on following your dreams and avoiding having them trampled
I'm not usually big on inspirational sayings and empowering each other and such. Don't get me wrong. I want to inspire and be inspired. And I want to feel confident and help others feel the same. But sometimes it can get a little cliche for me.
However, I had an encounter that I can't shake off. And it has led me to writing a you-can-do-it-if-you-work-hard-and-follow-your-dreams post. Sort of. Let me share...
I was casually chatting with someone whom I had met only one time before, and the topic of my work came up.
Now, I have a unique sort of job. Mainly because it doesn't fit neatly in a job title. I write, design, draw, take photos, and more, and those things are part of blogs, a shop, and books and magazines. It's not uncommon for me to stumble through telling someone what I do.
On this occasion, I made the mistake of saying that I'm a blogger (which currently is the largest percentage of my work). And the person went on a rant about how that isn't a real job. He was practically yelling!
Thankfully, I kept my composure and was able to explain my work, and he started to understand. Admittedly, this can be an unusual field, and there are many people who blog as a hobby. But the reaction bothered me. Not because blogging wasn't recognized as legitimate work, but because of how he responded.
Here's the thing. I know that I work hard at what I do. I know that I've found success in what I do. I know that I have friends and family who support what I do. I know that I'm pursuing something of value. At least, most of the time I know these things.
Sometimes, however, I feel like a plant trying desperately to grow between rock and brick. It feels impossible. It hurts. It's more work that I think I can bear. Withering feels like the most likely outcome.
Being told that the thing I have poured so much of my life into isn't "real" could have been a foot stomping all over my dreams and purpose. And I don't think he even knew.
So what is this really all about? Two things.
First, and I'm not even sure if I need to say this here to the people who read this blog, but don't stomp on the thing that someone is trying so hard to do. Watch for ways that you may inadvertently undermine their work. Encourage them. Let them know that they're brave for following their dream and see how you might help them.
Next, if you are trying to start something, build something, create something, be it a creative venture, a career path, a philanthropic endeavor, or whatever...press on. If you believe in what you're doing, keep going. Don't let the folks who don't understand stomp on your hopes. And if it feels like no one else supports you or cares, I'll be here cheering you on. Seriously.
If a petunia can plant itself between the bricks on my front port and then bloom, we can do the hard work of traveling a life and work path that others don't understand. Maybe we can even help them understand.
Oh, and one last thing. For me, above all else, I know that who I am is not tied to the approval of the person who denied my work. Nor is it tied to anything else. My identity is in Jesus. That's enough.
By Mollie Johanson at Friday, July 22, 2016