Adebowale shares an experience of being disappointed but ultimately reflecting on the variety in human beings’ search for purpose.
I wrote building blocks after a trip that my friends and I had been anticipating going on had to be cancelled because of new covid regulations. We were all distraught, these small moments can feel like things you won’t recover from. I sat in my room angry that something we had meticulously planned for weeks could be swept away so quickly and, in most situations, when I feel strong emotions, I just start writing. I had no idea what would pour out of me, but I started typing and rather than a bitter piece I found myself writing a hopeful message, reflecting on the variety in human beings’ search for purpose. It helped me lift my spirits at the time and I hope it can do the same for others.
Disappointment comes frequently, it brings the question of whether the expectations were too lofty, whether your optimism was unfounded and reality was smirking at you in the corner waiting for you to register its existence.
“To be disappointed is to have dreamt”
To be disappointed is to have dreamt, to have imagined a scenario in which you prevailed over the odds, to have triumphed against adversity. In dreams, you are always the hero, even if your fight is against yourself.
An apparent issue comes when individuals live life as if it is a dream, projecting the heroic nature of their fantasy into reality, condiments that are proclaimed to mix as well as oil and water. In the dark, damp cave within our skulls, the narrative making machine is constantly spinning grandiose tales, some of triumph and others of despair; we exist in the realm of stories, needing to fill in every effect with a cause, needing to give our lives an overarching theme.
In that search for a theme, many roads are taken. Few are gifted with a call from birth, their narrative making machines latching on to the thread of a particular plot early and refusing to let go. Others have a biography written before their story has even begun, their creative freedom infringed upon by more established authors, their narrative formed before they have even begun to dream. Some disregard the necessity of a theme entirely and stick to an episodic format of unrelated events. The refusal to input a theme ends up being rather unpopular as there is an absence of the long-running cause and effect format that makes stories so compelling. Most, however, are in a perpetual search for their theme, in the painful limbo of writers’ block. Despite the seeming agony, this space is that which gives the most creative opportunity. Each second that passes holds the possibility of a spark of ingenuity, many sparks will lead to a dead-end and the work that comes from them may be scrapped but the experience of that attempted creation will stay with you. It will linger as you return to limbo and arm you with greater perspective when the next spark flashes. There is beauty in this mash of ideas as it shows perseverance, it tells a story of one who tries and fails then tries again, a tale of a warrior. Many stories end with the search for a theme uncompleted, however, the search becomes a theme in itself.
“Continue to search and dream, in the end, it is dreams that form the building blocks of reality”
Disappointment comes frequently but it will fade eventually, do not temper your optimism. All we know and revere is formed from our narratives, outlandish concoctions that light fuses in us and lead us to both happy endings and desolate conclusions. The one common thread we all share is the continuous progression of our stories, whether we have streamlined plans or are simply throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. Contrary to proclamations, the condiments mix, the imagined intrinsic to the real. Those that continue to dream and search for their themes will always prevail, their stories caught in the webs of time never to be released. So, continue to search and dream, in the end, it is dreams that form the building blocks of reality.
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