I remember having a laundry list of dreams as a child. The innocence and passion of youth allows such big thinking without regard to the impositions of life and adulthood. Two major factors, separately and individually, they are able to wedge themselves in between your dreams making it difficult to choose between want and necessity. I am older now, though I am not entirely sure I am any wiser or else why would I be here contemplating dreams forgotten?
I imagine this thought pattern began after having children. I wanted and needed them to realize their dreams and hopes despite my inability to financially back the big dreams–there has to be a cutoff somewhere, right?
My oldest will be entering college this fall, comically we will be on the same campus. However, after years of struggling to help her with homework; I realized the adolescent mistake of dropping out of high school to be a full-time teenage mom. I was completely unprepared to help her navigate many school related issues. Homework was not only a headache but it was cause for heavy prayer at 2:45 p.m. I would look at the ceiling and pray that she did not have math homework because I was simply ill-equipped to help her with it. This of course resulted in guilt and often times self-directed anger.
I finally decided to take back three dreams simultaneously. I took GED classes for a year and then enrolled in college. As a result I can help my daughter with homework that was always just out of my scope of understanding. Those three accomplishments improved my outlook on life, parenting, and dreams. I realized that I was capable of fulfilling dreams that I considered forgone. I also taught my children that it is never too late to go back and finish what you’ve started. Hopefully, at the end of this academic year I will be leaving college with the two A.A.S. degrees in the medical field that I have worked on. I can also add that my dream of finishing school and helping my daughter evoked in me a wish to strive for excellence, which has landed me in Honors classes and the Dean’s List.
It was easy for me to give up on the dream of finishing school. I told myself that I was stupid and it was a waste of time. I was too busy with having a child. I could find a job anywhere without an education. Of course, I learned this was all untrue and just negative self-talk for justifying the dismissal of just a few of my dreams. I have now come to realize many of us as we age relabel our dreams as a bucket list, but why should we? A dream is a dream no matter how long it takes for it to be realized. There is no reason for anyone to diminish their self and their dreams by adding them to a bucket list and not chasing them as we thought we would and could as children.
Don’t misunderstand, I do in fact have a bucket list, but I have removed from it those things that were life long dreams from my childhood and young adulthood. I now am able to look myself in the mirror without the negative self-talk that we all pretend does not exist. The only thing stopping me was me. I have proven to myself that dreams are not forgotten, they are revisited. And I am okay with that.
What dreams have you forgotten? Why not revisit them, the only thing stopping you is you.
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