Under-qualified for My Own Dreams
Under-qualified for My Own Dreams
This morning I noticed lines under my eyes I hadn’t seen before. Creases that won’t fade but only grow deeper as the years unfold. I have this weird idea that the side of my face that squints every time I take a photograph will have twice as many wrinkles and droop when I’m older. But truthfully, I was taken aback when I saw once clear, line-free skin suddenly, though faintly, painted with lines that prove I have been one to smile with my eyes perhaps a little too often.
It strikes me, in moments like these, how fast time is escaping me. I guess I don’t fully relate to the stereotypical millennial who feels “invincible” on the basis of age. Or so I’ve heard. I very much perceive that days and months and years are already fading together, and I don’t know if I can call it a genuine fear, more than a simple awareness, that one day I will wake up and realize I am in the “Autumn of my life”, if I am so fortunate as to even reach it.
This doesn’t depress me in any measure but does provoke an urgency to live intentionally and pursue the dreams on my heart fearlessly even if that means I’m not ready for them.
And that’s really what I want to talk about.
Not being ready.
I’m not. I attended a meeting this morning with a team who is dreaming up a big project. I’m not talking a month-long, collaborative, creative project. I’m talking a project, that could potentially be something I commit years of my life to, even decades. Something they are dreaming of having global reach. Something they really believe in, I really believe in. I can’t share very much yet. But for ears here, I have never been asked to be involved in something this big. And it scares me. Because I’m not ready. I don’t have the skill-set, equipment, knowledge, experience, background to currently meet the potential they somehow see in me. And every insecurity is staring me in face saying I’m not prepared to handle this kind endeavour. Maybe in 10 years, but not today.
“Not today”. How many times have those two words found their way in my head, ringing in my ears over and over and over again. Convincing me there will be this unforeseen time in life when I will suddenly have everything together. The ideas I’ve let die before ever having a chance for breath because I’ve convinced myself I am not yet equipped to pursue them.
Enough is enough.
The harsh yet empowering reality is that I will NEVER be ready. I will never be qualified for my dreams because I will always be dreaming past my current borders. That’s what a dream is, isn’t it? You don’t dream of things you know you can have today. You dream of things beyond what you currently believe to be tangible.
But the trick is, you actually have to have the courage to go after them. To step outside of yourself. To break through the box you and other’s have assigned to you. As a new friend wisely said to me this morning, “sometimes you just have to do the work”. Even if you don’t have all of the answers, do the work. Learn as you go. Humble yourself. Ask for guidance. Find mentors. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Experiment. Forget what you know. Forget what you don’t know. Just do the work. And do it again. FAIL. And pick yourself up. And do the work again. Until you succeed.
This morning, I sat in my car staring at the lines under my eyes and decided I don’t want to wake up one day and see the opportunities missed in fear. This is the time to make that choice. To be real about my current weaknesses but not let them become a false source of comfort that makes me feel okay about staying stagnant.
I’m under-qualified for my dreams. I’ll always be.
And as much as I hate to admit it, that has never been my problem.
Here’s to new beginnings and a long journey ahead.