I know that personally I spend a lot of time dreaming about things. Oftentimes my actual night-time dreams are outrageous, but typically they are also just a really intense manifestation of something I really, truly want and may daydream for in a much more practical manner. Something that I have realized, especially within the last couple of years, is that the dreaming never stops. There is always something to long for, think about, or even will away to not happen. I would be willing to bet just about anything that there is not one person in this world who can honestly say that if given the opportunity, they would not change even one thing about their current circumstances or those of someone whom they love. It’s actually really sad when you think of it that way, but I don’t necessarily think that dreaming or longing for something is always bad – although it certainly can be if it becomes obsessive.
For example, for as long as I can remember I dreamed about having my own home. When that happened three years ago I was ecstatic, but now it’s just normal. It’s how things are. Not negative in any way, but it just is.
I also used to dream about having a “real” career. Does the appeal of that wear off after the initial excitement goes away? Absolutely.
And who didn’t dream about being in a happy, loving relationship before they had it? I know I sure did. Am I immensely happy and grateful for my boyfriend, all he does for me, and the joy he brings me? Yes! But does that mean that I have stopped dreaming for other things? No way.
What I’m trying to say is that we will never, ever have enough. It’s a sad reality that our culture has instilled in us, but I think it comes with an opportunity to understand something really imperative – Dreaming about the future is good, but it’s crucial to know that what we have today is something we used to dream about, too.
Today I have a lovely home, three cats, parents and sisters that I adore, the most thoughtful boyfriend ever, a secure job, a new car, enough “stuff” to live comfortably, free time, the ability to vacation, safety in the area I live, friends that I have fun with and that challenge me, a church that I grow in every week, and probably a bunch of other things that I’m forgetting. There was certainly a time in my life (and not even that long ago) where I was just longing so deeply in my heart for so many of these things that I was lacking at the time – my own space, a loving relationship, a job, and deep relationships with friends to be exact. I have all those things and more now, but I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t always feel as blessed as I should. I feel like I need it tattooed to my forehead (or maybe just written out on a post-it note on my mirror because that’s a little less dramatic) so I remember that my current reality was my big dream only a few years ago.
Some of the dreams I have today are the typical ones….to be married with children, to do what I really, really love for a living, to travel the world, for my family and friends to be healthy and live forever, etc., but I also have a couple dreams that probably aren’t so common (or maybe they are?) and have been on my mind a lot lately. For example:
- Write a book
- Have my own business
- Live in an area where I can walk/ride my bike most places I need to
- Learn to really cook
- Get back into personal training/health coaching
I think that these five things have been on my mind for a few reasons, mainly being that I have seen with this blog in the short month I have been writing it that I really do have the potential to do more than I currently am. I’m starting to notice that I can change my current circumstances without over-hauling them entirely. I can continue with my current career while building another one. I can study a new (or old) skill while I get done what I need to do each day. I can still lay at home with my cats, but I can also go out and make a name for myself. I am a really “all or nothing” type of person, and sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that things can in fact happen simultaneously!
The dreams I outlined above have nothing to do with being unhappy with my current circumstances, but they have everything to do with knowing that I get to build upon what I have now to continue to improve day after day, year after year. And that in five years what I have may be things I’m writing about and dreaming about today. And so on down the line….
So in conclusion, I think dreams are good. Dreams are a way for us to be grateful for what we currently have and think about how we can improve our lives, happiness levels, and the interactions we have with those around us. Dreams allow us to kind of get out of our heads and really just open our minds up to what our heart truly desires.
As I’m writing this post I’m listening to John Mayer on Spotify and I just heard this actual line in the song Who You Love: “You can’t make yourself stop dreaming who you’re dreaming of.” How true is that? We really can’t control our dreams, as much as we would sometimes like to. It may just be all the yoga I’ve been doing lately, but I really believe in the subconscious and what it says (or doesn’t say). I would never, ever tell someone that their dreams are dumb, but I am a big proponent of challenging someone if I think they are telling me they are dreaming of something, when in reality it’s just something they think they should want or do. Dreams are probably one of the only things in this world that no one can tell us are right or wrong – and I think that’s really cool.
What’s a dream you had that came true? What’s a current dream you have?