A friend recently wished me ‘May your dreams come true!’ When I hear such a wish, I say a thank you, I do feel gratitude towards the person for wishing me well, but to be completely honest, I don’t think about what the wish was. I feel happy for having a well-wisher and reciprocate the good wish.
But today, my friend’s wish made me wonder about my dreams. What are they? All I could think of was dreams FOR my children. I couldn’t think of a single dream of mine, a personal dream, a personal aspiration. In the process of growing up and becoming a mother, my personal dreams have been left somewhere along the way.
As a young woman, I dreamed of studying theater, that didn’t work out due to circumstances. I took up other jobs to earn money but they were just jobs, they were not stepping-stones to fulfil any dreams of doing something with my life, being someone! They were jobs, not my passion. Then came marriage and children. I got busy being a mother and without my knowledge my personal dreams gave way to dreams for my children. My dreams are my children grow up to be healthy and happy! Oh, did I forget successful? Yes, successful too, in finding happiness, that is.
To be truthful, I felt at a loss for this lack, in my life. But then after pondering some more, I thought was dream different from aspirations? I dream of going to Spain one day, I want to see the Angel falls, I would like to visit Yosemite. Can those be considered my personal dreams? And are aspirations what I want to be in life? I posed my husband this question. He aspires to be a better father, a better husband, he aspires to serve more people in his daily work, see a farmer grow his own crop to sustain his family, a mother open a small business to earn more money, one more child receive the light of knowledge. His dreams? To travel together and see the world. I now have to figure out what I aspire to be. All I could think of was I aspire to be less judgmental, more patient. I aspire to evolve and learn and grow in kindness, love and acceptance of others.
He led me to the right track. Aspirations need not necessarily mean success in the material world. I am not saying that is not important. Making something out of one’s life is fulfilling indeed. I am trying to say that qualitative not quantitative aspirations may bring us that elusive inner peace that we all strive towards.
Upon realizing that my dreams are all FOR my children, I made a mental note NOT to live my dreams through them but to be the wind beneath their sail when they embark upon that journey of pursuing their dreams.
Having written the above paragraphs on a rare Eeyore day, when the sun must not have been shining, I thought on my lack of dreams some more. I do NOT want this blog to become one of the sacrifice I made for the sake of my children. I did NOT make any sacrifice at all. It is my absolute good fortune that I have the opportunity to stay home – raise my children, read good books, write blogs (alright throw in some of the chores). My husband can’t wait to trade places with me one day. I am no martyr when I say my dreams got left behind somewhere. I realized, on a lovely walk with my dog on a beautiful, sunshiny day, this was my dream all along and I am living it. I dreamed of marrying Sean, I am living it. I dreamed of traveling, I lived it and hope to live more of it one day, I dreamed of having children, I was blessed with two healthy children who fill up my life with joy….mostly, and lets admit it, frustration sometimes.
I ask myself a question when the existential angst creeps in my mind (blame it on those gray days, when the sun doesn’t shine on my face). I ask myself if I could change anything in my life at the moment, what would it be. I come up with ‘nothing’. ‘Nothing’ is good, ‘nothing’ makes me take a deep breath, appreciate my life and move on.
But before moving on, I want to raise a cup of cheer to the universe ‘Here’s to living our dreams, people of the world. Let’s chase those dreams, whatever they may be!’ I want this post with this thought that I found very beautiful:
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau