Whether you do coffee mornings, wine nights or play dates, what do you chat about with your closest friends? Might I suggest.... your dreams?
Our friends can end up being some of the most important people in our lives. I know this, because I have a few that mean the world to me. We discuss the normal things other women our age talk about - kids, men, relationships, clothes, weight, recipes & wine. However, if you read that sentence once again, you’ll notice the one thing I did not mention is: our dreams. It was with a rather stunned realization that our own personal dreams are just things we don’t even acknowledge.
Now maybe you have a group of friends and you’re fortunate enough to be having those conversations. Congratulations. No, really- congratulations! Alas, not all of us have finally talked about what needs to matter most- ourselves. Who we are, what we desire in our lives, what things we gave up in order to raise a family, get an education (yes, I said that) or hold down a job that “pays the bills.” All of these things are wonderful phases in life that can certainly fulfill us in one way or another. Now imagine having all of those things, AND living out your dreams in one way, shape or form. I do believe it would bring our lives from black and white to full 4K color.
At our coffee or wine or play dates, not once have I ever asked these ladies of mine if they were accomplishing a dream of theirs. Is this a woman thing? Is this a mother thing? Is this a supportive spouse thing? As women, are we forever martyrs? I texted a close friend of mine and asked her the following question: “What is your dream? If you could do anything, maybe as a child you had a dream… are you doing it?” Her reply? “I don’t know…I would have to think about it…I’ll have to think on that and let you know.” This woman is a single mother of two, taking very good care of her children, working a career type job, and she looks great. She drives a newer car, she has more friends than just about anyone I know; and yet, she DID NOT KNOW if she was following her dreams. Disclaimer: I’m not saying she isn’t happy. I’m not saying she’s lacking anything in her life. What I AM saying, is that as humans, women in particular, some of us have lost sight of our dreams. If we don’t know what our dreams are, the chances of us currently following our dreams is slim to none.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that the dream of some women is to be a mother, to raise a family. Their dreams are going to literally shape our country and our futures. This is a dream that needs to applauded and recognized. Kids are no joke, and to take on those sometimes-thankless days in order to raise a kind, fair and decent human being is incredible. Some women dream about a stellar career that brings about emotional and/or financial satisfaction, or at least recognition for their hard work. These women are the politicians, doctors, engineers, the lawyers, the professors, the chefs and CEOs. I applaud them because that takes such drive, such moxie, especially in what was the “man’s world” of yesterday and the current male driven desire to revert back to that in today’s political mess. Go ladies – get that money and grab that position! Some women dream of being able to participate in athletic adventures, keeping their bodies in fighting form so to speak. They dream of running those marathons, they dream of surfing the waves off of the Australia coast, they dream of biking across the country. These adventurer’s dreams involve fitness rooms, blood, sweat & tears, ballet studios or hockey rinks. I applaud these women because I can’t imagine the sacrifices one must make to will those achievements into being. Then there are the artistically inclined, like me. We dream of having our writing published. REALLY published, not by ourselves through some Amazon “print your own book” type service – but by a well renowned publishing company. Maybe we just want to have a successful blog... We dream of painting a canvas with the thoughts and emotions that are in our heads and have them be as moving as a Renoir or as striking as a Kandinsky. We dream of composing or playing a piece of music that would do Bach or Rachmaninov proud. We dream of singing so beautifully that it brings another human being to tears. I applaud artists because they must attempt to show the world something through their own eyes, and hope that someone, somewhere gets it.
No matter the dream, it’s important to incorporate it somehow into our lives. It can be a once a week class in a break from the chaos, an escape from reality to take part in something that fulfills us as women, who we are. Maybe you are lucky enough to get more time away from what you currently do and you’re able to explore the possibility of making your dream a full-time thing for yourself. Lucky lady! To you I would say please don’t get distracted by the nay-sayers, the doubters, the ones that may tell you, “Oh you have plenty of time.” Because, do you KNOW for a FACT that you have plenty of time?
We have many reasons not to make time to do the things we dream of. Fear of failure is one of them. What I CAN tell you, is that if you start somewhere, more often than not, you’ll start being less afraid of failing, and more excited about the possibility of succeeding. Go for it! Some women fear that their families will not understand why they may need “something more” than what they currently have at home. I find it insulting that a spouse or partner may see it as you shorting the family, but it’s somehow acceptable for you to short yourselves the entire rest of your life just because you want something for you too. Do it. They’ll come around, and if they don’t come around with you being reasonable about dividing your time, well, that’s another blog all together. Finances are another very real thing that can stop a dream dead in its tracks. Not to sound like those lovely ladies on my Facebook feed, but… when did you last buy a pack of soda? Daily coffees? Ordered out because you were tired? Got your nails done? All those little extras are worth giving up if it means you can take a biweekly class somewhere or hire a babysitter, so you can do one of the many free or reduced priced community activities that involve your dream of choice. My first laptop came straight from a pawn shop. Irony- someone else’s crumbling dreams may have contributed to the start of me fulfilling my own. *cringe*
I guess what I’m saying is, as friends, as women, we need to ask ourselves and each other about our dreams. We need to encourage those as much as we give encouragement to help our friends get through whatever they are experiencing. Next time I am with my friends, I am going to make it a point to raise this topic of our dreams. I am going to encourage my friends who may not be giving themselves the time they deserve. I am going to make it a point to get on my laptop and write until I feel exhausted and happy. I ask you to do the same with your little circle of friends. Let’s keep this going. In today’s division of our country, let us keep dreaming.
“If you’re going to dream, dream big- because dreams are free, and dreaming is freedom.”
~ Magaly Vargas