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Juggling Dreams

March 10th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #

  Sometimes you feel unstoppable, great, as if the world is only beginning, and you are at the center of it all.  You get ideas, schemes that you never dared consider before, and now that you have, you feel obligated to pursue them, to drive them as far as you possibly can.  At first you're not sure if you're up to the task; the first step looks hard and difficult.  Then you toss in the first challenge, the first dream, and then the second, and then the third.

  Pretty soon, you're not only tossing and catching all three, you are actually juggling.  You can juggle two at a time, worry about the third later.  Or you can juggle all three at once, perhaps without even breaking a sweat.  Over time, you get better; you've gone far beyond anything you ever hoped to do, juggling three when at first you dared not even juggle one.  You're ready for more; you want a challenge.

  And so you throw in the fourth, and maybe the fifth.  Pretty soon, you lose count over how many dreams you are juggling.  You lose count because at that point, it no longer matters.  It's too easy, all the same.  It all seems meaningless; your dreams seem meaningless.

  But just when you think you have it easy, one dream slips.  Afterwards, it causes a ripple.  The next dream falls to the ground, and then the third.  You don't understand what has happened, what changed to cause this misfortune.  It seemed only minutes ago you were juggling so many at once that you lost count.

  Dream after dream escapes you.  You watch as they fall beyond your reach, crashing to the floor before your very feet.  Pretty soon you can't even juggle two; three is an impossibility.  You catch and hold onto what you have left, in fear perhaps, or simply in shock and disbelief.

  It seems you spent so long to build up your dreams, your hopes and aspirations, only to lose them in a frantic spur of the moment.  What was it that failed you? Was it too much to handle? Were you perhaps never as capable as you thought you were? Was it just luck?

  You look at the remaining dreams before you, as well as those scattered on the ground about you, shattered, broken, dreams you once held dear - or did you? You try to start again, to juggle the few you have in your hands.  You can barely toss one up before scrambling to catch it.

  Do you start from scratch again? Or do you simply give up?

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