When I was in the fourth grade, I penned an essay about the dreams I had for my life. I can’t recall if there was an order or not but I remember each one. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a wife and a mother. And I wanted to be in the WNBA.
Oh that last one makes me laugh. I think that one was the third idea and I was fishing. It was my first year to play basketball on a team (baseball was the previous three years) and since I towered about a foot above everyone else, I was an asset to the team.
So. I’m a wife and a mother. A dream come true. I’m not in the WNBA and I’m not a teacher.
I dreamed of being in the WNBA for about five minutes. But I dreamed of being a teacher for years. My teachers would tell me I would make a great teacher, different students that I tutored told me I’d make a great teacher. And I was pretty much 100% confident that I’d make a great teacher. I’m pretty darn fond of a captive audience and I loved watching the look of enlightenment spread across someone’s face after I explained a math equation.
And so I’ve often felt a twinge of regret that I didn’t accomplish that goal.
So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams. And how tightly I’ve held on to that dream of being a teacher. And wondering if the regret comes from not accomplishing the goal or not being a teacher. I think there’s a difference in the two.
Right now, I don’t want to be a teacher. I’m content with the work that comes with my fulfilled dream of being a wife and a mother. But I’ve thought of the future years, when the kids don’t need me as much as now. And I’m not really sure that I see myself pursuing the occupation of a teacher.
And so I’ve loosened my grip on that dream. And I feel a bit lighter. And loosening my hands on the strings of that dream have kept them open to receive new dreams. Mostly at 12:30 at night when I’m trying to go to sleep.
There’s a moral to this story. Let me see if I can get it.
I think because I was so focused on the dream of teaching, I closed myself off to other dreams. At the same time, I didn’t want to pursue teaching because I’m immersed in the day in, day out of living out my fulfilled dream, being a wife and a mother. And this fulfilled dream, interestingly enough, can make me long for a new dream.
But I only knew the dream of teaching and knew that I didn’t want to teach. Which left me confused. So letting go of that has allowed my mind to subconsciously invite in new dreams to wonder over.
I’m not holding on so tight. And remembering that the work of my current fulfilled dream won’t last forever and so to enjoy it while I can. And allowing myself to ponder new dreams. Which has been rather enjoyable.
Did you get the moral? It took me about 30 minutes to figure out those last paragraphs so I’m not sure I can help you if you didn’t.
Bottom line? It feels good to have something new to dream about. And it feels good to a acknowledge that I am living out a dream.
JJ has this one figured out pretty well. (Some days I do dream that Wes and I are Dave and JJ Heller 😉