Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yesterday you said Tomorrow.

Late.  That is exactly what I am.  I’m late for my blogging this week.  I’m late on reaching my goals seeing as I am two days behind in my writing.  I’m late in finding work to be able to support my family.  I’m late in doing what I need to take care of my career in the military.  I’m getting to sleep late and getting to my part time job late. Everything boils down to this for me this week.  I am late.

And then I saw a nike sponsored quote that gave me a little bit of hope this week: Yesterday you said Tomorrow.  Now that might sound weird, because I really haven’t been keeping up with my goals to reach my dream, but it made me feel good because I realize I haven’t put off my dreams till tomorrow.  I am working on them today.

I have met too many people who are I would refer to as broken quills.  In the grand scheme of things they are not trying to live up to their potential, they stopped chasing after what they really want in life, or it just becomes too much work to chase what they really want.  Now these people entirely could still chase after their dreams, because they still have the ability just like a broken quill can still write, but they get caught up too much in their failings and how far they have drifted away from what they should be doing to make their life what they always wanted as a young adult.

Art and our dreams sometimes equates to sacrifice.  And that sacrifice sometimes hurts or scares us.  My sacrifices of late have been full time work and sleep.  If you didn’t know I recently came back from Iraq.  This completely scared me because I couldn’t jump back into school without having a semester that I would have failed.  I know my limits and immediately before and after a deployment my grades in school are terrible.  So to go back and receive my GI Bill would have not helped me in the long run, so I chose not to return to school as of yet.  However I still work up at school in my dream job.  I work for the Nontraditional Students Center as one of their Peer Advisors which means I help students who are coming to school with families figure out the crazy animal known as college.  It is tremendously fulfilling and I enjoy working with the students a great deal.  This job came with an opportunity to run a literary journal that is run by the center.  I love managing this literary journal because I’ve learned so much about writing, and become much more courageous in the things I’m willing to write and feel.  I don’t think I would be writing the story that I’m currently working on if I didn’t work there.

But here’s where the sacrifice comes in.  I need more hours at my work.  But they can’t afford to pay me more.  I’m capped out.  So I need to seek out a second job.  So far I’ve gotten a lot of rejections, which is par for the course for Americans.  However this is only because I’ve been trying to preserve the job that I currently possess.  If I went and looked for full time work I would be able to easily get a job and my life and the schedule I’m living on would stabilize immediately.  But I can’t give up a job that is helping me to get experience in my field of writing and also in the field of working with families.  I’m going to school to get a degree in working in both fields.  So do I give in or seek after my dream?

As for my writing I’ve been working on it so much that I’ve sacrificed sleep instead of organizing my days so that I can fit writing and my religious studies in at the beginning of my day.  And now I’ve just gotten to the point that I’m burning the candle at both ends and it requires that I change something because I can’t keep up this pace.  So tonight I called a family meeting and shared with everyone my concerns and set a reasonable bedtime for myself and now I’m going to be in bed between 11PM and Midnight.  This will enable me to get up early in the morning to get my writing done before everyone in my home is awake.  Mind you this is still a sacrifice because I personally am a night owl.  I function much better at night, but I need the quiet hours in our home to be able to accomplish the work that I love.

Folks become broken quills because they aren’t willing to make sacrifices to achieve the dreams they seek after.  But sometimes you have to do something to put food on the table and keep a roof overhead.   So we as people and artists are left with decisions that can possibly break our hearts and rend us at our heartstrings.  But that tells more about the caliber of people that we hope to be.  People who sacrifice achieve their dreams, and people who settle complain for a lifetime of missed opportunities.  This isn’t to say that either one is wrong, but to say as much as not providing for my family scares me I’m not ready yet to give up my dreams to support them.  I live by faith day to day, and I believe that I am where I am in my life right now because I’ve worked hard and through the providence of God.  So to support my family I have to stretch a bit further and seek out the right job more diligently this month.  To accomplish my writing I have to get up a lot earlier.  And to achieve my dreams I have to remember: Yesterday you said Tomorrow.

ROW80 Goals for this week:
1. Finishing a single scene of “Crimes of the Umbramancer” each day.
This week I've only finished a scene and a half. I still have Saturday and Sunday to catch up though so I am annoyed, but not unable.
2. Comment on 10 different blogs in ROW80.
I haven't been to any blogs this week. That will change tomorrow morning while I'm in my writing time! Visited ten blogs Friday Morning! And a few more Thursday night! Woo!
3. Video games for only twelve hours for the week.
I only played for nine hours this week. I am gaining better control and I don't intend on playing for a couple weeks at the moment. We'll see how this develops.
4. Bedtime between 11PM and Midnight to wake up at six or seven in the morning to take advantage of the early hours to get my writing all finished each day.
This goal will begin tomorrow morning and we'll see how it goes.
5. Walking at least a mile, five days a week.
 I'm a scoutmaster and I wanted to help some of the boys who are a little less active reach for some goals. So I'm going to be doing a goal that gets me walking so I can keep him accountable cause I'm doing the same work I've asked of him.
6. Finding the perfect job within the next month.
 This will be the journey I make to finding the work that will enable me to move into the next phase of my life. It will likely require some prayer and a lot of work, but I believe that there is a reason why I'm where I'm at right now. So we'll see what happens.

Please tell me about your dreams folks. Why you dream them and what you are willing to give up to achieve them? Or even why you didn't achieve your dreams. We all have some valuable experience to share with one another and I hope this blog is a place where you might find that. Happy dream hunting all! 


  1. Your post on your blog, made me write a post on my blog Jayrod. Because my response was becoming a post.

    1. Glad to hear that it got you thinking that much Molly! Thanks for reading!

  2. I've enjoyed tweeting with you lately, and I'm excited to hear how it goes at your upcoming writers conference, which will surely be a good boost towards maintaining your writing momentum! :) Keep on keeping on!


    1. Thanks Tui! I look forward to making various posts about what I learn at this writing conference. Perhaps part of what my blog will be in the future will be the things I learn as I learn from the masters of our craft. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Jarrod.... :-/ You're such a good person with an even greater heart! I am not in your shoes, but in many ways I am. Sacrifice.hmmmm. I have a great job at one of the Top 5 Ivy League Universities in the country and what am I doing? Looking for additional employment to do more than make end's meet.. to create a better future life for my family and future family. For so many years I've worked in crazy environments, sacrificing my mental state and relationship.
    All while loosing my sense of self worth. That meant almost losing my ability or opportunity to write.

    60 hour work weeks never allowed for it..I didn't allow for it. Now I finally found a position of which I love but it unfortunately is not quite I go back and pick up a night shift or fill up my weekends so I loose myself completely again...for good? Tough decisions we all have to make; with losses and gains. I think now that I'm a little older I understand what's most important, but sometimes knowing doesn't mean always being able to fulfill without sacrifice.

    1. Natasha, I understand where you are coming from. I think that's the hardest part of all, the balance of all things without losing sense of self. However I must say that it is much as the Saviour said: He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. I think the important part is those key words at the end. If who we are becoming is in line with blessing people and making lives better as he would we are on the right track. Doesn't matter what religion you are, but if you are making the sacrifices in your life to bring a better life to your family (this includes keeping your own mental sanity) then in my opinion you are on the right track! Keep it up and you'll get there.


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