We all have dreams don’t we? Well, we should, I think. They’re what motivates us and pushes us along to achieve the things in life that are important to us. The things that matter. Dreams can be strong and guide you with tunnel vision to exactly where you’re meant to be. And when they do? Bingo! You’ve hit the jackpot in life.
Dreams can also change and be modified depending on your time of life, your circumstances and your changing views as you grow from a child to an adult. In adulthood, the dreams you have now may not be the dreams you had when you were a child and you may be happy following a path that you would never have imagined or thought you wanted, but hey ho, here you are and you’re loving it.
But maybe The Dream. The BIG one, is still the same as the one you had when you were a child. And if it is, then that is the dream that you will regret if you don’t follow it. Then there can be all sorts of trouble…
Take me, for instance. I bet I’m not alone when I say I have always had a dream. One big dream. When I was a child, I would smile and feel warm inside knowing that it was my path in life and my destiny. I was sure. I knew it would happen. I just knew it. I had not one doubt in my little head and when a teacher would ask the class what they wanted to be when they grew up, my hand would be the first to shoot up. I would tell teacher and the class about my dream and some of my friends would snigger. But I didn’t care. The teacher would smile and say, “Wouldn’t that be lovely.” And I felt it again. That warm glow in my stomach and my head – that feeling of being totally sure of something and being content in my knowledge that I knew what I would become and what I would be doing. One day.
That dream stayed with me for a while but as I got older, it began to get cloudy. When I left my cool job at Cosmopolitan, an eager, excited 22 year old, to go off and travel to see the world (and meet Stressed Husband in Oz had fate would have it – but that’s another story) I began to let the dream slide a little. There was a big wide world out there. I wanted to see it and have some fun. And I did.
Then came kids, a mortgage, jobs that were okay, not amazing, but they paid the bills and I was always lucky to work with great people, many who became lifelong friends. So, although it wasn’t my dream, it was a really lovely life. I was grateful.
After my third child, The Dream resurfaced and, I think it was because I had a bit of a panic at having turned 30 (pah, 30! If only I knew then that I was still a baby!) and somehow I realised that life had got in the way – as it does – but I had a feeling that The Dream was still there, tucked behind the nappies and the school runs and the crappy paying freelance jobs that I thought were making me happy. It was still there! And it nearly happened. I nearly achieved The Dream. I worked hard on it and I got great feedback and it was going somewhere…
But then it didn’t.
And that little girl inside me sloped down in her seat and covered up that dream in a David Cassidy tee-shirt and slipped it back into her satchel, walking away with her head down. While I, put it away in a drawer and covered it up over the years with the children’s class photographs, the well done certificates, the new mortgage papers and my birthday cards…35…40…45…
The dream was gone.
It was buried among the reality of my life. Please don’t get me wrong, I am grateful. So very, very grateful for my life and everything I’ve done and my beautiful family and friends and even the freelance jobs I work at that, I might add, still pay the crappy amount that they did 20 years ago! Freelance writers out there…you know what I’m saying. I’ve had it good and I know I have. I’m a ridiculously lucky woman and there’s no doubt about that.
The dream was gone.
Over the last few years, now the kids are all grown up and I have more time on my hands for me, I’ve asked myself: What do I want? What is my passion? What am I aiming for? And every time that The Dream pops up furtively in my head, it gets washed away with other things I quite like the idea of, such as becoming a dog walker…The Dream….how about refreshing my past training and becoming a swimming teacher….The Dream…Working at a beauty counter…The Dream…Getting some more qualifications and becoming a teacher and even, learning yoga and becoming a yoga teacher. Now that one actually cracks me up, because I can’t touch my knees, yet alone reach my toes! But it just sounds so zen and cool….But….The Dream.
Poor old Stressed Husband. He’s heard it all a million times and with every new idea
he rolls his eyes and sticks his fingers in his ears he smiles and says “sounds good” and lets me rant on about why it would be great for me and why I should become a chef, run a kids holiday club, sell kaftans on the beach….(honestly, the list goes on and on!!)
But today something strange happened that made me write this blog post. I was driving home from an appointment and I wasn’t even thinking about the ‘what’s the next episode of my life’ conundrum that’s featured so heavily in my life recently.
And there it was.
I was stopped at the traffic lights and berating myself about the cobwebs on my wing mirror and the mouldy banana skin in the cup holder, and up popped The Dream! But it wasn’t cautious anymore. It didn’t blink in the dark and try to wipe the sleep from its eyes. It slapped me around the head and it kicked away the other thoughts that came rushing in laughing and shouting:
‘what you?!…haha…don’t make me laugh!’
‘YOU?! You’re nearly 50!! What are you thinking?!’
‘You? Pah. You’re not good enough!’
This time, The Dream was having none of it. So…
I’m writing a book. I’m doing it. I don’t care what you say. I don’t care what I say (or at least what my brain says late at night when it’s laughing at me and mocking me for even daring to listen to The Dream.)
I’m letting that little girl take The Dream from her satchel and blow away the dust that’s gathered and polish it up so that it shines brightly. Me, I’m going to open the drawer and file away those mortgage papers, the kids certificates and my birthday cards. And I don’t care about the age on the front of those birthday cards anymore. I’m taking out The Dream.
Come on The Dream…let’s be having you! We’ve waited long enough and there’s work to be done.