Archive for the ‘Jenny’s Words’ Category

Dreams. When you google “dreams,” you get the definition of sleep—namely how to interpret the images you see while you’re sleeping.

Just goes to show you that even searching for a dream doesn’t mean that you’ll find what you’re really looking for. And, honestly, my sleep dreams are mostly stress induced. My best dreams tend to be the ones I fantasize about while I’m awake and functional.

My dreams vary from day to day and shift from subject to subject, but I blame that on wanting a lot out of the time I have to explore those dreams. I want so much out of my life and I have allotted time to achieve those moments…but I can want as much as I’d like. The problem I run into is the capability factor. You know, the “hey I’m actually capable and I should put some effort into this dream” thing. Ultimately, if I’m going to actually feel the dream leave my fantasy and enter the reality that I have made with my life, then I need to make the actual steps towards it.

No one else can do that for me. No one else can encourage me to do it if I won’t move. No one else can flatter me enough to try harder. It’s all on me.

Now, the problem that I constantly run into is the commitment to myself. I constantly tell myself that it’s a silly notion to think that I could actually achieve what I crave because, come on now, who would really want to read what I have to say? Who would actually care? Why do I care if people actually care?

Because, if people don’t care, then my dream is just a figment. Just a fragment. Just a moment lost in my mind. Because, if I care that I become successful with my dream, then I might be disappointed to hear that I’m not the reflection of a diamond’s potential, but the darkness of the rough surrounding the gleam.

In all honesty, I do hear the ridiculous doubt in myself, in my ability to try, and the eyes immediately start rolling around.  I know I need to stop questioning my ability to achieve what I think I might really want. I know that I need to let myself praise my work, so that maybe I can see the goodness in it. So that maybe I can become the light that I so wish to be. After all, the only thing holding me back from that sparkle is me.

I’m sure every dreamer feels this way. So, how do we jump start the confidence and leave behind all the “poor me for not being good enough because I’m too afraid that I’ll fail horribly” attitude?

Maybe the start is to simply stop fearing the end, and enjoy the hope from the beginning. Or, maybe it’s as simple as letting myself believe in the dream as fully as I do while I’m sleeping—by letting the dream be real enough to feel like I can hold onto it.

Then again, I’d like to start being the person I’m meant to be. No more maybe this, maybe that. It’s simply time. It’s now time to stop liking the idea and actually step toward it.

It’s time to stop questioning myself.

Dream a little dream.

Posted: February 16, 2013 by jennyleelee in Jenny's Words
Tags: , , ,

You can learn a lot from the world. You can learn more from kids.

They are enthusiastic with every fiber in their beings about the things and people they love. They ask questions. They laugh. They accept help when needed. They cry when they have exhausted all they have into what they love and nothing is left but the tears. They imagine possibilities and crave movement of life. They play. They want. They move.

They aren’t afraid of failing.

Kids engage in their worlds differently than adults do: kids trust that the world will bring them what they need, whereas adults may not share the same enthusiasm.

This is a tragedy.

Many adults give up on themselves too quickly–I’m guilty of this! We give up on dreams deeming them childish notions of fantasy and not realistic. Well, shame on us.

We should remember that part of being an adult is holding onto those dreams–to stay engaged with them while balancing a life that makes sense. Part of being a good example for a child is never giving up on what makes your heart glow, even if it takes your entire life to achieve it.

My grandpa (who is 81 years young) once told me that the secret to staying healthy was to stay active in all facets of life–the same sentiment applies to our dreams: if you leave the dream alone, it slows down and eventually dies without ever reaching its true potential. But, if you stay active with your dreams and work them out daily, then you have a larger chance of holding your dream in hand, of keeping the lightness that your childhood held for you.

The unwritten part of earning dreams is it’s hard work. It is hard to fulfill a dream, and rightfully so. Dreams push us forward, to try out new things, to encourage us to hold onto that piece of ourselves that takes years to properly develop. If dreams were easy to achieve, then they would be called everyday routines.

I wrote the following some years ago about listening to your dreams–it is still the only piece of work that I’ve done that I actually have memorized (I have a frightful memory for remembering my own words–this may have been why I started writing them all down).

I.

I am above you.

You.

You are planted in the firm grasp of reality.

I am above reality. I do not exist.

Or do I?

You can see me in a glance, if you close your eyes and take a chance.

Close your eyes, become one with me. But if you leave your reality, all you know will vanish.

Are you willing to take a chance? Are you willing to become a dream? Are you willing to leave reality and soar above with me?

 Your world might be of a certain reality that you’ve grown accustomed to, that you’ve built a routine in. It’s comfortable and safe. But why not expand yourself to believing in yourself just enough to rediscover the world that enchanted you as a child?

Why not let yourself just try and hold onto the dream that made you truly wonder if you could really do it?

Why not?

Building Character

Posted: January 19, 2013 by jennyleelee in Jenny's Words
Tags: , , , , ,

I was watching a movie with my daughter the other day and she turns to inform me that the villain in the plot was not nice and needed a time out. It occurred to me that my two and a half year old knew what behavior was acceptable, and what behavior warranted some “thinking time,” which ultimately tells me that we are wired to respond to the character of a person without realizing that we are responding to it. Which, of course, makes me really watch my own behavior as much as I possibly can because it’s not what I say that she’ll remember, but what I do in spite of my words.

Physical actions of character often dictate the inner qualities of a person. If I see a teenager open a door for an elderly couple, I automatically perceive the teenager as a thoughtful person. If I see a man and a woman holding hands and leaning into each other, I automatically perceive love and devotion.  If I see a kid breaking all things around him, I begin to wonder about the hurt that might fueling the wreckage.

It doesn’t take much to show character in real life–we do it without thinking–but in writing, it is a real challenge.

I love to read. I love the ability to leave my world and find myself in a place with someone else, to watch the world develop through their eyes. But, I absolutely hate it when an author describes what the character is feeling by nudging me and blatantly saying, “She is sad because the glass broke.” I would much rather see how the sadness creeps up over the person, and what that person fixates on during the emotion. Does the character cry? Does she hold back the tears? Does her body tremble? Do her ears pop? The point is that character is something that is demonstrated, not something that is told.

Building character within a person takes experiences and actions–the same goes with people in our stories. Give the characters a chance to breathe, to grow within their choices, to achieve some goals, and to fail to reach others. Give them life and have them react to the world that you’ve created for them. Maybe even have the same scenario for different characters, and watch how they react differently because of their own personal character traits.

My daughter’s wide eyes and enthusiasm for trying everything around her reminds me that character is more than just words and intentions, it’s what we do that really makes a person matter to everyone else. After all, communication of character is never about what a person promises, but what he follows through on.