It’s the great universal truth that none of us escape. Almost two years ago, I started this blog as a means to affect change in my life. It was a long shot, a end of the game pass to recapture something of my past and find myself in the process. I met 100 people and…well, you know the story. And if you don’t you can read it all here.
Then the story changed.
I went through a lot of stories actually. Finding my way in the world after learning so much about me through my time with others has been a great adventure. I’ve aged two years, crossed the legendary line past 40, and continued to learn more about myself than I ever thought I could. It’s had ups and downs, as life always does, but living life lately has taught me a lot about dreams.
For the last 7 months I’ve lived more of a dream than many people ever live. It was simple, rooted in a younger me, before the world kicked me in the teeth a few times. I spent my mornings in a palace of books, wandering the aisles, talking about the stories I loved, the tomes that changed my life, and new things on their way. In the afternoon I wrote, putting words on the page and truly becoming a pro at my craft. My days were filled with writers and wisdom, walks in the sun, and time filling the blank page.
To some people it may not seem like much. The money is my bank account is modest, there is no fame, no fancy home, no stable of cars. And yet I have still lived so many of the dreams I had as a child that it’s hard not to be fulfilled and happy. The truth is I have more wealth than at any other point in my life.
Maybe that’s why these days seem so strange and this week stretches on.
The time has come for my life to change again, for the next set of dreams to be realized, and I feel a bit of sadness tug at my heart. I think the turning of a page, the starting of a new chapter, often feels that way when the previous one was a happy moment. This is how I felt when I left the military, driving out the gate for the last time. It’s how I felt when I left college all those years before to join the military. It’s the great gray of transition, the joy and the ache, the smiles and cries.
And still our dreams persist if we let them.
Maybe it isn’t the grandeur of our dreams that makes them worth chasing and living. Just maybe the best dream to chase is the one you had in your heart as a child. The dreams you call silly about summer afternoons with your feet in the water, about working in a bookstore, learning to bake your grandmother’s cookies, getting paid to write, being a Jedi, or learning to fly. This world is full of people selling you the “right dreams” and the path to them, and the world is also full of people who forgot what the grass feels like between your toes and that a blanket can magically give you the power to fly.
If I have learned anything these last couple of years it’s all simple things. People have baggage and they are beautiful if you give them the chance. Enjoy every sandwich and every piece of pie. Always use a photobooth. Savor a conversation and remember to be present for it. Treasure a friend.
Most of all, remember the dreams you had when you were a kid. The simple things that warmed your heart and made you smile. Remember those dreams and, if you haven’t yet, go make them a reality.
It’s not too late to dangle your feet from the dock, to bake your grandmother’s cookies, or to be a Jedi.