Wednesday, July 18, 2012

{You and I Collide}

There's a freedom in dreaming that doesn't make you peruse reality and make sure the t's are crossed, i's dotted. There isn't a format that ensures logistics, or even requires it. There isn't a sensor that alarms you when you having over-lapping dreams. There's just freedom. Do it how you want, when you want, as big as you want.

My childhood dreams always launched me into the role of mother, and assumed wife. I still remember taking my big 11 pound little sister out of her crib when I was a mere 5 year old, insistent on the fact that she needed her diaper changed and I should be the one to do it. I remember longingly staring at babies during church as a 10 year old, convinced if I stared long and hard enough, the parents would offer to let me hold their baby. Taking care of babies has always been a dream of mine.

My post high-school years found me dreaming about other things. I had a burning in my heart to show teenagers "another way". I was dying to help them come to their own understanding that a) their decisions affect a lot more people than just themselves and b) they are on a path that is taking them somewhere. Do they like the destination they're headed toward? I wanted to instill in their hearts a feeling of greatness, that that's what they were made of.

These dreams co-existed happily for along time. I wasn't exactly acting on either one of them, maybe just setting myself up to be ready for each of them when the time came. And who could have guessed that the opportunity to seize each of these dreams would be presented at the same time, and that I would have to choose? That collision never took place in my dreaming.

If I were a career girl, I think I know what I would be doing. I would be working with at-risk youth in an under-privileged area. I would be injecting hope and belief into their souls. I would form some version of "Freedom Writers" {have you seen that movie?} and teach these kids to effectively communicate and employ their frustrations, their ambitions, their own dreams. I would BELIEVE in them.

But I'm not a career girl. I chose to be a mom. And I'm very happy with the decision I made. It was the right one for me. And in that decision making process I had to do something I had never thought of before....I had to mourn the loss of another dream. My heart hurt admitting that I was choosing not to follow a very untidy, simply sketched vision I had formed. It hurt to think that I wasn't able to do something I thought I might be good at. I felt the sadness. I literally mourned the loss as I put a dream to rest.

I think that has helped me move on- the admitting and grieving and validating. Every dream deserves these things- the admittance that it was a goal, the grieving that you're not doing something that holds a very tender place in your heart, and the validation of your conscious actions. I've mourned the loss of other dreams as well- living by one of my sisters, being a volleyball player, teaching my kids Spanish. It's not to say these things will never happen, but right now in my life I'm proceeding as if that is the truth.

And in theory, here I am....living "the" dream, my dream. And I bet you already know the next words that are coming....it ain't all it's cracked up to be! I don't wake up every morning and give a fist pump thinking, "Yea baby, I get to go feed and dress four kids and have them out the door before 8 am and then come pick up and talk myself out of making beds and then grocery shop for a family of 6 so that I can torturously FORCE 4 out of the 6 of us to eat while I'm getting sassed at and disrespected and bossed around and then have to turn around and put a big ole smile on my tired face while I corral and bathe and read and sing and pray these little ones into bed. I....LOVE....MY LIFE."

Yea, not the monologue that takes place. I have equal days, possibly even moments, of enjoying the dream countered with those moments of reminding myself that the grass surely can't be all that green on the other side so I might as well stay put! In these moments, I give myself all kinds of pep talks about recognizing and believing that I have something BEAUTIFUL to fulfill, even if it's different than I thought it would be. I'm working on reframing my dreams so that they focus on WHO I want to be rather than focusing on WHAT I wanted to be. I remind myself that I would be giving myself these SAME DANG PEP TALKS regardless of what my niche was. Mom, teacher, marketer, etc....I'd have to merge reality and dreaming and tell myself that this is THE experience. This is MY reality and this is the part of the dream that was only done in sketch- these are the lines that I didn't bother coloring in all the way.

And the dream I laid to rest, I realize I didn't completely bury. Because there was no need for that. As I've settled into motherhood and yearned for a little something more, a little something to call my own, I've thought of why I wanted to be that teacher. I've also reframed that dream. I've thought about what kind of teacher I would be, the kind of PERSON I dreamed about being. As I've picked up that dream and kinda reconfigured it, I'm believing more and more that I can still be that kind of person. I can be that person that extends hope into someone else's heart. I can be that person that believes in someone else. I can expose my life experiences in an attempt to let others learn from it. It's what I've always dreamed of....just in a different context.
Photo credit: Tumbler

In response to: You say that the big 32 is Thursday, and what I want to know is, what do you think you would be doing in your life if you weren't married with kids? This is often a question I have because I never thought I would be 27 with a career instead of a family. I have a couple friends who are around your age in the same boat as I am, so how would you have liked your life to have gone if you were in my boat :) 

What would be your response to this question? Do share!

6 comments:

  1. I would be injecting hope and belief into their souls ...... teach these kids to effectively communicate and employ their frustrations, their ambitions, their own dreams. I would BELIEVE in them

    the great new is that that dream can live on! you will (sooner than you want if time continues to fly by for you like it does me) be the mother of teenage boys who will have friends and you will impact their lives.
    you live that dream right now in a way - giving us hopes, reaffirming our dreams, causing us to pause in reflection and encouraging your readers to believe in themselves. you touch all around you with your friendship, kindness and support.

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  2. That's Caleb and i's song! You and I collide.I felt connected to this post because of that. :-)

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    1. it always makes me remember your reception!

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  3. I agree with the first comment whole heartedly...you DO do that ever time you write or teach one of your sweet kids something. You're just "living the dream" a little different than you thought, but it's coming true none the less! love you girl!

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  4. I agree with the first comment whole heartedly...you DO do that ever time you write or teach one of your sweet kids something. You're just "living the dream" a little different than you thought, but it's coming true none the less! love you girl!

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  5. i agree amy and michelle! i think it's refreshing to allow our dreams to change shape and live them out differently. I think of those working women who would rather be married and moms right now. and i feel like it's empowering to realize that while you may not be able to be a mom right now- as you've always dreamed of- you can do some of those things that you would have liked to do as a mom. you can still strive to be "that kind of a person", whatever it was you dreamed of.

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