I've been thinking a lot about dreams, lately. I'm not talking about the kind that pop up when you sleep--although those have been quite illuminating--but rather, the big dreams. The dreams you had when you were a little kid, before reality smacked you back a few steps and taught you to dream with restrictions.
When I was younger, I had big, big dreams. They were my lights in the darkness: I was going to get out of my hometown and see the world. I was going to do amazing things, help people, be really happy. There were facets that emerged and changed over the years, but they always involved travel, friendship, and a feeling of belonging. I dreamed of opening a B&B in the Highlands, of a mansion filled with itinerant friends and animals and guests. I dreamed of being a great artist, a great writer, of book tours and circus tours and jazz tours and bright lights and applause. I dreamed of redwoods and mist-covered lakes, long mornings of coffee and books by a bay window. I dreamed of love, perfect love, something you can't describe but can feel with every stitch of your child-like heart. I dreamed a lot.
|Can't you just imagine this by a loch? It's even for sale!|
Then, a few months or years ago, I realized I'd stopped.
The big dreams had been replaced by smaller goals: find an agent, sell a book, start paying off my loans, find friends, find a place to live, find a job so I can pay rent, find...you get the drift. Lots of 'finding,' really, and very little exploring.
And I hate it. I really, really hate it. Because now my dreams are all practical (or as practical as my logic gets). Which means, in all honesty, they're not even dreams. They're goals. And those are not even close to being the same thing.
The dangerous thing is, if you don't dream big, what are you living for? If you don't have something so outlandish, so fantastically impossible living in your heart, why are you getting out of bed? These aren't rhetorical; I haven't been able to answer them. If you aren't dreaming, how do you even begin getting what you ask for? How do you know what to ask for? Because in life, I've found, the only way of getting anything is to ask for it and let yourself receive it. Sure, there's work involved, but life generally enjoys making you happy. If you know what will make you happy in the first place.
If you aren't asking for your dreams--if you don't know what they are--how will you ever, ever get them?
It's time to start dreaming, friends. We've all gone on too long thinking we had to be practical, rational, sane.
I've grown tired of it. Have you?
What are your biggest, most terrifying dreams? Don't censor yourself, especially not to yourself.