Dreams aren’t just for kids, and the truth is that you don’t ever have to give them up. Growing up doesn’t mean that your dreams have to go away. I’ve often heard about people who say that they “gave up their dreams” to become parents, or to take a job that was less meaningful, and they say it is because they needed to survive or pay bills. Sometimes I hear “I couldn’t afford my dream”, or some statement to that effect. At what point do dreams die? When is the point of no return, that moment when we say to ourselves that there is absolutely no way that our dreams can happen? I honestly don’t believe that such a moment exists, at least not so long as we are breathing. I’m looking to myself, of course, as I say these things. My dreams, while put on hold, have not ever escaped my mind. They sit, much like a figurine sits on a shelf, collecting dust, and awaiting that moment when they shall be looked upon again, and given an opportunity to enjoy the light of day. I suppose that some could say that I am a procrastinator, and is that what really happens to dreams? Do we put them off, perhaps because we are afraid? Maybe the “giving up” part is due to that fear, the fear of failure, or even success. I suppose it is easier to say to oneself that a dream exists, but perhaps much more difficult to chase it.
I think that, as I grow older, I am learning that dreams are a good thing to hold onto. I am reminded, daily, that life is precious, and that taking anything precious for granted is probably a stupid thing to do. As I see others around me accomplish things and feel rewarded, I often look to my own life and see a lack of remarkable deeds. I’m sure that I’m underestimating myself, because being a parent is quite an accomplishment indeed. I just feel that I don’t want that to be the ONLY accomplishment I have in my life. I’m sure I’m not alone in these thoughts. Isn’t that why people have dreams in the first place? We all want to feel that we matter, that our lives matter, that there is a design or purpose for our being. Certainly we want to know in our hearts that we have left an impact, made an impression, or contributed in some way, however small that way might be, to the world that we live in. Looking at my children, I know that they are the greatest gifts that life has given me. Maybe, before they became teens, that might have been enough. Now, I’m not so sure anymore. Who am I without them? What is my purpose beyond them? More importantly, what gifts do I have to give back to this world?
I know that I muse a lot, and sometimes my thoughts tend to be cluttered and muddled. However, some things are too important to not be written. Dreams are important, as important as living, and perhaps they are the basis for what it means to live. Instead of being afraid, or finding excuses, perhaps we should be chasing our dreams. I’m realizing that all the things that I told myself before are wrong. It isn’t okay to walk away from your dreams. Those are the things in life that are important to a person, the substance that we bury in our souls, that one inner portion that is dearer to our hearts than any other. I love my life, I love my kids, and I love my family and friends, and the truth is that I wouldn’t trade any of those things, not ever. But, I have this nagging feeling that, if I don’t follow through on the hopes and dreams of yesterday, then my life will not ever be truly complete. I could make a million excuses for myself, and even convince myself that what I have in my life already, that it is more than enough. Regret, however, is a nasty beast that carries a big stick and bites hard. The biggest thing I’m opening my eyes to is this: Life is something you have to live for you! If you become so busy living life for everyone else, that’s when it passes you by. Dream a little dream. Dream a big dream. Just don’t forget to dream! And, while you’re dreaming, remember to live your dreams. If you don’t, then someone else surely will!