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March 11 - The Clouds and the Dirt

Even as a little boy, I was a dreamer. In fact, the moments I most vividly recall were spent in my imagination. I liked basketball - our concrete driveway had several little cracks that divided 5 distinct sections in front of the basketball goal. I'd dribble around, avoiding the cracks, pretending each section was a different defender. I also loved golf - I'd take 5 different golf balls and pretend each golf ball represented a different player. I'd have my very own tournaments with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer, myself, and Payne Stewart. (I always won, somehow).

During my high school years, my imagination led me to experimenting with drugs, drinking, and many questionable decisions. I began to imagine dark things. I began to resent others when things didn't go my way. I began to feel different and alone. My passion for sports gave way to a passion for discovering everything I wasn't supposed to. I became "open-minded". That's what I called it to keep you from asking questions.

I somehow graduated college. In the spirit of being honest, I always knew I was smart. Proving my intelligence just wasn't a priority for me in the classroom. I had other things to prove, like being the best partier & most care-free person out there. Girls liked that, so I did it more. My friends called me crazy, and I liked that.

It's not like I didn't ever have ambition. During the 4.5 year blur of college, I wrote business plans, made promises to myself that I'd retire by age 30, and I knew that success was my only option. Although, my definition of success was limited to dollar signs and one-night stands. Somewhere along the way, my dreams all but subsided, and I found myself stuck in an endless cycle of blackouts, hangovers, lost jobs, new jobs, wrecked relationships, new relationships, despair, and parties. "Work hard, play hard" was becoming a bit of a joke. I had to work hard just to get out of bed, make a mixed drink to steady my hands, and play hard to get rid of the suicidal thoughts and dark depression. 

As you know, I now have a different story to tell. My dreams are back - the wild, crazy, childish ones I used to have. The dreams of a bright future, eternity in heaven, going places, and seeing things others rarely do. My soul is alive, my heart sings, and I find myself working countless hours with unbridled vigor and passion.

I thought getting sober was a death sentence. I hated the very sound of the word, "sober". Ew. I still don't like that word. It doesn't really describe what I have now. What I have is an indescribable peace, an endless hope, and complete confidence in my Creator to show me the radical life He planned all along. 

Keep your head in the clouds and your hands in the dirt. Zack Gudzan, Founder of CLTIVATE. Cultivating the fight against addiction.

My point is: dream big, because God's plan is wild. We still have to do the work, though. I still have to go to my 12-step meetings. I still have to reply to emails - even when they have typos that bother me to no end. I still have to pay rent. I still have to grind through occasional days of depression. And I most certainly have to spend time in daily prayer, thanking God for restoring my soul. It's ok to dream about another place, but I have to be willing to do the work to get there.

Keep your head in the clouds and your hands in the dirt.

Much Love,

Zack

 


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