a couple months ago, a friend asked a simple question.
“what’s the dream?”
i couldn’t answer. no, that’s not true. my answer was also simple.
“i’m not dreaming for myself.”
at the time, i was really wrestling with a vision for my life. i had come to a place, vocationally, where i felt like my dreams were coming true, but there was still a level of dissatisfaction. i couldn’t figure it out.
looking back over the years of dreaming i’ve done for myself, i see it all. the kids. the adoring husband. the rushing about from activity to activity…soccer games and parent/teacher meetings and work Christmas parties. dogs to walk and cats to feed. faces of friends, and babies, and loved ones. everyone present. except me.
i can’t honestly find me anywhere in those dreams.
over the last year, and especially the last few months, i’m learning to embrace ME. another friend planted a seed that is taking deep root in my life: you have to choose your life. you can’t just do something because you feel like it was put in your lap, she said, or because it’s the only thing in front of you. you get to choose what’s in your life, and what’s not.
the hardest part of choosing, tho, is that you have to stand in front of that proverbial mirror and face what you see. everything. the flaws. the beauty. the parts that can’t and won’t (no matter how hard you try) fit the mold. the parts others would like to change. the parts you would like to change. the picture beside the mirror of the person you’d rather be.
of course i’m drawing life metaphors from this. i’m learning how much of my life i’ve strived to make look like someone else’s journey. the things i’ve pushed and pulled and longed for that really aren’t me. they belong to my parents or my friends. but not to me.
so what am i dreaming of?
in short, to “live my life as it’s meant to be,” to use a Mumford & Sons line. as it’s meant to be lived by me. and no one else. here are some more specifics:
providing for myself. as strange as this may seem, that concept is just setting in. but as a friend recently stated, “you’re a big girl.” i am. and i want to act as the independent person i am.
being the “cool” aunt/older cousin. if i never have children of my own, i plan on spoiling the crap out of those around me.
writing. speaking. learning.
loving and caring for those around me, and allowing them to love and care for me. in whatever capacity.
this is not all to say that i won’t get married or have children, but i’m not going to point my life in that direction. i’m not going to pine over or dream about something i have no control over. i just want to live my life.
and the funny thing is, my dreams have come back since i’ve given myself the freedom to be honest, to be me. they’ve come flooding back in vibrant colors, bearing hope and nourishing my soul. they’ve come bearing life.