Friday, October 28, 2005

Grown Up Dreams

I am not sure why, but this idea of dreams keeps showing up in my conversations, readings, and thoughts in the past few days. Not the type of dreams that we have deep in a comfortable slumber, but the type where we plan, obsess, daydream, and achieve or, in most cases, abandon in time. The kind that begin somewhere between five-year-old dress up time or t-ball practice, mature throughout high school as we fill out college applications, and either progress into a life’s ambition or smolder out for a variety of reasons.

After thinking about this, I am starting to believe that dreams are a completely different thing than goals. Goals are the sanitized and tidy version of dreams. Goals can be achieved and followed with a step-by-step process. Dreams are a lot messier. Dreams seem to be the more selfish version of goals. Dreams revisit us throughout our lives when we feel that pang of sadness when we see a reminder of the dream that was lost.

I think I have achieved my professional dream of becoming a teacher, yet my dream has been going through a revision process lately with this year off of elementary school teaching. I guess, my new dream is to teach again. But there is more. I am the type of person who might have a dream, but has no idea what it is. All I know is that I want more. Not in a materialistic way, but more living. The only thing is that with dreams come sacrifice. I know about sacrifice, but I sometimes wonder how much I would be willing to sacrifice to achieve a dream. Then, I wonder, what will this dream yield me at the end of my life. Will I say to myself, "Man, I am glad that I gave up ______ so that I could ______". Or, the scarier conversation would be, "Man, I wish I hadn't given up ______ to have _______". I guess a person just has to hope for the best and trust their instincts. The problem is that most people fight their instincts. I know I do.

I know a few people who are perusing their dreams even though their dreams would be easily placed in the impossible or difficult box, but they are not being deterred no matter the struggle or bends in the road. This can be impressive, yet I sometimes wonder what drives these people.

I think I will focus on a personal dream rather than a professional dream right now. I have spent ten years working on the professional dream, I think I would like to have a personal dream come true. I wish I could tell you what that will be, but I don't even know it myself.

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