Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – September 7, 2004
Dreams & Dreaming
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – September 7, 2004 – All kids have dreams – just like they have imaginary friends. Adults frequently misplace their dreams and forget they ever had a pal that only they could see. The special illusory buddy who was always glad to see them, never criticized and believed in them no matter what.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have that capability as an adult. The innocence of a child, coupled with the wisdom gained during the trip from adolescence to maturity. I think most of us forget to dream once the responsibilities of adulthood take over our lives. We have careers to manage, marriages or relationships to nurture, children to raise, family obligations and our own goals to achieve. Where, in the course of any given day, is there time to daydream – to think about our secret longings – and to spend a few moments imagining them coming true.
When I was a kid, I had big dreams. I was going to be an actress, a wife and a mother – I was going to have five boys. I’d have an enormous farm with miles of white rail fencing and green barns. I’d have lots of horses and I’d ride over my acreage every morning at sun-up. Stray animals would find their way to me and none would ever be turned away.
Sometimes I imagined myself flying an air plane, scuba diving, climbing mountains and skiing down treacherous hills. I dreamed of travel to exotic destinations, riding camels and elephants, and vacations on sandy white beaches.
I had no concrete plan for the attainment of my dreams – they were undoubtedly paid for by my wealthy husband – the father of my five boys – who was a successful, attentive, devoted, hard- working man who was also handsome, funny, patient, loving and totally devoted to his Father Knows Best family. How precious that I had these dreams, even though they may have been completely unrealistic.
The way I viewed my life changed dramatically once I finished high school and entered university. I worked every summer to save for school, then finished four years of “higher education” mired in debt and trying to find “any” job that would enable me to pay my rent and save a bit of each pay cheque.
My childhood dreams changed radically once I was hit square in the face with a big, juicy piece of reality pie. I worked hard to get by and slowly paid off my debt. My dreams took a back seat to adult obligations and then somewhere along the way – I forget they existed and just stopped dreaming. I don’t know if it was during a personal crisis, a job change, a broken heart or while I was busy supporting a friend in need.
I set aside those childlike images of my life and learned to work with what I had, the cards I’d been dealt and the circumstances that were beyond my control. Now all these years later I’m missing the feeling of having a dream. Mid-life dreams are different by necessity from our childhood yearnings. I’ll never be a famous actress – the mother of five – a pilot or a mountaineer, but I don’t like to think that the “dream well” has run dry, and is now simply a pit of sand. My exuberance is certainly diminished – I have a lot of obligations to fulfill and lack the endless energy I had when I was younger.
What I do know is that a life without dreams and dreaming is dreary and diminished. Dreams give a person something to get excited about, focus on, plan for and share with friends. What better thing is there to do than to sit quietly in the sun on a warm summer day and imagine the fulfilment of a dream. If you’re like me and a lot of your dreams now seem unrealistic – then dream new ones.
There is nothing wrong with admitting that something you thought was important ten years ago no longer has any allure for you. We all grow and change. Dreams from our past may be outdated or they may just need to be dusted off and updated. Does something you thought about in your twenties still appeal to you? If so – stop denying it and start finding ways to make it happen – albeit in modified form. So what?
Most of us could still dream big, fat dreams if we weren’t so afraid of failing. Maybe it’s time to put away “adult things” for awhile and remember the amazing lives we planned to lead and the dreams we imagined achieving before we got so darn serious. Endless possibilities exist in an active mind – one that embraces the seemingly impossible and finds a way to make it come true.
Some things may not be possible, others may surprise us by the ease with which they materialize and others we may discard. If we had faith and believed in our path in life and devoted strong, pure energy to our dreams – there is not telling what we might achieve. Not to dream is folly – to try and fail is courageous – and to succeed at a long held dream is God’s reward for reaching for the brightest star on a dark night!