever told that the dream would be anything but a hard, unknown, journey through the deep dark woods and bright fires and sunrises and years.
Rumi says, “When I am silent, there is thunder hidden within me.”
Just because the dream you dream hasn’t come true yet, doesn’t mean it doesn’t live and roar inside you. Just because you must walk through the many years of not knowing how it will come true doesn’t mean that you were wrong about it.
It just means that now is the time for your silence. It just means that now is the time for the thunder to be hidden within you.
Maybe you see people around you who are thundering their dream to the world. Maybe they have the pageviews, the degree, the family, the words, the settledness you crave and envy. Maybe you wonder if that is ever going to be you.
You, too, have thunder hidden within you.
You, too, have a big dream that is worth a thousand years of walking without knowing where.
You, too, with your suitcases and uncertainty, with your waiting and your silence, are in pursuit of a bold, wild kind of dream.
Now is the time for silence as you take shape. Now is the time for listening to your roommates and friends and parents. Now is the time to make midnight grocery store runs or watching a full season of The West Wing. Now is the time to pray in your car and slam the brakes for a turtle crossing the road.
And when your thunderous dream bursts forth, and you step into the midst of it, it will roar all the brighter.