Out of the frying pan, into the fire

29 Mar

Previously I mentioned that my life was like a wildfire these days.  Not long after I started the Great Job Hunt of 2009, as it shall hereafter be known, a good friend reminded me about an opportunity I had dreamed about but never really allowed myself to hope for.  Too little time to prepare, too many responsibilities, too many hours to work to pay the bills…too many excuses.  But then it hit me that maybe — maybe — this could be the time.

So I jumped out of the frying pan, into the fire.

I took a few days off job hunting to do the necessary writing and preparations to apply for a fantastic screenwriting program in Hollywood.  I locked myself up like a hermit — think the writer neighbor on The Princess Diaries, only muttering to himself inside instead of outside.  I poured my little heart out on paper, said a prayer, and sent it off.

Then the real doubting started.  I’m sitting here, unemployed — how could I possibly afford a month in L.A. participating in the program?  During a time when work in Hollywood is scarce, who did I think I was thinking someone would want to buy my work?  Why should I make such a huge investment, not to mention a fool of myself, when I could just find a safe, comfy, steady office job forever?  “Hello, Reality?  Sorry, no one’s home.”

The specifics about my dreams really aren’t that important.  What is important is taking the chances we’re all given, recognizing the real opportunity when it comes and seizing it.  When you’re unmarried and all of life’s burdens fall on your shoulders alone, it seems to be nearly impossible to do so.  You have to eat, pay the bills, put a roof over your own head.  Dreams come second to that.

But what if it is possible to attempt your dreams in spite of those things?  What if all it took was a little sacrifice?

Several little cheerleaders have popped up out of nowhere in my life to encourage me to follow my dreams this month.  One of them sent me this:

And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  (Luke 12:29-32)

As a Christian, my dream is actually my calling.  It knaws at me, reminding me that I have been blessed with a purpose in life and equipped with the resources to fulfill it, even if I don’t see or feel them.  If I’m honest, I know I will always be restless and not experience a full personal happiness until I surrender to it and get out there and use what I’ve got to make a difference.  The fear and the doubt are just smoke and mirrors trying to keep me from it.

The sacrifices I’m going to have to make for my dream are: giving up the idea of a “normal” life, giving up some of the comforts of life until it pays off, and giving up pride.  Whew, pride is a hard one for me.  Both success and failure are possible, and quite frankly, both are equally scary.  I’ve had to get comfortable with the idea of people laughing at me and also asking others for help.  I’m the shyest person I know, and I had to go on a photo shoot today for a bio picture.  A photo shoot.  Where they took pictures.  Of me.  Maybe that’s not a sacrifice to you, but it is to me.

Oh, I forgot to mention — I was accepted into the program.  I am headed to Hollywood in July, no job on the horizon, not a penny to my name.  My only hope comes from the same One who wired me with this wacky purpose inside.  What’s the worst that could happen to me?  People won’t like my work?  I won’t be able to sell anything?  What would be far worse than any of that is living a life of regret knowing I had a chance but was too afraid to try.

So I’m sharing all this for those of you who have been sitting in the same boat.  What would you be willing to give up for a shot at your dreams?  Will you regret it if you don’t?

(Cross-posted at Examiner.com on April 22, 2009.)

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