Learning to Dream Again

In September I celebrated my birthday, my 27th birthday. In the run up to my birthday I spent rather large chunks of the time contemplating where I was at "nearly" 27 and where I thought I would be at 27 - they didn't match up. Although then, as still now I could not articulate where I wanted to be I sure as anything did not see myself where I was/am. Making any sense?

It all started a few months before my birthday when a new girl at my second job thought I was still in college, I look young? Having been finished with my undergrad at University for a few years I saw this as an insult not as the compliment my dh thought I should see it as.

Turning 27 felt monumental, not that I was threatened by the adding of years to my life, but in a sense of feeling my age yet looking back and thinking what do I have to show for it. When I was a child, I was both ambitious in my desires for my future and also quite humble (?) in my desires. First and foremost I wanted to be a mother. I would spend hours playing mummy to my dolls - Mary and Emily, and if I could mother on younger children I would and did. I also thought I could be and do anything, I would be a writer, a teacher, travel the world, explore, tackle life's adventures with valor. My life plan altered slightly when I was 15 and found out I couldn't have children biologically (another post, another day) and while yes motherhood isn't defined by carrying a child in your womb, the news shattered a dream and learning to dream again and express my deepest desire of what I wanted for my life became difficult.

I had always thought I wanted to be a teacher, and so upon graduation from highschool I begun my season at SJSU where I studied Child and Adolescent Development, Prep for Teaching. I soon began to greatly dislike my decision, but for a multitude of reasons (mostly generated from a misguided place) I chose to stick with the major. While finishing my last year or so of Uni I began nannying, and fell in love. So when I finished my degree still unsure of what was next, I was more than happy, I was content to stay nannying and pouring my heart and life into my two charges.

They grew, I grew and was pruned and didn't grow and then grew some more. I met a French Frog and fell in love and married, and started my own family unit (two is a family :)) Life and circumstances changed, and next thing I knew I was turning 27 and didn't know what I wanted for my life. Didn't know what was next, where should I tread, what direction. I was scared, still am for that matter to voice any dream or desire. My greatest desire and dream still feeling as if it was stripped from me 12 years ago. I recently came across this quote of CS Lewis,

"For broken dreams the cure is, 'Dream again, and deeper.'"

I'm not sure how to dream, let alone dream deeper. I think of my mum, she's in her early 50s and 18 months ago she decided she would go (back) to school, so she did. Due to life's circumstances my mum never finished University. She was (and still is for that matter) a very bright student and I know she dreamed of finishing university, of having a degree but both the good, the bad, and the ugly interrupted that plan for many years and she is only just now able to realize her dreams. She dreamt again, and she dreamt deeper. She finishes her AA this December, after 18 months of full loads and will transfer to a four year University, and she dreams to finish her Masters. She is an inspiration.

I think of my older brother. He at one point dreamt to serve in the US Marines, but due to what they think as an adverse reaction to the multitude of vaccinations he received he was paralyzed from the chest down and medically discharged from the military. Miraculously he gained feeling back, learnt to walk again, and now to look at him you would have no idea of what he went through. He went to nursing school and is currently an exceptional nurse, yet he dreams deeper still - he plans to attend anesthesiologist school and become an anesthesiologist. He is an inspiration.

Yet I falter, I've misplaced my valor of my youth, my unrelenting strength and drive. I'm weary often. I don't know how to dream, I don't know how to dream deeper. BUT I want to learn. I want to dream deep and wide, and I want to trust again that my dreams are safe and protected in the arms of the One who holds me close when my it seems as if my dreams come crashing in!

Have you had to learn to dream, and dream deeper? Do you feel challenged to do so?

1 comment:

  1. I often feel this way too, Ellie. Like I've left my dreams behind. What happened to the creativity I had as a child, always into some form of art? What happened to the dream of becoming a writer? I left that hobby behind years ago.

    But then I think about the dreams that DID happen and how hard I worked to get them. Getting married, traveling to Greece, becoming a mother. Although not everything turned out quite the way I expected, these are still all dreams that I did make happen. I think now I'm just searching for something, like a hobby, that can be mine and I can be passionate about outside of being a wife and mom. Or maybe it's just that I need more dreams now that some of my biggest ones have been fulfilled.

    Even you mentioned dreams that you have accomplished in this posting. You are writing (and writing well) for fun even if you're not "a writer." You have traveled around the world and will likely continue that. And you are adventurous, and have become even more so, wanting to get as much out of life as you can.

    Perhaps you just need to live life as is for a little bit more and before you know it, a new big dream will transpire that you can set your sights on. It seems you might just be in the in between.