Have you ever had, or should I say – made, a life dream come true?
Most dreams don’t fall right into your lap, although I’m sure many lottery winners out there might say otherwise. When I was younger I thought things would just happen for me because of who I am. It was that powerful rush of invincibility, hormones and emotions that I now know many young people feel. Now I’d say I’m 75/25. 75% of me knows you mostly have to work hard to achieve your dreams. 25% of me still thinks things might fall into my lap because of my awesome “me-ness.” However, making my own reality has been highly rewarding, I’ve found.
The thing about achieving life dreams that has me lying awake in bed right now mulling it over is that they never for me feel the way I think they will when they actually happen. And sometimes I only ever realize they’re happening halfway through or even AFTER they have happened. This is crazy to me. I’ve been analyzing the disconnect between how I dream a dream will feel and how a dream really feels. I’ve got a few simple answers.
In real life, you hear no violins and cellos when you’re fulfilling a dream. You (mostly) see no sky writing. I’m not exactly Captain Obvious so wouldn’t it be cool to hear your own epic movie score at just the right time? (I need to see if this can be arranged for a small fee.)
In real life you might have a tummy ache. You might be having a bad hair day because your house lost power the morning of the day your dream was to be fulfilled and you had to curl your bangs in the dark. You might have a glaring pimple. On the eve of one of your dream fulfillment days you might be so nervous you’re sick and shaking on your friend’s couch at 5 am. You might be alone. You might be with people but feel alone. You might cry. You might be too busy mourning the loss of the old pre-dream-fulfilled-you that you’re not enjoying the new-post-dream-fulfilled-you that’s emerging from your shell as your dream comes true. You might sit alone at your own wedding and wonder why in God’s name you’re not dancing and enjoying yourself the way you always thought you would. You might be scared out of your freaking mind. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. That doesn’t mean other people didn’t feel it happen. That doesn’t mean you didn’t.
Even if you work hard at your dreams you win some, you lose some. Old dreams, not to be confused with deferred dreams, can fade away and new ones can always be born. In retrospect, my childhood dreams weren’t very well thought out. I’m actually glad I’m not living in LA and juggling a modeling, acting, singing, dancing, piano playing, filmmaking career while also touring the world as a Global Garbage Woman. I’m glad I’m not dating both John Stamos and Dave Coulier at the same time. Umm…very glad.
Lately I’ve felt at peace with a lot of how my life turned out. There’s still room for improvement, though. Lots of room.
That said, I think I’ll take out my dream checklist and cross a few things off my list:
– Live in California – Check.
– Live in New England – Check.
– Drive cross country – West to East – Check.
– Give birth and (mostly) know how cool and powerful I am while doing so – Check.
– Own northern dogs – Check.
– Have a daughter – Check.
– Fall in love in a magical, unconventional way, have people still believe in the power of your love even while all seems lost, and then reunite and get married in a huge, powerful, spiritual, meaningful ceremony on a mountaintop – Check, Check, Check.
Then I’ll create a new dream checklist and label it “In Process.” I’ll add:
– Be a photographer
– Be a writer
– Be the best mom I can be
Lastly, I’ll leave lots of room to add new dreams as the years go by. I’ll write them under the label “To Be Completed” and fill them in under:
– Drive cross country (East to West)
– Own a house on both coasts
– Learn to fly (yeah…can’t seem to give this impossible one up)
– Meet Tim Curry (yes, still…I waited for him after Spamalot on Broadway but he never showed)