I honestly can’t ever recall a time in my life that I wasn’t dreaming. Not in the head-in-the-clouds-oh-he’s-so-dreamy kind of way either. Some people are just born dreamers; I was one of those people. As a child I dreamed of so many things it’s not funny. I would often dream about the parents I wish I had, the family I wish I had been born into and silly things like being a mermaid. I would dream of having my own room, a yard of my own to play in, a good Dad, marrying a prince (what little girl doesn’t dream of this at one point or another), traveling all over the world (especially vacationing or honeymooning in Jamaica), the college I would attend, the sorority I would join, being an interpreter or a lawyer, my wedding, and and and. Often my dreams were so vivid they seemed like Technicolor.
When my dreams weren’t enough to get me through the day, I read as a way to escape the life that was my reality. Reading allowed me to dream different dreams. I had dreams of being Ayla, or Meg or Margaret and at least one character from every book I ever read. Through my love for books I could be all the things I had dreamed of and more. In high school I found Grisham and vicariously lived my lawyer dream through his books. I had a baby and continued to dream. Slightly different dreams though because they weren’t all about me anymore. I found myself dreaming of all the things we’d do together, all the things I’d teach her, all the things I wanted to give her and all the things I wanted her to be.
I got married and kept on dreaming…this is when I first remember my dreams being rather far-fetched. I dreamed about our dream house, our children, our careers, our location, our families, our grandkids, our retirement, our vacations, being sealed in the temple, our and our and our. Have you noticed what happened here…I went from dreaming my own dreams, to dreaming ones for her, to dreaming for or about us. No longer did I have dreams that were mine alone. I’m not sure that was a good thing…in fact I am confident not having dreams of my own…dreams that were all mine and mine alone has been a very bad thing. Yes, a bad thing indeed.
Now more than 15 years later I find myself sitting here utterly disappointed. None of the things I’ve ever dreamed about have ever come true. That’s a harsh statement I know, but if I really think about it and am totally honest, not a single one of my dreams have come true. Obviously I don’t have different parents and wasn’t born into a different family, I never got my own room till after I was an adult, I’ve never lived in a house I or my parents owned, I didn’t get a prince (or anything close to it actually) to marry. I still haven’t been to Jamaica, graduated from college, joined a sorority, become a lawyer, interpreter or any other career title/occupation for that matter. I also never got to be a mermaid either.
My wedding was not what I had always dreamed of (nor was the marriage), my oldest child is very few of the things I dreamed she would be and none of the things I have dreamed for her have come to fruition. All of the “our” dreams I had when married came to a crashing halt when I filed for divorce and life has been more difficult than I ever dreamed it could, would, or should be. So much so I recently found myself back in therapy again. Therapy has been good for me…it is one of very few things I can say that about.
Through the course of my sessions with my counselor, I’ve often had the thought that I need to dream some new dreams. I’ve thought that maybe it’s high time I start dreaming again. Perhaps the reason I’m so depressed about my circumstance and life is because this is the first time I haven’t really had any dreams. None that I can speak of and certainly none that I can think of. The problem is I’m scared. No….terrified actually. I’m terrified to dream more dreams that come true. I’m terrified to dream dreams that are mine and mine alone. It’s been way too many years since I’ve done so and now I’m not sure I even remember how to do it. Are there things in life I want…yes of course. I just can’t dream them so it makes visualizing them more difficult. Life without vision is death. It even says that in the Bible. Proverbs 29:18 says “where there is no vision, the people perish.” I’m not sure I’m ready to perish necessarily, but I’m still afraid to dream.
I tried it…I’ve been trying it. I just can’t seem to get there. I want a temple marriage, but I can’t even dream of dating another man let alone marrying one. I want to own my own house one day, but can’t see how I can make that happen when I’m struggling just to pay my rent and bill collectors are blowing up my cell phone at all hours of the day and night. I want to create scrapbooks (plural) of photos from all the family vacations we’ve taken but can’t afford to even have a great “staycation”. I want to be able to dream again…in technicolor.
Most goal-setting training I’ve ever had says the first step to accomplishing your goals is to dream. How do I let myself dream again when nothing I’ve ever dreamed about has ever happened? I can’t even dream of being a mermaid anymore…I’ve grown up and realized there is no magic in this world and mermaids and unicorns and dragons only exist in fairy tales. How then do I go about dreaming about where I want to be in life, so I can work to get there? How can I do the work it takes to get there if I don’t know exactly where “there” is? How can I dream again when it’s gotten me nowhere?
I don’t know…I honestly just don’t know.