Every single one of us had dreams. When young and baby faced, pure and unknowing, we had our sites on the grandest of futures.
We were sports heroes and novelists. Mad scientists and world explorers. We were every title imaginable. We created new titles on the spot.
As we aged, our dreams shifted. Some based on knowledge, because being an archeologist and fighting Nazis really wasn’t a viable option. Others altered thanks to new passions.
Our friends and our family and our schools and our experiences molded these dreams. We were but soft clay in the hands of ambitious minds.
But then, at some point in time, something came around like that kid in ceramics class and put a fist through the clay.
In the early years, dreams would shift. Evolve. Morph. Then, for whatever reason, dreams simply faded away like a morning fog, unable to hold back the rising sun of reality.
For many, dreams fell face first into a paper shredder of the office administrator job taken out of college.
I guess what I want to know is when does the farmer take a dream behind the barn, rifle slung over shoulder, and when will that happen to me?
Is there a point in time when reality sets in? Or, at the very least, a more acceptable form of reality sets in? Perhaps becoming the next great movie director was never a tangible dream, to begin with, so dreams are repurposed into something obtainable.
Maybe life happens, kids come, debts consume, and external pressure from family to “get a real job” takes hold of a dreamer’s mind like swarming tentacles, wrapping and squeezing until forced to submit.
So when is it time to give up on your dream?
I have friends who gave their dream the old college try. Then after one or two rejections crawled back and decided to join the world of the dreamless.
Others had children and used the birth of offspring as an excuse for why they had to hang up their passions. They’d simply live vicariously through their child in the continued practice of passing down failed ambitions to future generations.
Does the relinquishing of dreams come because someone was never truly, fully passionate? Because life changes? Because the dream wasn’t possible (or probable)?
I’m asking because I have no idea.
I haven’t given up on mine realistically because I crave it, and yet also because I haven’t had something stop me.
Saying that isn’t boasting. In many ways, it’s the failure of relationships and jobs that has kept it alive.
Life hasn’t thrown up the same kind of barriers others have experienced (if you’d consider love and money as barriers to dreams).
I tend to move around a good deal. If I’m in the same city (or state) for more than a few years it’s a miracle. Perhaps I like to keep things interesting. Or perhaps I’m constantly on the run from the tentacle of reality, pulling my foot free from its grasp just in time to make it out to the next city.
So when is it time to give up on a dream?
And will I know when it happens?
Or will I not realize I’ve given up until there’s no way to get that dream back?
And for those who did trade in dreams for family, was it worth it?