As We Dreamed…

February 12, 2014

DreamsThis is installment three of my melancholy post for this week.

Do any of us ever lead as full a life as we had dreamed? That is the topic of this post. The short answer to that question should be no. If we live up to our dreams then we probably weren’t dreaming large enough.  But this post is about the longer answer.

I’m sure in my early childhood years I had some pretty wild dreams of what my life would be but I don’t remember much about those years. The ones I do remember were that my parents would not fight so much. I was convinced that they fought because I was not as good as I should have been.  I understand now that most young kids feel the same way about dueling parents. When my mother abandoned us for “greener pastures” my dreams pretty much ceased for a period of time.

As I approached high school they began to come at a florid pace. But during those same years I was unable to shake my feeling of inferiority. I would not gain much self-confidence until toward the end of college.  Those feelings made my dreams seem impossible to accomplish.  I enjoyed math and science and astronomy  just fascinated me.  I dreamed of being a big time astronomer who discovered far away planets and had them named after me. I also dreamed that somehow I would find my soul-mate in life and I would have the perfect family that I lacked growing up.

I used to frequently lay out alone on the lawn on summer nights just staring at the stars and dreaming where I would be thirty years from that moment. I really don’t know how I ended up going to college for engineering. Being an engineer was my father’s dream. He even went so far as to spend some of his hard-earned income on some correspondence courses in that area but never got beyond the initial steps. Maybe I was just trying to live his dream for him?

Then when I graduated from college my dreaming seemed to take a serious downward turn. I was mostly concerned with having a  safe stable income than risk of doing something to fulfill a dream. The steady paycheck that allowed me to buy “stuff” and to live comfortably was just too enticing. I did dream that my bosses would see all the contributions I made in the workplace and give me constant promotions. But that dream was partially stifled due to my ever-increasing hearing loss. There were just too many prejudices surrounding deafness for them to see beyond that physical affliction to my true value.

Dropping back to today, it sounds like I am regretting the life choices I made. To some degree that might be true but I am happy with the life I have had.  At the age of 40 when I had for the most part given up the dream of being married it happened quite unexpectedly. My career, even though it was not my dream job, has given me the opportunity to live in my senior years with a certain level of financial freedom.  I am very happy for that. But I do wish I had spent more time following my dreams than clinging to a secure life.

Even today I never stop dreaming…. and that is as it should be…

One response to As We Dreamed…


    RJ – I can totally relate to the dreams that I either never dreamed when I was young for many of the same reasons as you’ve described or else never followed as I grew up only to end up with a life that I now look back on with a lot of sense of fulfillment and joy. So maybe our lives are some kind of blend of what we put into them via our own dreams/efforts and whatever life may bring us by whatever force or intelligence or energy that brings people and events into our lives that we never thought would happen. I also think that the things that I thought would make for a great life when I was young vs. what I now look back on as the successes in my life may reflect some of the journey that I’ve been on in learning what is truly important in life. Maybe the combination of how we respond to those unexpected twists in life and what we decide to put into life defines where we end up in terms of what we get out of life. So…let’s keep dreaming big today for whatever may happen tomorrow as well as put our best into whatever does happen today. At least, that is how I try to look at and live my life now! Somedays I do this better than others! Thanks for this posting and your comments that made me look at this area of my own life. Mike