All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. ~ T.E. Lawrence
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney
Over the course of my lifetime I have had many dreams for myself. As I have grown, these dreams have shifted in multiple ways. Some of my dreams I have let go of as life and maturing, perspective and time, have changed my person, my character, and ultimately that which I hold valuable enough to want to pursue.
When I was young I wanted to be a famous actress. In my mind (as an unpopular, nerdy, pudgy, constantly teased child) being famous was the answer to the constant pain of rejection that I felt by my peers. When they were aware, my grade school teachers did attempt to step in, but it really did not work (ironically, I went into education in spite of that). When I was a tween (though that particular term was not coined at the time) I really wanted to be a talk show host – I watched Sally Jesse Raphael on TV and I REALLY wanted to be her (okay, true confession, this dream still does live inside my heart a bit, but the reality of life and providing for a family means I know that this will remain a dream, as the pursuit of it would seem ludicrous).
When I was in high school I went to an Arts high school and finally put to rest the famous actress dream…. I wanted to be chosen and work based on the merits of my ability, and not luck of the draw with being in the right place in the right time for a casting call. I wanted a career that was certain to put food on my table…. I did not want to wait tables until a call came (if it ever did). Then, I was certain I was going to be a clinical psychologist – until I got to my first university and my first professor was very behavioral-therapy oriented, which I was not – I lost all interest in psychology. Then I transferred universities and thought I would be an English teacher – until I enrolled (and subsequently dropped) my first English grammar course…… I fell into school counseling and psychology for graduate school, and then went on to get a post-graduate certificate in educational administration.
Now I hold a wonderful job and work with a good staff, great students and parents…. and yet…… I still dream. Now I wonder if and when I should return to school for a doctorate…. this question has surfaced as a result of my blogging and search for deeper meaning…. will the degree give me more meaning and authenticity? Some programs do help push their students towards new meaning and self-evaluation…….. will the degree just give me a title and is the program more of a means to an end so that I have the title for the next chapter of my life? This is something I will continue to question as I head towards 40.
What about you? How have your dreams changed and evolved? I think that dreams are critical for our personal development and to give us hope and a vision for our future. I personally believe that dreams are critical for us, whether or not we ultimately choose to pursue them – their presence adds to the quality of our daily lives.
Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be. ~ Joy Page
Dreams do not have to be about career, dreams can be about relationships, homes, children, volunteer work, health and fitness routines, or how you see yourself interacting with the world around you. Dreams are healthy…… even if they seem silly, do not give them up, they will nourish your soul.
Dreams are the touchstones of our character. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Today, 300 days ’til 40, I will continue to give myself permission to dream. I will allow myself to follow some dreams, no matter how silly, knowing that sometimes the pursuit of the dream is just as important as obtaining or accomplishing it. Sometimes chasing a dream is a wonderful experience, even when it is not caught.
May you chase your dreams too.