Yesterday a couple of friends and I went to see La La Land while it was still clinging to the lineup in second-hand theaters. We have this historical theater built in the 1940s called the Garland in Spokane. It has one giant screen, more than 600 seats, and tickets for box office hits at a reasonable price. I wasn’t so sure about La La Land at first – could Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling sing? I mean really?
This isn’t a review of the movie, but rather a nod to the filmmakers and to my husband. The movie makes a point that chasing your dreams is more often than not, with a lot of hard work and a thick skin, worth it. It also, more often than not, comes with a price. Sometimes that price is what got us our dream in the first place. We often can’t have it all.
My husband picks up his renewed passport with the lovely Green Card stamp inside on Monday, and then he’s on a plane on Thursday to get to Spokane by Friday afternoon. To say I’m excited is an understatement. It hasn’t escaped my attention that he arrives on Good Friday, Easter weekend, a time of resurrection and new life. Good one, Lord.
As I was watching La La Land it was apparent that Emma Stone’s main character, Mia, wouldn’t have gone to her final (and life changing) audition without the insistence and faith of the man she loves. Sometimes we need that push. When going after the impossible I’d say it’s, well, impossible without that push.
Being a writer has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen, a spin-off of those Make-a-Wish Foundation books. I wrote my second novel when I was nineteen and a publishing company picked it up in 2012. I prayed, a lot, that God would make it successful, but I wasn’t willing to do the work to help it along. My best friend has been one of the greatest supports in my writing, pushing and encouraging me to keep at it and write more. I did, muscling out a third book in 2016. It wasn’t until after I got married, moved back to Spokane and my husband encouraged me to do the work and make my writing successful that I started thinking maybe it could actually happen. It helps when your other half makes a good living and you now no longer have to consider whether food or your dream is a more important part of life.
Since January of this year I’ve written almost 140,000 words – nearly two books. I have a plan, and the more I pray about it, surrender my projects to God and lean on my husband for support and ideas, the more rapidly I write. My dream isn’t just a pipe dream anymore, or a nice fantasy, or a “one day it’ll happen” kind of dream. It will become a reality this year. The books are on my computer, I just need a couple of book covers and a good line editor to polish it – anyone got any suggestions? Really, I’m looking for a book cover designer.
A couple of friends have supported my writing for years. I certainly wouldn’t have made it this far without them fanning the flame when I felt my arms getting tired. I can say, however, without my husband willing to be so supportive and sacrificial and involved in the process, I wouldn’t be charging ahead full speed. There’s something about your loved one believing in you more than you believe in yourself that makes you feel like your dream can become a reality.
It’s amazing to see how, even 10,000 miles apart, my husband makes me a better person. He arrives in 6 days, and I can’t wait to see how much better things will be when he arrives and we’re mere feet away from each other instead of miles. I have some great ideas, but without God providing me with the husband I have, without God’s leading on these projects and my husband’s support and faith in me this wouldn’t be possible.
La La Land ended with Mia having to make a choice between her dream and the man she loves. She faced how the alternative could have turned out, and she struggles with regret. I’m grateful that by doing things God’s way, surrendering to His will, there won’t be a single choice I’ll make with regret attached to it. I’m grateful pursuing my dream is something I get to do with my husband, rather than while on the road waiting for him. That doesn’t mean there won’t be disappointment or trials. It just means I have God and my husband on my side for the journey, and there isn’t anything else I need to make this happen, or to get through it if it fails.