Brenda Nicholson

Remember Your Dreams

In my mind, I felt a need to “earn my keep”.

I remember telling my friend that. She was horrified.

I was recently retired, living in a middle-class neighborhood. My husband made good money. We were OK.

But I wasn’t adjusting to retirement well. I’d spent so many years being something for other people that I had no self left. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I felt worthless.

Then came the morning that we found out our youngest daughter had died. She just collapsed and was gone.

I spent the next year in a haze of wine and depression.

At some point, I realized that I was wasting my life. And I couldn’t do that.

I needed to find myself, my purpose, a reason to exist.

I went to therapy. It helped some, but not enough. I needed to keep looking.

I tried volunteering. And prayer.

And then, I went back to my journals. Not because I thought it was the answer, but because it’s what I’ve always done when I’m troubled.

I went through more notebooks and pens than I can count.

I started meditating and exercising. I discovered shadow work and found out a lot about myself.

It started me thinking about my childhood. I had wanted to be two things when I grew up: a writer and an artist.

I took a class and picked up a paintbrush.

Joy. Absolute joy. I barely recognized it.

A friend saw me a few weeks after I started the class. She couldn’t believe the change in me.

I couldn’t believe it myself.

The truest version of myself.

I think we all need to take the time to remember and honor our dreams, however small.

Your life purpose doesn’t have to be big and grand.

Maybe it just needs to make you happy.

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