Don’t do it. I know you want to. But don’t.
I know you are tired. I know the world seems too crammed full of other people’s stuff for there to be any room for you and your dreams. But I beg you to keep looking. The space where you’ll thrive is out there. It might be right where you are standing. Or lying huddled in a ball. Or wishing you were.
I know it is out there because you exist. If there were no room for you, you wouldn’t. So since you do, there must be. Just keep going.
I wish I could offer you something more. I wish I could take you by the hand and lead you to that place, the one the universe is patiently waiting for you to find. But I’m busy trying to sweep, to rearrange furniture, to paint my own walls. I’m digging under the cushions for change and trying to remember which book I hid the money in so I can pay the rent. I’m second-guessing whether this is actually my space after all.
But even if it isn’t, it doesn’t matter. I can’t stop now. And neither can you.
I know about the voice in your head that keeps telling you to grow up. I know because I hear it too. It graffitis the walls around town and writes its manifestos in magazines and on billboards. It wants you to stop. Because if you don’t stop, little by little there will be less room for the meaningless bullshit that feeds it.
Your soul is important. Not just important like an appointment with the eye doctor is important. Important like the birth of the universe is important. Like the speed of light. It doesn’t have to squeeze itself into the tiny margin your grown-up world has designated for it. Your voice matters. It doesn’t have to keep quiet, to speak only when spoken to. You have the same right to take up space here as anyone.
Stand your ground. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied. Look the dream monsters in the face and demand their respect.
I know. I know you just want to sit down, lie down, stay down. I know you want to cut the rope and just let it all go, the dreams, the hope, the endless hanging on. But don’t.
I know how tempting it is to believe your thoughts, when in your exhaustion they tell you you’ve been kidding yourself all this time. I know you think the world has passed you by. You think you are too late to the game, that you should have started at 25, 17, 12 years old. I know you think you are too old for this shit.
But I need you to hang on just a little longer.
I know this isn’t what you really want to hear. You think, if you could just take a little nap, everything would look a little better. But I know if you go back to sleep, you might not wake up again.
And if you don’t wake up, there’ll be no way for you to tell us about your dreams. You won’t be able to smuggle the words back from the other side. And that’s a big deal. Bigger than you think. Because we need those pages in order to tell the whole story. Without your words, the story goes untold, consciousness stops expanding, the universe stops unfolding. And that can’t happen.
So please, don’t stop. We need your dreams. You are not being selfish in wanting the things that feed you, in needing them. And you’re not making it up.
So stand your ground, put down roots, stretch out, shop for furniture, lamps, a comfortable chair. Breathe deep and long. Take in as much air as you need. You’re not being greedy. You are doing the universe’s bidding.
It’s not just okay to live the life you’ve imagined, it’s what is required. You don’t have to ask permission. You already have authority, autonomy, legal rights. Stop hiding. Get up and turn on the lights. Open the window, pull back the curtains, let us see your face, your hair, your nakedness.
It’s okay to be happy. It’s more than okay.
It’s why you’re here.
© 2013 Thomas Lloyd Qualls, all rights reserved.
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