It is human fate to have our dreams and to chase them throughout our lives. But dreams are fleet-footed. They tease our hope then slip through our fingers time and again. But, in the end, the chase and those minor moments of success are what will matter.
I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams lately. A friend of mine, a professional wrestler, is retiring next month. I’m sure part of his dream was always to be famous, to make it to one of the major companies and tour the world. But, it didn’t happen.
However, looking at his career, you could never call it a failure. Michael Strider has wrestled all over the Midwest. Independent wrestling fans know him as a guy who always gives them a great match. He has been a champion many times over, and has wrestled on television, even minor appearances on national television as a sort of wrestling extra. He has been featured by local news outlets, including a feature I produced for Kansas Public Radio. Most of the wrestlers in this area have trained with him, or benefited in some way from his vast knowledge of how to make a crowd love or hate you. He has wrestled with stars and legends. His years of experience will leave him with scars, aches, pains, and more memories than he could probably count. Maybe that is enough. On June 2nd, in Kansas City, for Metro Pro Wrestling, he gets one last memory of his life in a wrestling ring.
We all have our dreams. We can all relate to my friend and the minor moments that he will forever remember. Whether you wanted to be a race car driver and find yourself racing Saturday nights on small dirt tracks or wanted to be a rock star, but find your only fame in local bars, you have seized some of those minor moments.
Writers are full of them. Writing as an art is mostly rejection and disappointment, especially starting out. Endless strings of submissions are neutralized by an endless string of rejections, mostly impersonal form letters. Still, you dream of the day your name is on that book, in the credits of that movie, or connected in some way to something someone liked enough to put out there.
But if you do it long enough, seriously enough, those minor moments start to come. You find various projects and outlets for writing. You write a blog that is well received, get involved in some sort of project, get accepted to a magazine or anthology, or experience some other small, welcome success. Those minor moments are the ones that keep you going, the ones that you will forever remember.
If you have ever golfed, you know those moments. You know that one drive, put, or chip that was perfect, that no one could have done better. That shot will keep you golfing till the next one, little minor moments that keep you hopeful, even as you fish your ball out of the rough.
Perhaps that is success in life, stringing together minor moments. You proudly wear them on your sleeve, remembering when you touched your dreams, however slightly. Here’s to all of our minor moments, and the dreams that we still chase.