We all have dreams. They’re normal. Some of us dream huge monumental dreams like being President or discovering some cure or dancing at the Met.
Someone once said, “In order to do big, you have to dream big.”
Yet, what defines a big dream. Is it traveling to the moon or could it be something as simple as a next meal? A house or a bed? The newest shoes or being able to live in some other way than paycheck to paycheck?
Before I had children, my big dream was to live downtown in a loft as a writer and photographer. I wanted to work from home and walk around naked as I thought of my next great book. I wouldn’t have kids or a husband. It would just be me, my art, and of course my still perfectly skinny stretch mark free body. Yet, here I am a married mom of two in a somewhat small two bedroom apartment. Why? Dreams can and do change. I look back on my dream now and sure I still would like a giant loft, perfect job, and definitely a smooth stomach but at what cost? I’m not knocking people who decide to spend their lives unattached but personally, it just seemed lonely.
I realized this at about the age of 19. I was going to school part time and working Downtown at a really good job making more than a 19-year-old should in a prerecession era. I had been going through my old email address and was cleaning out unresponsive contacts. I had emailed one and got a response. It was a childhood crush/friend that I hadn’t heard from in years and after a few emails, I realized that I was a bit lonely. As time went on, we met and began to date. Then the dream changed. I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted a husband and one month and 5 days before my 21st birthday, I got one.
Fast forward a year, I have the husband. I bought a house. I still wanted a cool job and to walk around naked but now I was working for the school system and I had
unwanted, unwashed, slacker roommates so nudity was no longer an option. My marriage was falling apart. I wanted a baby and the stereotypical homelife. He wanted…someone other than me. After awhile, I wanted someone else too. So after 16 months, several illicit emails in his email address, and a bunch of foolishness on both ends later, we split. The dream changed.
Four months later, I was pregnant by someone I, admittedly, barely knew. I was living 600 miles away from everything I knew. I was alone in a group of people. Once again, I was surrounded by roommates but somehow I was poorer than I had ever been. We’re talking hand to mouth, borrowing water from the Library and neighbors poor. I was miserable. The dream changed.
My baby was born. My divorce finalized. I moved on from that toxic relationship with an irresponsible man who couldn’t care less once I moved back home. I had an awesome job as a Library Manager. I was relatively happy. Then I was sitting at work one day when my Boss informed me that we would be working with a long-term Substitute Teacher who was a former student of hers. In walks, this guy dressed like a Preacher-in-training. He smiled at me and I dismissed him with a quick head nod. He came in for about 90 minutes every day. He would come over and chat with my Boss while I buried my nose in whatever tasks I had for the day. Slowly, he made his way over to my desk. He wanted to know me. I blew him off. He wanted to talk to me. I blew him off. He wanted me to come to one of his comedy shows. I blew him off while making it known that I had a small child and no time for fun. He pretended the next day that he wasn’t talking to me for some unknown reason. I was intrigued. He wanted to have lunch with me…in his classroom. He smiled at me. My Boss insisted. I agreed. The dream changed.
The point is this: we all have dreams. Dreams are ideas that keep us going. They help to identify who we are deep down inside. They are malleable, constantly changing with the turn of the tide. They remind us of who we are and who we can be. No matter who we are or what they are, our dreams are huge. Why? Because are dreams, at the end of the day, are who we are and we decide whether or not we’ll let anything crush them or to let them thrive.
My name is Meg. I have a dream. I dream of owning my own Etsy shop so that one day we can get out of this financial slump because while we may not be at the lowest I have ever been, I know that I can go higher. I will go higher. A new dream has begun.