In many ways, I would describe myself as a dreamer. I like to build things up, create something out of nothing, all that jazz. I also LOVE ideas, all of their innocence and endless potential. The hard part however, with dreams and ideas, is the irksome process of actually turning fantasy into reality.
In my recent Favorites post I mentioned NBC’s This is Us, which tackles a lot of real issues we all face throughout our lives. In one episode, (no spoilers) new parents Jack and Rebecca arrive home from the hospital with their three new babies, and we watch as they struggle through the adjustment process (i.e. late nights, dirty diapers, endless crying, etc.) At one point in the episode, when it seems the house is finally quiet, Jack and Rebecca sit down next to each other, exhausted. Their eyes are half open and they’re barely able to remain upright and Jack says, “they’ll be in college soon.” Almost immediately afterward however, one of the babies starts crying, which of course makes the other two start crying, leading Rebecca’s face to shutter and her head to fall back in defeat. “They’ll be in college soon, right?” she echoes desperately, and Jack nods.
Now, as a mother of none, I can’t even begin to relate to the miraculous struggles parents go through to care for their newborn children. However, as a relatively constant birther of ideas, I can relate to them on a different level.
Think of the moment you come up with a great idea. I mean a really great idea. The kind you instantly dream about taking you places you’ve never imagined. It’s kind of like a newborn baby, right? You hold it in your arms, looking at it with wonder and love and joy. You’re so thankful and happy it’s been given to you and you can’t wait to take it home and start your adventure together.
But then you get home to start your adventure together and you quickly realize don’t have the safety and naivety you had in the birthing room. Suddenly you have to make decisions and work harder than you ever could have imagined to help this baby blossom, and you start to wonder why you ever thought you could do this in the first place. And eventually you find yourself sitting like Jack and Rebecca, wishing the hard part was over, and wanting nothing more than to flash forward to when all the decisions are made, all the battles are fought and you get to sit back and watch your baby soar. But as great as that would be, no one really wants that.
Because what good is overlooking the hard parts if it means missing all the good parts in between?
As the episodes of This is Us have continued, (still no spoilers) we’ve started to see those magical *worth it!* moments between Jack, Rebecca and the kids, and sometimes it’s something as simple as a smile. So as much as we’d like instant gratification, and as much as we’d like to fast forward through the difficult times, we must never take for granted the sugar we can find in the struggle, for it is sweeter than any shortcut.