Dreams Pop When We Blow Them Up Too Much

In Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, a young kid named David tries to make it big in a dystopian, futuristic world. One way people in Night City hope to do so is with “chrome,” cyberkinetic enhancements and body parts. Over the course of the series, David acquires more and more of these mods. Initially, they help him achieve his goals, but, by the end of the show, he is more cyborg than human — and pays a dear price for his unwillingness to stop.

Sometimes, dreams pop because we blow them up too much as we go along. Every time the balloon gets bigger, we think it can get bigger still. So we add more air, until, one day…pop! We attach enhancements left, right, and center. We modify our dream again and again, and by the end of it, it might be completely unrecognizable from what we started with. More cyborg than human — and the price we pay is regret.

The older I get, the more often I wonder if my dream, too, might be a balloon stretched too thin. I’ve simplified my work life significantly in the last year, and yet, sometimes, I still wonder whether I can hold on to everything I’m juggling. Whether it’s time to stop carrying the load, put a few more projects into a shopping cart, park them in aisle seven, and say goodbye.

2024 will mark the tenth anniversary of my dream coming to life: “I want to be a writer!” I’ve been a writer for every single one of those years, and I’ve achieved a lot in that decade, but I’ve also added a lot of attachments since then. Perhaps it’s time to get rid of some chrome and go back to the beginning.

Always remember where you started, and don’t forget to enjoy your original dream when you achieve it. It’s easy to keep moving the goal the more you score, but no football nor ballon can hold infinite air — and are warm words really worth risking your dream to pop?