Lately, I've been thinking a lot about dreams. It started when a friend told me about his amazing goals for the year, and I was so impressed by how he seemed so driven and confident that he could check them all off his list. And then (and this is going to sound kind of ridiculous), I caught The Princess and the Frog on cable, where everything Tiana did was in pursuit of her big dream of owning a restaurant. It hit me that I don't have that—a dream that I relentlessly pursue, that serves as my North Star. Of course there's my son, and my dream of a great future for him, but I don't have a dream that's purely for me.
When I thought about it, I realized that the last two years of my life have just been about getting my bearings. (When I met an astrologer, he asked for my sign, looked at his chart, and said, "Well, you've had a shitty two years.") My thoughts were on recovery and on just getting through each day, working hard and raising my son, and just keeping everything steady despite whatever inner turmoil I was going through. But now that the dust has settled, I'm starting to wonder: What's next?
I've always been afraid of dreaming big, because the "hows" get in the way. I want to travel the world! (But how will I fund it?) I want to be a children's party stylist! (But how do I even start?) I want to teach a dance class! (But how can that happen when I'm not a certified anything?) That last bit is also telling of another barrier that I've erected for myself: Before I get serious about something, I want to know as much as I can about it. And when I get so overwhelmed thinking about the skills I need to develop and everything I (feel I) should learn, I end up being paralyzed. Often, I can't just jump in and do it.
For the longest time, I held on to just one dream. And when that came crashing down, it not only added to my fear of dreaming, but it also left me without direction. Where do I go from here, after all my heart desired is no longer possible? And what's the point of dreaming when, even after giving it my all, it still crushingly doesn't come true?
Maybe the point, I've come to realize, is for me to be redirected towards a new path. Maybe the point is for me to have the courage to dream again, despite failing spectacularly the last time I allowed myself to do so. Maybe the point is to dream a bigger dream.
It's an interesting place to be. It's a scary place to be. But I feel in my heart that it's exactly where I'm supposed to be.