Let the Children Dream

Lately I find myself dreaming again. The silly little alternate realities I imagine for myself. The simple but grandiose sort of logic that has been present since my childhood. Dreams that are potentially attainable if my followthrough was there. Dreams that are not entirely unrealistic. Dreams that I will probably abandon in a week or three and replace with newer dreams. Such is the story of my life and my short attention span.

I am beyond blessed to have grown up in a family that valued creativity and indulged my childish dreams, no matter how far fetched. I was never stifled as a child or told I couldn’t do or be whatever my little heart desired. My family knew that most of the things I wished and hoped for would probably never happen but they never discouraged me from dreaming. I am immensely grateful for their love, patience, and support.

I think it takes a special kind of adult to have the patience to listen to the ramblings of a child, especially when the child was a motormouth like I was. The first career I dreamed up was “bird beak clipper.” Not a veterinarian or zoo keeper or pet store owner even. Nothing so general or realistic. I had a green plastic bird toy and a yellow plastic wrench. Somehow I decided that the wrench could double as clippers and I’d happily clip my little birdie’s beak. As I went on and on about this future career, my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents listened happily and supported my plans.

It wasn’t just careers I’d dream up, one time it was an imaginary friend. I had heard of other kids having them but I didn’t. So I decided I would and she would be Princess Allura from Voltron. If I was going to have an imaginary friend she had to be awesome. Although, I couldn’t decide if she was imaginary or simply invisible. Either way, she didn’t last longer than an afternoon visit at my grandparent’s home. My aunt, NM, was very gracious in playing along with myself and Princess Allura. She even agreed to hold her when I wanted her to know how light she was. God bless my aunt for her patience with me. I am not sure I could be so patient. Whenever I saw her I begged her to play with me and she would. She’d abandon the adult conversations to indulge me.

Whether I was plotting how to fix my plastic toy snake with a dried leaf (hey, it was something hard and had a curled form like the snake toy did), or playing shop keeper, teacher, hair stylist among other ideas, my family let me dream. That is my wish for children in this world. That the adults around them allow them to dream. Dream freely, with a grandiose style, dream without limits. Children are only children for a short amount of time, so please, let the children dream.

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The Ten Year Plan

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was questioning my career/life goals. Actually, a couple of conversations with a couple of different friends. So here is the deal, I work at a job that I really enjoy. I think that is more than most people can say.

I don’t have a college degree. I could maybe have an associates degree in general studies or something similar based on the classes I have taken thus far but it isn’t important to me. If I were to go back to college I think I would be an English major but how much would that help me? Plus, college is expensive and I am not looking to put myself into debt to get a degree on the notion one “should,” have a degree. Conformity is boring and a degree guarantees student debts but not much else nowadays.

Intelligence, hustle, determination, perseverance, talent, and skill? Now those can really get a person somewhere. The best part about all of those? They don’t cost a thing. They are all traits that come from within. So while I do value education and knowledge, I will not allow myself to be pressured into what one “should,” do. Everyone has their on path to follow in life. My path is not suitable for many I am sure and that is fine because its MY path to follow, not theirs. I’m happy right now, living my life, enjoying my job, expanding my mind, and working to find balance and harmony.

Where will I be in ten years? I have no idea. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that my life is completely unpredictable and I like it that way.

Success/Failure

I’ve been struggling lately even while I am achieving, learning, and growing. I would say it seems odd to have success and failure working in tandem but that is just the way of life, or at least it’s the way of my life. On the one hand I’m more “grown up,” now than I have ever been. I have a house to take care of. Cleaning, cooking, bill paying, getting my mortgage together, taking care of my three dogs. My life has a lot of responsibility to it. On the other hand, one of my goals/achievements/focuses as of late is simply making it to work. I’ve worked since I was fifteen years old. I don’t think I ever missed a day of work when I was a manager. I didn’t start missing work at all until my anxiety issues reached an all time high in my mid twenties.

There is the crux of it. My battle with anxiety, my need to “be strong,” my over active mind, the worrywart tendencies I inherited from my grandmother and mother. In my younger years I pushed myself so hard to be strong. To not need to open up or ask for help from others. I was the one that took care of other people. I was naive. Life broke me, or rather anxiety did. It took me down a path of owning up to my weaknesses, opening myself up to others, risking being judged or hurt. Maybe that is not such a bad thing.

After all, we need other people, as much as I don’t want to rely on others.  As much as I sometimes want to shut the world out. Sometimes, I do, which is the issue at hand. Sometimes I need to hide because it is too much. Some days, I wake up after a restless night, feeling tense, feeling overwhelmed, feeling like I just can’t. Which is different than the lazy feeling of “I just don’t wanna.” I know there are people who don’t get it, can’t get it. I know there are others who do, who have anxiety issues too, who probably judge me for being weak from time to time. I know there are plenty of people who suffer from anxiety disorders that do, regardless of how they may be feeling. Which gets me really down because why am I weak? Why am I weak when others are not?

Then I start to run down the mental checklist of the “things I have been through just lately,” and add to it, “the things I’ve lived through in the past decade and haven’t dealt with,” and realize maybe that is why I am weak. As I ponder it some more after a mental beating from myself, I know that everyone deals differently. Grief, loss, stress, affect everyone differently. I am managing the best way that I can. I am on medication, I am fairly open about what is going on inside my head, I try my best to process things, I try my best to push myself. I am considering therapy. So while I a may be failing in some areas, I am succeeding in others. If that isn’t good enough for anyone else, well, that’s just too bad. I’m doing the best I can.