Killing The Childhood Dream
We have a problem. Many people are unhappy, and unsatisfied with the lives they lead. Most people stop dreaming because it is not sustainable in modern society, and only fantasize about a different life. People are manipulated into believing that they need so much more than they really do; and with that they become slaves to a system that murders every child’s dream in its wake of adulthood. There is an alternative though. We can be happier and healthier.
The desk to bed life never compelled me in any way. Imagine growing up with a passion for learning and exploring but never picturing a future that included a job. I was very good at school because I enjoyed it, not because I wanted an awesome job. Don’t many – at least those of us who had been privileged enough to have dreams- start off like this?
The perfect story goes that we get to choose what we love and pursue it, if lucky, we can excel. However, we must also make decisions that shape our lives at very young ages. The dreams we had as children would only make sense at that point if they could be transformed into money making careers. Understandably so.
The problem is though that we are so young at those times that most of us have barely experienced any alternative options. At 17, 4 years after I got my period, 5 years after I stopped playing with Barbie dolls, 7 years after I stopped being afraid of the dark, I had to choose what my adult self would do for money. And stick to it.
Truthfully I never bought the story too much. Since the beginning i was looking for a way out. I never wanted too much money, I didn’t expect to find happiness in mansions and fancy jewels. I always imagined travel, walking through different places, smiling at faces from different races and that was the goal. Happiness to me was simple; its headlines were good people, good food and beautiful places, at the heart of it all would be a love so deep. The rest was background.
A white picket fence life looked good in the American movies I saw, but then the husband or wife either ended up cheating or dead or with Alzheimers. So that didn’t appeal too much to me either. This teenage girl was more cynical than the rest; now more than 10 years later; I stand my ground with similar cynicism and a little more wisdom and faith.
The white dress seemed like a distant vision, one that I also never dreamed about. I did however get to experience wearing it; my joy lasted for a short while until things ended, thankfully neither with death nor Alzhiemers, but a very broken heart. That, I could handle.
Bringing the Dream Back to Life
Now I know. Life is NOT only black or white. Life is NOT a matter of living up to standards set for us by others who have not had our dreams and visions. We must be more vigilant to the fairytales, and less cynical about what’s real. Children know something we as adults forget. Dreams are the fuel of joy, and experience is our best shot at learning something new. When we finally harmonize the child within with the adult that operates now, we can finally make our dreams materialize and live a different life.
Living goes forward and it never stops, it will never stop as long as the universe continues to expand infinitely. So planting ourselves in one version of the truth is imprisonment. The only surreal thing about life is our assumption that we are in control of every aspect of it, surely we can control a few things at a time, but not everything. Regret is the opposite of learning, and joy is the center of all that was, is and will be.
The Old Self Looking Back
I always picture that adorable 80 year old lady sitting on her old bones and staring into the ocean. Her eyes look like mine perhaps yours too, but a lot older, and she nods in approval. Life can be well lived if we allow ourselves the full experience. If we accept the ultimately wide spectrum of emotion, and navigate it truthfully and with grace. So if my old self looks back at me now, from where she is, with all of the wisdom she has carried, will she be proud of the life I’m living right now? I would sure hope she is.
Now my friend, enough about me! Imagine yourself in your later years, what do you look like? what and who do you love? Is your elderly self happy with the life you lived and are living today?