Have you ever felt a dream to be impossible? Not so much because of the magnitude of the dream, but rather the personal probability? I have. I do. All the time.
BUT. There was a time not too long ago that many things in my life felt like improbable dreams. This was a lesson I was reminded of on my date last night with my husband.
I fumbled around clumsily with my chopsticks as I attempted to joist a slippery piece of Unagi into my mouth. We were at the coveted sushi chef’s bar in trendy hotspot Uchiko, and I, being more of a California Roll type of girl, started my night with the one item on the menu I was certain I could pronounce correctly.
I quickly downed a glass of wine to subdue my awkward anxiety about being discovered as a culinary sushi novice. It was clear we had somehow landed in a section of the restaurant occupied by regulars and worldly food conneusiers, and I felt the urge to tap into my inner chameleon and blend seamlessly into this hip world. A few glasses of sake later, our words and thoughts blurred into our most cherished date night topic—What we thought that first moment when we met four years ago.
“Tell me again,” my adorable slightly drunk husband sweetly grilled me. “Did you know?” “What were you thinking the next day?” “Could you not stop thinking about me?”
“Honey. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I felt drunk and dazed the next day. Like everything had changed. But then I would stop myself and remind myself not to hope for something that was unlikely to happen. I felt silly even to entertain the idea that someone like you would be interested in someone like me. Way less desirable mates had broken my heart into a million pieces a thousand times before, so why would I be naiive enough to even hope that for some reason we would end up together, much less even go on a date…? It seemed like the most improbable dream I couldn’t shake.”
As I relayed my story (by no means was this a new story to him), he once again grins from ear to ear. For, it will always feel like a miracle to us that we found each other, and we do not take it for granted. For the one thing several heartbreaks and time teaches you, it is to appreciate these everyday ordinary miracles.
So I (of course) return the serve. “And you?” “What did you think?” “Did you know?”
“Oh I knew. I knew you were special. You were lively, and danced so adorably. Gorgeous. Smart. I thought you were out of my league. I HAD to see you again.”
It is still a little fuzzy as to who first “hit on” whom… There may or may not have been some libations involved. (ahem) And to be completely honest, I am 99% sure we would of never met had it not been for those delicious Colorado microbrews garnering us with a little amped up outgoing confidence that night.
But that’s when it occurred to me. We were both honestly convinced that neither of us had a shot with the other. I look at my life and I still get chills at how close I may have come to not having ALL of these breathtaking miracles if either of us had let fear and our perceptions of improbability rule our decisions to take a long shot… an unlikely chance on each other.
We had nothing to lose. We had everything to lose. Personally, at the time, I wasn’t sure if I could stomach one more let down or rejection. I felt DONE, and I had accepted a different fate for myself… one without a partner. And I was OK. That was OK. But instead, from the second we met, we continued everyday (and still do) to take 1,000 unlikely chances on each other.
Sometimes I feel completely defeated. Sometimes I feel like I have no more chances, that I cannot stomach one more rejection of a dream. It feels silly to be the girl that dreams so many dreams, so hard. My career dreams never quite came to fruition in the way I had hoped they would when I was a young girl. And as a dreaming writer, I battle with myself daily between asking myself to either please let the damn dream go, or figure out a way to pursue the dream, without it affecting me, without really caring about it.
But last night I realized something. I am a dreamer at heart. And I will always be. I love so hard. People. Life. Dreams. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and yes, at times, it leads to insecurity, vulnerability, and pain, but it also has given me everything I have in this lifetime. So I will dream large and keep chasing life. Because what if I had let fear and improbability prevent me from saying to that boy that day “You are cute. You should get my number.”
After all, there are billions of people in this world, and yet I still met you. In a way that reminds me, a possibility is really all I need.
One of the greatest tragedies in life lies not in the chances we take and fail at, but rather the chances we do not take on a life never known.