hopes, dreams, wishes
i think about dreams everyday. i think about my dreams; i think of the forgotten and abandoned dreams of our salad days; i think about the dreams of those around me. hopes, dreams, wishes (and unicorns...why the hell not?) are polaroid's into someone else's imagined world. the number of people you have slept with, how many poor life choices you have made, or your most classified information is of little importance to me. the secret of yours that i covet above all things is your honest, unfiltered, flight of fancy. to me, nothing is more fascinating. i'm not sure what it is but the concept of turning a whimsical notion into a reality is inspiring to me. on my own, i cook up new dreams daily- a constant flow of optimistic energy surges through my brain, and after some hemming and hawing regarding logistics, out pops a shiny new ambitious aspiration. will it take flight and turn into something tangible? or will it give birth to another idea that will push me further? only through living and learning will i find out.
talk of the weather, what you do for a living, or if you come here often are the common standby's people jump to when attempting to strike up a conversation. why? why water-down your mind for the sake of forcing an exchange of words? if i'm talking to you- i want to engage with you and there is nothing more i'd like to gain from a stranger than their life thesis. the same four words tumble out of my mouth to stranger and lover alike- what are your dreams? i can't seem to stop myself- i continue to drop my bucket into their well of life, hoping to gain clarity in my own. i want to know what inspires them, what propels them forward in life, what prevents them from living a sedentary and unfulfilled existence. i enjoy watching people struggle to find the words to accurately express what is literally untouchable.
it's interesting the answers you stumble across when asking people to lay out their goals. some abruptly answer with curt, snarky, uninspired thoughts such as, "i dont know, now leave me alone." a handful have well versed, highly documented plans that they are more than happy to lay out in great detail. you might think this would be a chore to listen to but in reality these hyper a-type personalities are simply inspirational to chat with. once you get beyond their heir of importance and you drop the notion of, "wow, i suck. what am i doing with my life, comparatively speaking", you find the spark. the metaphorical light inside their eyes that comes on only when someone is committed and passionate about a goal or theory. seeing something so honest, so quick, so slight, in a person who only functions using logic gives a glimmer of hope to the non dreamers- and fuels the fire of those already awakened.
i find more often than not, people fall into a third category. while they don't know their ultimate path, they aren't apathetic about it...just wide eyed, open, ready to take it all in. a mindset that doesn't exactly classify as a 'curveball' from my peers. we are early to late 20-somethings, it's almost to be expected that we'll grapple with life's infinite questions and riddles.
so- you just graduated college and placed your beautiful piece of paper on the mantle at your parents house (because, let's face it- aside from that degree, you aren't quite rolling around in paper). after the novelty of being a graduate wears off, the reality of life drops a steaming load in your lap. said load is chalked full of fun nuggets; "i am going to be stuck here forever."; "do i go after money, or go after my passions?"; "SERIOUSLY, WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING JOBS AT?!"; "you gain experience from the job, but to get the job you need experience. WHAT?"; "i am suckling the proverbial teat again...living off my parents."; and finally, the most pressing of all, "what the hell am i doing with my life?" i'm right there with you my friends. actually, the overwhelming majority of people: fresh faced 20-somethings, cougars pushing 50, or not-so-legal pre-teens; we are all there...wandering, but never lost. we are all puttin' along in the same little boat, the s.s.insight plus a dingy named magic (because proper planning is key, one never knows when the boat will capsize...comon, you really think i'm going to be that wreckless- pfft, yah right).
my mother's dream has always been to be a writer. i remember as a child, her innate ability to paint a picture with words captivated my young mind. always encouraging us to think creatively, she would use the guise of a 'game' in order to teach my sister and i. as a budding wordsmith, i loved when she would give out a 'word of the day' and a la pee wee herman, we would use it as often as possible and then celebrate wildly when it was used correctly in a sentence. one of my favorite games she would play with my sister and i was 'finish the story...'. as the name implies, the object of the game is to add onto a story that is being passed around amongst the participants. my sister hated this game with a passion. not because she's devoid of an imagination but rather one time my mother told a story about our dog dying, being put on a boat, and sailing off for 'greener pastures'. the 'max story', while completely fabricated, is still referenced to this day as a moment my sister was scarred for life...my mother's defence? "stories have a mind of their own, you can't always control them".
my mother is a lot of things but a big dreamer she is not. she talks often of her lifelong dream to write and be published; to be read and be understood; to be the creator of a world and to connect with strangers. but the darling defeatist is quick to admit that after being with the same company for over twenty years; after utilizing the same skill set day after day; after children and a life; dreams slip away. priorities shift from passions to obligations, and while they are never completely lost- they do transform. the once bright, shiny, hope filled possibilities shift into a dull pain in the pit of your stomach. dreams unchased become cancers, and only serve reminders of an incomplete mission.
i've always felt a tremendous amount of guilt in regards to my mother's life. she chose a family and a secure career path over following her goals for no other reason than she wanted to provide a steady foundation for our family. whilst in the throws of adolescence, i came to the conclusion that life after school would result in one of two options. i would, like my mother, fall into a stable career path; live within the same 15 mile radius for all of my days; and long for the chance to do what made me happiest. or i could work relentlessly towards something i believe with every fiber of my being; live a less secure life than i feel comfortable with; and wake up everyday knowing i'm moving in the right direction.
my hopes and dreams might have changed throughout the years, but my passion never has. i've had ups and downs and dealt with the typical ebbs and flows of life. i've felt listless, uninspired, misdirected, and hopeless in the process of following my happiness. there have been moments where i've collapsed and told myself "your work is meaningless, what are you doing it for?". there have been more than a few times that i've felt completely lost- we all have, but the beauty of life is that as long as your living there is the opportunity for change. as long as oxygen tickles your nasal cavity at a life sustaining pace, you are still in charge. while they are all healthy ideals; security, being 'safe', and erring on the side of caution does nothing but limit your potential. i will be the first to admit, i do things as safely as possible...i enjoy job security, i like a regular paycheck, i hate being low man on the totem pole but assure myself i'm simply paying my dues. i'm ok with where i'm at- but that's the only place i'll ever be unless i do something to shake things up.
i'm going to do something that many might think is impulsive and rash; i'm going to do something that some might deem absurd- frivolous even; i'm going to do something to for no other reason than i feel compelled to; i'm going to do something whether or not it's approved; i'm going to do something to make the nagging voice in my head who shouts daily, "you aren't working hard enough", finally shut up.
the ninety and nine are with dreams, content but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.
-edgar allan poe-