Ever so often I will read a thing that stirs up my longing to share my peculiar perspective hoping it might inspire someone else. With history as my go-by, I know it’s a risk, particularly for me, because I have never been in step with conventional wisdom so there’s a high probability that the reaction to my contribution to the topic will produce either the sound of crickets, a rebuke, or a gracious pass. I know I’m the only one who gets me, that’s why I talk to myself.
This has worked for me, but, as usual, my way is rarely right for others.
The recent topic was about dreams and how long one has to wait sometimes for them to be realized. I shared that I conditioned myself early on to keep expectations on the down side even as I continued to allow myself to day dream, preferring to be pleasantly surprised over being disappointed. I do attribute this, in large part, to my personality type. I’m nothing if not severely practical. But also I believe I had to devise my own coping skills so that I could live here happily, preferring to be happy over being in a constant state of moony dysfunction.
For me, the glass is not just half full - it’s refillable. It comes down to attitude and definitions of what dream fulfillment actually is.
As a child, I dreamed of being a ballerina. I spent most of my preteen years on my toes, swirling, pirouetting all over the place but the tough truth was that my parents could not afford ballet lessons. So, by default, that dream simply was not going to happen. At least not in the way the world might define ballerina.
When I entered high school I found my niche in the drama department. One year I played Essie in You Can’t Take it With You. I was on my toes for six weeks through rehearsals and three night performances and one matinee.
By absolute definition, I was never going to be a ballerina but I did get to experience what it would be like on a real stage in front of a packed house thus I got a taste. My kind of dream fulfillment - good enough! Better than nothing! Move on to the next dream - be an artist, a builder, a designer, a writer. Are those not subjective titles?
All humans have hopes and dreams, a bucket list. As well they should because this is the stuff of human innovation. It’s also where the color flushes into an often black and white world.
But too often I meet people who are still clinging to a dream that they hold in a sealed box. It has rigid boundaries, no variation allowed. It has to be a certain way or it can’t be at all. I’ve had this discussion with quite a few dreamers of seeing their names on a printed book. This is why I started my own publishing company more than a decade ago. I wanted that too - to be acknowledged as a legitimate writer but it wasn’t going to happen so rather than allowing the dream to languish I hacked out a path of my own and helped a few others along the way so they could hold that book/dream in their hands. Defining what being a published writer truly means is rarely what dreamers believe it to be anyway, you’ll just have to take my word for that.
In the end all this means is that I do a thing even if no one else knows about it, thinks it’s good or worth sharing. I just do it and by doing it, my way, I have been able to say that my dreams fulfilled have never been what I initially hoped would happen but what I do in the waiting, even it it means going to plan B. Sometimes Plan C.