Have you ever noticed that “dream big” sayings sound really good… and then they may make you a little depressed and anxious? No? Just me?
I ran across this one today… “When you cease to dream, you cease to live” (Malcom Forbes). Ummm excuse me? In total Clueless fashion, I feel compelled to respond… “Whatever. I don’t think so.” Dreams are wonderful, but depending on the dream, can also be utterly heartbreaking at times, and most of the time are difficult to live up to the self imposed rose colored hype.
After 37 years I’ve held a few dreams in my pocket. Some have long passed their expiration dates. Like when after watching my first Reba Mc Entire concert in 7th grade, I buuuuurned with the desire to be a backup dancer for Reba McEntire, or even BE the next “Reba McEntire.” Thankfully the world was spared this dream of mine and only my tots are forced to suffer through my overzealous renditions of Whoever’s in New England and Fancy.
On that note can we all chuckle at Walt Disney’s, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” This is just not true. Sorry not sorry to burst your bubble. And it drives me mad when people say this type of thing.
I mean, what if your dream is to have children and you simply cannot? What if your dream was to be president and no matter how many times you asked, the answer was “No.” What if your dream was to be the next freaking Reba McEntire but it turns out your pipes can’t carry a tune?
Maybe your dream wasn’t a great fit… Maybe it fell short of a stroke of luck and timing… Maybe no matter how much you pursued, the people, and the world, simply replied “No thank you, not interested.” Are you just supposed to keep pursing your dream no matter what? I would argue a strong hard NO.
You see, I do not believe in “no matter what’s.” Pursue dreams to the point where those dreams place a spark of energy and ignite passion inside of you. But there is always a cost to dreams that should be weighed. There is an emotional, physical, financial, and energy toll in pursuit of dreams.
So can you feed a dream without it sucking you dry? Is the dream nourishing you as opposed to dehydrating you?
It is no secret in a perfect world where all the stars aligned one dream of mine would be to mark my life with a legacy of meaningful prose. But truth be told, there are times when I have to retreat from the dream and look around to remember all I have right now. I can’t miss THIS beautiful moment dreaming my life away. If every dream I had right now came to fruition but my loved ones were taken away from me, I would give it all back in exchange for the life I have now. Anyone would I believe. So dream and live big friends. Just so long as you always remember you may already be holding in your grasp your greatest dream of all without realizing it. So when dreaming, never let go of the beautiful life you have.
So yeah. I am not living up to my full potential. As a SAHM with many degrees I am sure on some level I must be considered underemployed or something. And as a writer with little time to write, it is a mere hobby I can only hope/dream will spark wildly at some point. And as a self proclaimed late in the game OCR (obstacle course race) enthusiast, boot camper, and now CPT (certified personal trainer), I wonder how much I could potentially physically push myself. I mean is living up to your “full potential” even possible? You cannot be ALL in every capacity, and even if you could, wouldn’t that be kind of boring?
So maybe I wont.
Maybe don’t live up to your full potential. Maybe don’t push yourself “no matter what.”
Maybe nourish a life before a dream. Maybe let dreams guide your desires, actions, and priorities, but maybe we don’t have to live up to our full potential, maybe we just need to remember to live fully the life we have built.
I see people conquering wildly seemingly impossible dreams everyday! It is so awe inspiring. Good for them. I am not there yet, and I am not even sure if that is where I need to be anymore. Because the view from right here, right now, is pretty simple and amazing.