New Dreams

It’s easy for me to get trapped in thoughts about meaninglessness. When driving in traffic, when grocery shopping, when brushing my teeth. Every day starts to feel the same.

When we stop dreaming we lose sight of what makes life beautiful, meaningful, and exciting.

I forgot about my ability to dream big dreams. I think this is partly because in the last couple of years, I achieved a few of my long-term goals like getting my bachelor’s degree, becoming a teacher, and surviving my first year of teaching. What happens after you achieve several long-term goals?

I also think this happens because it’s easy for me to get stuck in routine, to feel trapped in the sameness of everyday living. This happens when I allow myself to stop dreaming and when I lose sight of what makes life meaningful. So I’ve decided that it’s time to create new long-term goals in both personal growth and the material world.

I won’t list here all that I see for myself in the next five years, but I will tell you that I wrote down a list of goals that focus mostly on personal growth. On one hand, I’m setting the goals of feeling inner peace and a sense of worth without the need to look at the outer world for them.

On the other hand, I’m creating goals like creating a dream home space. One of the things I envision is that one day I’ll have space for dogs and for a garden of flowers. I can’t have pets or gardens in my current living space. But in the life I envision for myself I see happy dogs and a garden full of a variety of flowers.

There are so many people who in the past few months have inspired me to step up to my game. Some of them are still creating the lives they envision for themselves and others already have. All of them remind me that we are powerful in creating the lives we dream for ourselves.  

Once again, I find myself at the beginning of a cycle. I’ve had these visions all along. All I need is to make these visions clearer. I need to set deadlines, prioritize what’s important, and simplify.

It’s time to plan, to envision, and to believe that what’s intangible today will materialize itself in the future–with hard work, of course, with patience, and with discipline.

What Love Letters Teach Me about Writing

letters-1390463_1920The other day I watched P.S. I Love You for the first time even though it’s a popular romantic movie. Even though it’s not a movie specifically about the writing process, it teaches three things about writing that I actually already know, but that I don’t mind being reminded of. 

If you have already watched the movie or if you don’t mind spoilers, please continue reading.

After her husband, Gerry, dies, letters start arriving from him as a way to help Holly cope with his death and to remind her of his love for her. Although her mother is initially against the idea, the letters help Holly with the grieving process.

At one point, Gerry tells Holly to only keep his jacket, and to get rid of everything else that belonged to him. And I wonder how much longer it would have taken for Holly to let go of his stuff if he hadn’t prompted her.

Gerry’s love letters to Holly teach me the following:

1. You need to know your audience.

What I like about Gerry’s letters is that he knows how Holly is dealing with his death. Gerry predicts that Holly will visit his parents when she is in Ireland, and his mom gives Holly one of his letters that he left there for her. Gerry also finds the connection between Holly’s love of shoes and her dream of creating. So he guides her to a new job of designing shoes.

2. Your writings don’t have to be read by every single person on earth. They can be written with only one person or specific group of people in mind.

Lately, I’ve been learning that all of my blog posts are not meant to be read by all of the people who follow this blog. Some topics resonate to people more than others, and that’s totally fine! Gerry’s letters which are addressed only to Holly (with the exception of two letters) make me value every piece of writing (regardless of how many people are in our audience.) This makes me think of one of my classmates from university. Any time I emailed her, her personality shone through her emails, and even though the email was directed only to me, the quality of her emails was so rich because she had her signature writing style. I would buy all of her books!

3. Each writing has a purpose.

By the end of the movie, we know that the purpose of the love letters was to help Holly move on after Gerry’s death. Gerry tells Holly in her last letter that it’s okay to fall in love with someone else.