What are dreams? Are they the goals that motivate us to push ourselves when we feel like giving up? Are they the pipe dreams we keep to ourselves – the things so far fetched that it would embarrass us to tell? Is it both? Is having both kinds of dreams important? How do we keep dreams alive? Do these dreams ground us or do we think of them as the things that are ever out of our reach? Do they define us, or do we define them? Are dreams what makes us human?
As you can tell, I’ve been thinking about dreams again. I know I’ve talked about them before, and some of this may be redundant, but well, you all know by now that I’m random and chaotic, so off I go.
I wonder what makes one person persistently pursue their dreams while another person may never even try to realize them. I wonder how some people seem to have dreams as big as the stars, while others are content to appear to have no dreams at all. Our dreams are as diverse as we are. I can’t help but think about how, for some, the things some of us take for granted can be the impossible dream. An education, perhaps. Some are free to pursue educational goals while others are refused that dream based on sex, religion, race or location. For some, a full stomach and fresh water are pipe dreams – something they will never have.
Dreams. What do we dream of? Bigger houses? More money? A career? Health? What about finishing college, getting a promotion, running a marathon, losing fifty pounds, or learning to sew? Can dreams and goals be one and the same? What defines a dreamer versus someone who is goal oriented? We think of dreamers as those with their heads in the clouds, never coming down to land. We think of those who are goal oriented as the go getters that know how to get what they want. Does it have to be one or the other?
I have dreams like everyone else. When I was a teenager I wanted to be a torch singer. A few of the problems with that was the fact that I was a good singer, but not exceptional, and I’m not sure how many opportunities there were for that type of singer, but I was the shy kid. I was way too shy to have ever followed the dream of becoming a singer. It’s interesting because there are singers out there who are successful that don’t seem all that talented. What’s the difference? Passion, persistence and determination. I wasn’t the kind of person to shock my parents by boldly declaring I wanted to be a singer and then traveling the road to make it happen. For me, it was one of those pipe dreams – something fun to think about, but not to try. Is this the difference between a dream and a wish? I’m not sure.
What do I dream of now? I dream of raising a daughter that is confident and secure. I want her to be able to take care of herself and contribute something to this world. I want her to be kind and caring, but at the same time live her life on her own terms, never being afraid or apologetic. Is that too big of a dream? I try to be the best parent I can be, teaching her about the world and the people who make a real difference in it. I want her to know that her limitations do not hold her back. I want her to learn to use her ADHD and Anxiety Disorder to become a better person. Her unique experiences make her better and stronger. I want her to have dreams of her own that she is not afraid to chase.
I dream of writing. I dream of being able to spend every day doing what I love. I dream that I may even become good at it one day. It’s a dream I’ve had since I was a child and am finally living it. For the most part. I stopped listening to the voices that said it was ridiculous and I wasn’t good enough. I stopped feeling like a failure. I stopped procrastinating and started writing (again.) Does that mean writing is still a dream, or is it a reality? I think as long as I yearn to better it will be a dream. Just one I actively chase.
I dream that one day I’m actually going to refinish that ugly dresser in my bedroom. Dream? Wish? Goal? I don’t know, but I’m tired of looking at the hideous thing. Just not tired enough to do anything about it, apparently. I dream of becoming organized with a place for everything, and always knowing where to find what I need when I need it. Instead of knowing that it is somewhere, in ONE of these seven piles of stuff. A girl can dream…
I still dream of white picket fence happily ever after. Pathetic, maybe, but a dream nonetheless, that somewhere there is someone who can accept me for all my chaos, quirks and imperfections. Hey, it could happen.
We all have dreams. Big, small, silly or serious – dreams we are taking steps to turn into reality, or dreams we keep in the silence of our hearts. Dreams that we know how to make happen, and dreams we just kind of wish would come true.
I’ve shared some of mine, even the silly. What are some of yours?