Do Dreams Die?
I don't mean the dreams you have at night, the dreams like flying through the sky or surfing on sunlit waves with the salt flying through your hair. I don't mean those, wake you up from a dead sleep, nightmares...no I mean those dreams that live inside us. The dreams we had as a child, that grew into our teen passions and if we were lucky enough our college majors. Those dreams that were, in many cases, pushed aside to care for our selves, buy a car, a house, to support our families, and to raise the children we love so dearly.
Yes, those dreams. Whether you dreamt of becoming an actor, a writer, maybe a politician or a lawyer, a surgical nurse, a research scientist or a pediatric oncologist...those dreams that burned a hole into our being as we grew up and discovered that math hated us, what the hell did a+b=c mean anyway? As we battled our way through research papers with paragraphs and supporting sentences and history classes that went back to 1421 B.C., who cared what a hydrogen atom was anyway...and how about that bridge made out of Popsicle sticks? Yeah my crashed and crumbled. I received a B because although it didn't hold the necessary weight, my bridge project was planned out and executed extremely well. Science major I wasn't...
As a child I always wanted to be a scientist, I wanted to develop a cure for the disease that plagued me since age 4, Juvenile Diabetes Melitus, Insulin Dependent, no cure ever. I did well as a youngster in school, math didn't bother me until junior high about the same time my self esteem took a giant nose dive as well. Still I hoped I'd overcome it, I tried to do better in math in science, however by junior year of high school, and my broken bridge for physics class it was clear I was not going to be a scientist, ever.
However, that teacher giving me the B for a well executed project, a well written and organized idea, led me to my other dream, my true passion...the dream of being a writer. From that moment on, my mind burned with putting my thoughts together and doing it well.
Gosh darn it, if I didn't bag straight A's in EVERY single English, writing and History class I ever took from then on. Even now, at age 40, when I take a college course that deals with writing in ANY way, I do extremely well.
However, am I writer? Did I focus my education and goals on becoming a journalist, an author or any type of career that involved putting thoughts into words? Sadly, I did not. Instead I work in quality control, I analyze numbers from test results of all things!
I earn a paycheck, I have medical insurance, I take care of my family, yet that ultimate dream that one that was born of a broken bridge, still burns inside me. I write when I can. I conceive of ideas that would be incredible books, I help friends with resumes and letters for their kids college applications, I put together invitations for parties and I write articles in my 'blog'...
Yet, that dream of being a writer, of actually earning money to do this, becomes less real every year. As I approach 41, and my child enters third grade I realize that I cannot just quit my job and devote my life to writing. I know I'm good at it, probably even great.
I know I love the ideas I have dancing around my head. I love sitting in front of the computer and creating new characters, new places, new lives, yet when I come home at night, I devote my energy to my child, as it should be! I adore her and if my dreams are pushed aside for the love I have for her and the beauty with which I create a home for her, than so be it...
Yet, those dreams don't ever quite die, that burning flame inside, it's still there. Somewhere there is a beach with my name on it, and it's waiting with my cup of Starbucks, my laptop and my agent pushing me to finish MY latest blockbuster... is your dream still living inside you? Is your beach out there, your gallery wall, a mountain top, a sound stage, maybe an airplane? Maybe your bridge crumbled, as mine once did, but that doesn't mean it died or that another bridge isn't waiting to be built.