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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Non-articulated Dreams-

I think that dreams, and the pursuits of dreams, are important in the life of a human. Most of the happiest people I have known (a sadly small number of people) were people who identified their dreams early in life and focused on fulfilling those dreams. Many others I have known have just drifted through life, much like I feel I have done.

Am I a happy person? Not so much so as I would like. Why is that? I don't think that I truly identified my dreams early in life, and those I had I did not nurture. Dreams need to be identified, then fed and pruned and given liberty to grow. I knew little about that in my youth, and apparently it was not a priority with those who were tasked with educating me.

Do I find fault with those people? No, I don't. I was not neglected with malicious intent. I was not neglected through laziness. I don't think I was neglected at all. I suspect that the idea of finding your own passion and letting it become a dream, then growing that dream, is just not a common concept.

Dreams are, in many social contexts, considered frivolous wastes of time. One must be practical, and responsible. You can't go off following dreams and still manage to live a good life. You have to earn a good living, and buy a house and all of those other things that make up the American Dream. Oh, wait. There's that word again. Dream.

I had a really good childhood. Our economic status was sufficient that I was not compelled to dig my way out of poverty just to get an even start with most other Americans. There were plenty of resources, had I a dream and a will to see it fulfilled. I simply had not gathered the skills of dreaming. Day dreaming, yes, but not the kind of dreaming that gives direction and motivation and fulfillment.

Yet I have attained to much I value. A good family. A nice home. My children are reasonably balanced human beings who are generally liked and respected. None of our troubles are the consequences of miscreant misbehavior. In retrospect, these are dreams I never articulated yet achieved nonetheless.

They are my non-articulated dreams. I have even achieved some whims that never really attained to the status of dreams. Like writing a novel, and seeing it published. Indeed, I have written and published three novels, and a collection of short stories. I had a whim of being a writer, but no real dream.

I cannot change my past, yet I sometimes wonder. What if I had really dreamed of being a writer? What if I had learned what it might take to become not just a writer, but a professional writer? I can only speculate, but it might have been an interesting life. More satisfying that the one I now live? I really can't say.

What I like to do now is encourage people to follow their dreams. Granted, a dream may not be practical, but that is part of the nurturing and pruning. The dream has to be given shape and fed the necessary resources to live in the real world. Shaping your dream will shape your life, and I suspect that it will be all the richer and more fulfilling for the effort.

There are, of course, dream killers out there. They will challenge your dream. It won't be practical, at least in their minds. It won't be responsible, this dream-chasing. As to those, I recommend you examine their lives. Do they seem happy? Do they appear to be fulfilled? Does their idea of practicality and responsibility contribute to a truly good life? If not, I suggest you distance yourself from them. They may poison your dream.

The road to dream fulfillment will, of course, have challenges. Roads always do. Those challenges can be incorporated into the dream, if you are creative and committed. Overcoming them will add richness to your dream, and give it context.

Dare to dream. Dare to follow your dreams. YOUR dreams.

1 comment:

jbchicoine said...

I think we must have grown up in a similar environment--at least, it produced a similar view of dreams and achieving them. There is a lot to absorb in this post--it will take more time and thought, but I didn't want it to go by without acknowledging how profound it is, and how it resonates in my core, in that bone-rattling sort of way...