Big dreams, bigger pictures and other propaganda…

 

Capturing a dream in the real world can be a life-long struggle. Would you sell your child on an "impossible dream"?

I LAY looking at my sleeping daughter and pondered the bigger picture… my life, its trajectory, mislaid plans and quiet dreams that still simmered inside.

I don’t think I’m alone in having a dream that has gone unrealised but I wondered at what point do you give them up in favour of something else? Do you ever surrender your dreams entirely or do they just slip into your history a bit like an unrequited love?

While my baby girl grinned in her sleep (which always makes me laugh, as I’ve seen Jerry Stiller give the same obtuse smile on TV), I wondered what I would do or say if she came to me with such a dilemma.

Of course, I wouldn’t want her to quit. Not ever. Come what may. Even when the chips are down and the going gets tough, et cetera, et cetera. No, I would tell her nothing of worth ever came easy.

But it’s so simple to let one year slip into the next and all of a sudden you’re at an age where bright dreams dim down and things like family, stability and security become paramount.

Had that happened to me? A marriage, a mortgage and two children later had I lapsed on my own pre-pubescent promise to become a published author? In my head, it’s still going to happen… that magic day in the future where I’ve lost a few kilos, found an extra six hours in the day and am effortlessly beautiful.

But in reality, have I forfeited that ambition?

Ask any aspiring author, the odds are stacked against you but there are those long-suffering fools, like myself, who continue to try. Although, an empty notepad sitting on the table for the past six weeks doesn’t exactly secure a publishing contract.

It did occur to me that I come from a generation of young women sold on big dreams. We were told “we can do anything”, and saw the birth of reality TV where people’s dreams came true with a live audience watching on. So is it any wonder we think anything is possible?

Watching an interesting lecture from Dirty Jobs‘ host Mike Rowe, he talked about the “war on work” that has developed over the generations. It’s evidenced by the decline in young people taking up simple labour work and trade apprenticeships and the mass exodus of young, talented people from regional cities who search for further education and brilliant careers.

But, he says, the happiest people are the ones scraping road-kill off highways, cleaning sewage plants, inseminating horses and the like. My guess is, they can go home at night and not worry about their career’s “trajectory”. And, I suspect unlike many people my age, are not defined by the work they do, rather the people they are.

With my “no quitters” propaganda, would I be selling my daughter onto an impossible agenda which may not secure her happiness? Maybe she won’t be a rock star, astronaut, or politician (heaven help us!), but maybe she’ll be happier without those tags? Or… maybe she’ll be one of the lucky few to prove an impossible dream is possible?

There are a lot of maybe’s… but at the very least she’ll have the unconditional support of her family, whatever she “may be”.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. hpretty
    Apr 01, 2010 @ 20:18:38

    great post. similar sentiment to my post having it all.
    http://marketingtomilk.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/having-it-all/

    Reply

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