Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Runnin' Down a Dream

You got to have a dream.
If you don't have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?
~As sung by Bloody Mary in the musical South Pacific by Rogers & Hammerstein

When I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming a nun. Quit laughing. I really did. Of course, I wanted to be a nun like Julie Andrews and wander the mountains singing, and eventually marry a handsome and rich Captain. Some dreams are best left on the pillow. I don't think there's a big call for atheist nuns who don't believe in marriage.

I was revisiting some of my 30 - 40 year old dreams the other day. I realized, after a conversation with a friend, that some of my very old dreams have come true.

Growing up in Michigan, I had dreams of living in the mountains somewhere, of cool breezes and lush evergreens, of great snow-capped teeth rising from the earth to chew the sky. Blame that on Julie Andrews and John Denver. But it was a dream of love and I never have gotten over it. I'm fortunate enough to be able to live it now.

I dreamed I would find a man who would love me in spite of myself, or because of myself, or something. I dreamed that he wouldn't be afraid to show his love, and that he wouldn't be afraid if I showed my love. I dreamed that we would be able to work together toward common goals, that anger and annoyance would be easily diffused, that we could be symbiotic enough that our time together would feel like a dance. It took a long time, mistakes and heartaches, but here I am with Steve. Finally.

In terms of a career, I had no idea what I wanted when I was a teen. In school, I was very good at math, very good at English. I could have gone in a hundred different directions. I had doctor/lawyer mentality, but nothing sounded exciting to me. I didn't go to college, because I didn't know what I wanted. Instead, I settled for working as a florist after I graduated high school. What I wanted, and didn't dare hope for, was that I could be artistic like my Dad. I wanted to be able to cook as good as my Mom and my Grandma Schmutzer. The cooking I learned pretty early on. Creativity came fairly naturally to me, but I didn't think of it as art. Ever. Even so, that dream managed to come true, especially once I cracked open the door and took a peak to see what had been hidden away.

So, the conversation went like this, "I wish I could just chase my dreams down like you do."
Me, laughing heartily, "Chase my dreams down?! Until recently, I've never pursued my dreams, so to speak. I barely knew what they were, much less thought they were worthy of pursuit, or that I was worthy of attaining them. I have Forest Gumped my way through my life to where I am now! What are your dreams?"
A sigh, and, "Um. Huh. You know, I'm not really sure I know."
"Then how can you chase them?"

I'm happy that I've managed to land in the middle of my dreams in spite of myself. I didn't chase my dreams but, it seems, they chased me. All I had to do, really, was accept that they were real, that they were valid, that they were mine, and that I deserved them.

Runnin' down a dream
Never would come to me
Working on a mystery
Going wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

~Runnin' Down a Dream, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

1 comment:

  1. "I don't think there's a big call for atheist nuns who don't believe in marriage." Hahaha...nice.
    And here's to dreams coming true!

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