Today, while I was visiting with some former co-workers and good friends, the subject of "dreams" came up. We were talking and my son, Payton, said that he thought I should go back to working there full time (he loves the place). My good friend said to him, "I would love that, but your mommy has worked very hard to fulfill her dream of becoming a therapist, and I wouldn't want to get in the way of that dream." They talked for a while about her dreams and his dreams for the future.
Then tonight, he and I spent some time watching "America's Got Talent" together. Now mind you, I typically hate these shows, but they were finally in the semi-finals so really all the acts were pretty good. Watching these people talk about living out their dreams seemed to continue the theme for the day.
So once my guys were in bed and I had a little quiet time to myself, all I could think was, "Am I following my dream? What is my dream?" At one point in time, it really was to be a therapist, but is it still?
To me, that beautiful song I used as a title for this post says it all. A dream is a wish your heart makes. If something is your "dream" it should come from your heart. Over time, no matter what has happened or changed in your life, if it is a true dream, it should tug at your heartstrings and make you want it all the more. Your dream should be your passion.
All too often I think we shape our dreams around something other than our heart's deepest wishes. It's my dream to do ________, because it will make me a lot of money. It's my dream to do _________, because it will make my family proud. It's my dream to become a __________, because then I can take my family around the world. It's my dream to do ________, because really what else can I do?
Now is making money, making your family proud, or taking your family around the world necessarily a bad thing? Of course not! But is that how you choose your dreams? I hope not.
And do we only get one dream? Boy I hope not, because if so, I'm in deep trouble! I remember in elementary school, my dream was to become an astronaut. I wanted to be a shuttle commander. I don't know how many times I had watched the movie "Space Camp" during that time frame. It was all I wanted in the world. Of course now you know, if you read my cruise report, I get terrible motion sickness. I also happen to have developed a bit of a fear of heights. Space is probably not the best place for me!
But I have to say, I have always envied people who have known their dream all their life, pursued it, attained it, and then have been contented with it. Another friend I visited with today told me that her son, who is in college this year, will probably only go for two years because that's all he needs to do the job he wants to do. A job, in fact, that he's already doing (to an extent) and that he's always wanted to do. And he's as happy as he can be. What I wouldn't give to have that kind of focus.
Every now and then we are forced to really look at our dreams and decide if that's truly what we want for our lives. I read an article on the Disney Driven Life website a few nights ago that talked about getting a "kick in the teeth" and it shared this quote from Walt Disney: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
After reading that all I could think was how appropriate it is for me. If you've read my trip report from the beginning, I mentioned that I needed our vacation more than ever due to work and financial related issues. Bottom line, I lost my job. I still don't have a 9-5 full time job. But I have started a private therapy practice. And I'm working to expand it and provide more specialized services. But I can't help but wonder if the lesson in all of this is that it's time to not just do a job to pay the bills but it's time to follow my heart and pursue my passion in life, whatever that is?!?!
So as I sit here tonight writing this post, I have some serious soul searching to do. What is my dream? Right now, I don't know. I think I stopped listening to my heart's wishes a while ago. Not that what I do is not important or not a good plan for me, but if it's not my dream, then I need to find a way to pursue my dreams too. Do you have a dream? Are you pursuing it? What are you passionate about? Whatever it may be, don't let anything stand in the way of working toward that dream.
"No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true."