When did it become uncool to dream? If I recall, it is what we are most encouraged to do as children. Play make believe. Watch fantasy movies. Watch cartoons. Read novels. Believe in fairy tales. At what point exactly do we stop doing these things and turn to the idea that life is bland and dreams are for children?
I think that for most people there is no particular stopping point, no brick wall. It is a slow process, catalyzed by bills, school, work, responsibility and exhaustion. At some point you start to realize that dreams sometimes come with a price tag and that cost is risk. Sometimes the risk is financial, sometimes emotional, sometimes physical or otherwise. But there's always a risk involved. And for a lot of "grown ups" being comfortable is a lot safer and easier than the risk of being uncomfortable in any way.
Stop it, stop it now! Being comfortable a lot of times means being stagnant. And I am one of the most guilty of this. After spending the last ten years as a go-getter, pursuing any and every dream that I felt really passionate about, I let a couple of bad experiences really scare me and bring me down. I found a comfortable place and began to settle down into it. Bad move.
Yes, I love my home and my husband and my life. And it is really, really nice to work from home and to feel safe and comfortable. Not much can go wrong with no commute, no risk, no ventures. But... this isn't me.
A friend recently approached me and basically said "What the hell are you doing? I don't even recognize you." And he is right! I barely recognize myself lately. I let some imperfect circumstances and rotten people scare me off and turn me into something I'm not. A grown up. But not even a fun grown up, more like one of those grown ups that's always shushing children and going to bed at a reasonable hour. And worst of all, I have stopped the pursuit of my dreams with the momentum of a freight train that used to personify me. And it's not that I have stopped dreaming. I just do it quietly, silently, privately, and then follow those thoughts with a whole slough of reasons that I couldn't, shouldn't, and won't.
That friend of mine said that I need to stop hiding and waiting for somebody to bring my happiness back to me. He is brilliant because I haven't seen him in at least a year and he hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what I've been doing. He is right. Dreams are everything and they are what has always made me, well me. I have always been the one that pursued the ridiculous, that ignored the warnings and just leapt, hoping to grow my wings on the way down.
And since I have stopped doing that, started allowing the questions, the doubts, to creep in and take over - I am not happy.
I didn't get this way overnight - none of us do. Like I said, its not one particular brick wall we hit that makes us stop believing in our dreams. It is a little thing here, a small thing there, maybe a big obstacle this day and another small one on a different day. It adds up and before we know it we are routine beings, shushing children and failing to believe in fairy tales.
Somebody approached me recently with a writing project. An actual idea for a book to be written. Two actually. I did some research on these stories and within hours, it was as if a fire had been lit under me. I want to write these books like I need air to breathe. I found myself becoming consumed. Consumed with ideas on how to do the interviews, on what to write, on the movies that could follow. I felt exhilarated and immediately found myself shushing those dreams. What if it doesn't work out? What if I can't do it? What if people don't want to be interviewed? What if, what if, what if...?
Don't let the "what if's" kill your dream. I know from past experience that the best and most rewarding experiences in life come from taking risks. The bigger the risks, the more rewarding the feeling when you watch your dreams come to fruition. And the number one enemy of dreams? EXCUSES. So stop making them for a few minutes and allow yourself to dream. And I mean really dream. Feel how you would feel if you had what you wanted or did what you desired. Become passionate about it and stop focusing on all of the reasons you can't, won't, shouldn't, or couldn't and start focusing on the end desire. I know I am.