Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dreams and Fulfilment

At the beginning of this month, the third book in the Dream of Asarlai trilogy, Rogue Gadda, was released. To celebrate, I had some writer friends (including fellow Supernatural Undergrounders Helen Lowe and Kerrelyn Sparks) write a blog for me on Dreams and Fulfilment. You can read them here:

Now, it’s my turn. When I chose that topic for the wonderful ladies and gents to blog on, it came just after a counselling session.

You see, earlier this year, I had two depressive episodes. As a result, I’m now on anti-depressants and been undergoing counselling to learn to deal with life again.

Dreams and fulfilment came up in the counselling process, and I realised that I’d made a dreadful mistake. 30 years ago, thanks to efforts from teacher and class parents, I held the first ever book with my name on it in my hands. As I stared down at that epic tome (I don’t have it anymore unfortunately) a sense of great rightness settled on me and I knew this was what I was meant to do with my life – be a published author.

For a variety of reasons, it took 29 years for it to happen but finally it did – last year, I held Secret Ones in my hand and saw my name emblazoned across the cover. My dream had been fulfilled.

Here’s where I made the dreadful mistake – I didn’t celebrate it properly or say goodbye to it. Sure, I had a book launch. I did a happy dance whenever I got a good review. But my mind was focussed on finalising Rogue Gadda for deadline and finishing the editing process on Power Unbound.

So that momentous achievement, a dream I’d held for the large majority of my life, wasn’t acknowledged. And with that dream stepping aside, I didn’t take time to grab hold of a new dream. It all became nebulous, ungrounded.

What had been a strong platform for me to work off became over time worn away, until by March this year there was just the smallest peak to stand on and with just one blow, I was knocked off.

I’ve spent the past few months re-establishing myself. I’ve forged new dreams, and I’ve educated myself on what is required to make those dreams come true – just as I did with the first dream. Now I’m working toward them and this time, if I achieve them, I will acknowledge and celebrate them.

Chasing dreams is important. Recognising the achievement is also important and so is saying goodbye.

So I wave to 11-year-old Nicole, standing in the middle of the classroom and staring down at her book with such awe. We did it, Kiddo.

Now it’s time to make 41-year-old Nicole’s dreams come true.

What are the dreams that you want to make come true for yourself, and/or the younger you?


Sharon said...

interesting concept, who would think that not giving your achievements proper acknowledgment would cause problems. You are right. So many people don't get help for fear of what people will think. It takes a lot of courage.

Congrats on finding the strength to make your dreams come true:)

I don't think I have any so called "Dreams". I'm intelligent, social and optimistic and have a driving need to see others succeed. Blogging has given me an outlet for this and I am happy for now.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Wow. That's quite a story. Love reading these kinds of posts. They're inspiring!

Roxanne Skelly said...

This post hits fairly close to home for me, and while intellectually I know people struggle with this stuff, it's nice to hear someone actually open up about it.

Nicole Murphy said...

Sharon - what you're talking about is close to what Kim Falconer said in her post - finding the feeling you want and focussing on that :)

Lynn - thanks.

Roxanne - I'm coming firmly to believe that we need to speak more openly about these things so I'm glad that you took the time to comment.

AA Bell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AA Bell said...

Wow, I'd never be able to do that. I still need my inner child too much. sigh.

Kim Falconer said...

Nicole, Thank you for this post and the reminder to celebrate our dreams come true! We can be so caught up in 'doing' (esp with hectic publishing schedules, jobs and kids) that we don't take time, every day, to appreciate the good stuff.

I was talking to a friend about this recently and she reminded me of three great things to remember EACH day:

1) accept all compliments
2) count all blessings
3) be spiritually naked

And to this list I am adding, Celebrate all achievements, great and small!

Thank you again, Nicole. I loved being part of your Dreams and Fulfilment celebration!

Helen Lowe said...

Hey Nicole,

Like Kim I loved being part of your Dreams & Fulfilment series--and with such an inspiring bunch of fellow writers, too. I also agree that acknowledging success is really important and completing a three book series is a REALLY big deal. I have had the same experience as you--ie not being able to celebrate achievements, eg holding the first book in your hand and going 'wow', simply because the next step in the process was already on you like a juggernaut with demanding deadlines etc. But like you, I have come to realise how important it is to "press pause" and mark the moments, whether it is with an impromptu party or something more formal. Nicole, I think Dreams of Asarlai is such a tremendous achievement--something to be really proud of. I am happy to have been able to mark the moment with you, both here today and as a contributor to the "Dreams and Fulfilment' series.