DARE TO DREAM
My girlfriend texted me recently about some life drama and ended by saying “and maybe one day I’ll write a book about it, ha ha ha!”. No “ha ha ha”. Why not write a book about it? If that’s what you really want to do, do it! Too many of us are conditioned to not even dare to dream. Whether it’s a small dream or a massive one, we get overcome by perceived obstacles (difficulty, guilt, whatever) when thinking of our true desires, wishes and dreams. We may even feel selfish.
But is it not more selfish to live your entire life tainted by a feeling of un-fulfillment, boredom, even angst? What lives deep inside is real. As Sigmund Freud put it: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Fighting fate takes a lot of energy. It takes you away from your full potential as a unique human being, with a purpose in this world as unique as your fingerprint. Covered up over time, your inner desires can lurk like ghosts of a “potential you” and haunt you when you least expect them.
Un-fulfillment wears many masks. We all have experienced it at some point. My most obvious mask of unhappy un-fulfillment was when I was terribly overweight. And that was for most of my life! Up until I lost the weight, I allowed others to tell me who I should be and how I should live my life. In other words, my secret wishes and dreams were buried so deep, for so long, for so many reasons, that others could come into my life and project their stories onto me and direct me in my life. I was a blank slate for others to write on without boundaries. Literally.
But I did not know any better. This all stemmed from growing up with a domineering and unhappy mom, who projected all of her own unhappiness onto me, directing me like a marionette in the hopes of me remaining her life’s crutch and “unhappy” partner. As a kid growing up like this, you are totally defenseless. Because you just don’t know any different.
No one ever told me to “dream big” or that anything you set your mind to was in your grasp. The word “dream” was simply not in my family’s vocabulary. To “dream” was frivolous and impractical – and absolutely impossible living in Poland under an oppressive communist regime. It was a “ridiculous luxury” even during three immigrations that followed leaving Poland. Survival was all that counted.
Today, I am 46, and I’ve survived! And I’ve dared to dream, for the first time in my life. While I pursue my dream, I am in fact stepping out on the ledge of life. Yes, I get nervous every day. I worry.
I stress. But I know I have to continue and press on no matter what and at whatever pace I can reasonably handle.
There will always be a day job, and don’t feel you need to leave it. Start small if necessary. The time you invest in yourself will pay huge dividends. Dare to dream, and seize any opportunity to put that dream into reality.