The Theme Song of One Dissatisfied Dreamer
Mine, for decades, was from an obscure musical Juno, written by Marc Blitzstein in 1959 called I Wish It So.It began with the lyrics:
"I've an unrest inside me.
Oh it’s long I have had such an unrest inside me
And it’s getting real bad
I'm sleeping at night, and my heart beats so loud that I wake,
all dizzy and light,
with a dreaming and feeling this ache.
Such a thumping inside me, that I think I'll go mad."
While other teenagers were locking themselves in their bedrooms and head banging, I would wait until I was home alone and would then pace in unending circles round the house singing this enchanting melody at the top of my lungs, tears streaming full force down my cheeks.
(Ok, yes, I was a bit dramatic. And "was” is probably the wrong word, since to be perfectly honest, that routine had strong revivals in my early 20s late 20s and possibly my early 30s as well.)
I sang it at my senior recital in collage, at auditions in New York, through every breakup… It was this thrum under everything. It captured this part of me that no new lover or college or move across the country could shake.
"For I wish it so
what I wish I still don’t know
But it’s bound to come
though so long to wait
I keep praying tonight
or today, through the endless days
and my heart clamors and prays it will not come too late”
This gnawing. This ache of dissatisfaction. That it (whatever it was) was never quite enough.
I was sitting in an Access class recently and the conversation of "the ache of dissatisfaction" came up. With those very words.
"Dissatisfaction is a possibility that you could have, that you are aware of, that you don’t choose” Gary Douglas explained.
"Most people think if you are dissatisfied you have a terrible problem. No you have a gift called the 'awareness of possibility'. Not everyone is dissatisfied. It is a gift you were born with."
"Not everyone is dissatisfied. It is a gift you were born with.”
That phrase stayed with me over the next weeks and placed itself in many thoughts and contexts and conversations. I remembered many nights I had woken up in a panic, knowing I needed to be somewhere else. Doing something else. And then I did.
Was that ache, that gnawing, the very thing that had gotten me to cross continents, leave relationships, ask endless questions, create programs, start radio shows and adventure further into the unknown?
"What if I had slept through those nights", I wondered? "Or medicated them away? Or told myself I was crazy? Or married him anyway?"
I thought of all the other restless dreamers who just couldn’t be content with what they were shown. Was that where all inventions, revelations, art and truly great possibilities on this beautiful planet had come from? What if Galelleo or DaVinci or Mother Theresa been able to get away from that rusty ache?
What if dissatisfaction is not a curse but an internal compass for more? As early as two weeks ago I started reframing this conversation in my own mind, asking “how did I get so lucky to be born with this innate 'I wish it so' brewing inside me?"
So I ask you…
If you are one of the lucky ones on this planet to have that restless achy knowing, how could you use that to catapult you ahead?
What if the next time you feel like you may need to exit your skin, you didn’t come to the conclusion that something was wrong, but instead moved into question?
Question like: - What am I aware of? - What am I not choosing that I could choose?
"I’ve such grand aims with so many names that I grow numb
But sure one is bound to come
because I wish,
I wish it so”
I have found a wish (or a choice) infused with that kind of potency and demand is bound to come. You will create it.
And in the meantime… What if dissatisfaction is not a curse?
What if you simply have far more awareness of the futures possible than you ever could have ever imagined?
*I am honored to be joining Dr Dain Heer as the host of his new 4 part Hangout series called The Potency of the Dissatisfied Dreamer. It’s free. Will you join us on this journey?
**Don’t miss the catalyst for this entire conversation, Losing The Ache of Dissatisfaction
with Gary & Dain, live streamed March 9th 2016.