Picture it: Sometime between when I graduated college and finally grew up. I was in one of those relationships: the kind that was never going to work.
Phone conversations often started with “Where were you?” or “Why did it take you so long to return my call?”
Date night plans ended with me putting on my pajamas, curling up into my bed and vowing to never be stood up by this fool again.
Mornings often started with a sorry ass text message, “Sorry, I fell asleep last night and forgot to…”
Birthdays and holidays were spent deeply considering and carefully picking out gifts and receiving IOUs in return.
And sadly, for a while, the relationship existed. It was a picture in my mind – a dream, if you will – of what would come. What would come when he got a better job, what would come when he got over his past, what would come when he stopped cheating, what would come when all the potential that I’d dreamed of came to life.
I was staring into a frog’s face, dreaming about a prince.
Until I wasn’t.
One random Saturday night, I finally met my threshold. She was a bold little thing, who had no room for B.S.
“End it,” she spoke to me from the center of my gut. And just like that, I sent the break up text (yes, I texted. Sue me, but he deserved it!).
And for days thereafter, he stressed, he harassed, he called, he texted. When his final text came through, it read as sweetly as dessert: “Is there any way we can make this work?”
Ha! “No," I typed back quickly. "This won’t work, because you don’t work.” Check please!
Now, I am by no means implying that a man has to have a j-o-b if he wants to be with me. But what did become abundantly clear to me from that relationship is that nothing will work unless we do (as spoken by Maya Angelou). He wasn’t putting any work into the relationship and eventually, the whole thing fell apart.
Some say the road to hell is paved with good intentions; I say the road to “broke” is paved with good dreams. Break-ups, broke wallets and broken spirits are made of dreams (or girlfriends) that are admired, but never touched, talked about, or worked on. The beautiful thing we never nurture will, indeed, one day leave us.
And it all happens so quickly, if we say we love something but never show it any love.
We spend our days cutting out photos and phrases from magazines and gluing them onto vision boards that we will look at, but won’t dare to live by.
We talk about what we plan to be one day and focus more on looking the part than working the part, investing in the most expensive and most stylish outfits, and carelessly attempt to fuel our dreams with the leftover funds.
We overplan or overcriticize ourselves, saying “I’ll start when I’m perfect,” when perfectionism is nothing more than the cancer that chews at our confidence and swallows our potential. We allow this perfectionism to build a bank of negative thoughts in our minds, and quickly become preoccupied with trying to prove our own worth to ourselves.
We defer our dreams for our drama, and procrastinate on our purpose. We mentally do everything it takes and physically do nothing at the same time.
Don't wait for the breakup text from your dreams. The one where it becomes clear that the Universe has moved on, accepting that you'll never actually get serious about the divine things in life that could be yours.
Don't be the lame ex to your beautiful dreams. Nothing will work, unless you do.