Someone is living in my house.
Not the house I where I live, but my other house, the dream house.
This house is on a road, two towns over. I spotted it the first time while taking my dog to the groomer. It’s hard to say what made me notice this particular house. Maybe it was the large fence surrounding the property, or the rounded windows and turret. Maybe it was the for sale sign that drew my attention. Whatever it was, I looked and instantly fell in love.
The house itself is large, but not excessively so, with two stories, and the potential for both attic and basement. The yard is large enough to make my dog thrilled, and the fence would allow her to be out off leash and running free. There would even be plenty of room to include a vegetable garden without giving up that play space. It was beautiful, and seemed to have everything I would ever want in a house. The best part of course, was knowing it was actually available.
I’ve never stepped foot in this house, only seen it from the outside. Maybe there are structural problems, or the only bathroom in existence is in the basement. Maybe the size of the house is misleading. It was impossible to tell from the outside, and I had no idea where to start to look at a Belgian house that I had no intention of actually buying.
In spite of the fact that I loved the house, I knew it wasn’t something I could ever have. Even if we were able to buy a house in a foreign country, we aren’t going to stay here forever. Belgium is beautiful, but it is not where we plan to retire. The house was an impossible dream, something I was looking at but never working towards acquiring.
And then I drove by one day and saw a truck in the driveway. The for sale sign was gone, and the people were unloading boxes. Someone else was moving into my house.
At first I was shocked. No one asked my permission to buy my house. Just because I wasn’t going to buy it didn’t mean that it was available for other people to have. I had called dibs, and that should have counted for something.
Of course, as the shock faded, I was disappointed, but left with truth that I had to accept. It wasn’t actually my house, it was just something I wanted and never acted on. While I had been dreaming, someone else had taken action.
It’s not hard to make a connection to my daily life from this. I spend so much of my time dreaming, and not enough time taking action. I made a goal to finish three books, at least in a rough draft this year, and have not yet completed any of them. I make notes and outlines for other manuscripts, but I haven’t made the time to finish them. I could easily make an excuse, listing any number of legitimate activities that occupy my time. I have a family, health, schoolwork, and a house that all require attention. None of them deserve to be ignored simply to give me more time to write. As true as this is, it doesn’t change the fact that I am doing nothing more than listing reasons why I am still dreaming while others move into my house.
I know why I do what I do. I dream because it is easier than action. Not only does taking action require me to put the work in, something that can be quite difficult, but it also requires me to conquer my fear. If I never take action, than I am not really failing; I can’t fail if I don’t take that chance. It may seem like a ridiculous thought, but it is also the root of my hesitation. As long as I haven’t finished the manuscripts, than I don’t have to face the possibility that they are not as good as I think they are. They are not poorly written, they are simply unfinished. I know all of this about myself, and yet I have trouble facing the truth and overcoming my own fears.
It’s a process. I’m not just over coming my fear, I am working to change who I am into who I want to be. Some days I will be closer to my future, and others I might feel as though I have never been farther away. But I am working on a new method of dreaming. No more looking at the house I think I want. Maybe that could have been my house, my future, but maybe I just need build my own, to create my own destiny. No more wasted time looking at what I think I want when I could be working toward what is right for me. When the house is truly mine, no one else will be moving in.