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What about waking up from actual dreams? Like dreams you had for yourself and your life. Dreams about your career or your family. Are you living those dreams you once had?
I read an interesting article the other day in Self magazine. It was about letting go of lost dreams. You can read that article here. It caught my attention because it began with what the author thought she would be doing in her life. She once dreamed of being a writer, in Paris, surrounded with other award winning writers, basking in the glory of another Pulitzer. Her reality is that she is a writer, in magazines, for TV shows, and has yet to win any Pulitzers. She also has a husband who isn't as fancy as a Parisian Clive Owen look a like.
I started thinking about my own abandoned dreams. Am I really heartbroken about them? Were they just that, silly dreams? Or were they simply a road map?
For as long as I can remember, as far back as grade school that I wanted to be a fashion designer. Do you remember Fashion Plates? Oh, did I love me some Fashion Plates! You could create so many looks with paper, crayons, and the interchangeable plates. I spent hours creating the next big thing (which at the time were Working Girl-esq suits, it was the 80s). I was so happy and just knew that someday my work would end up in Vogue or at least YM.
In high school I swore that I would one day live in a loft in New York city, with a couple of cats and my Fashion studio. I would be designing for the rich and famous. In my spare time I would moonlight as a editor at Vogue, and style my own photo shoots. I'd be living in the most creative part of the world, just me my circle of friends that would include rock stars and writers and designers.
I carried that dream with me for a while. It changed a bit when I came to the hard realization that I could not draw or sketch to save my life. So I couldn't be a fashion designer, so what? I could be a stylist, or even better a fashion editor or writer. I've always liked to write, and what would be better than to write about what I love? So I set my sights on a writer, in the fashion industry, working for Vogue, living in New York City. I wanted to be like Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City. Fabulous friends, beautiful clothes, shoes to die for, and a quest for love. Isn't that every girls dream?
I'm sure you have figured out that this is not what happened. I worked in retail for a while. I've never (yet) been to New York City. I read Vogue, occasionally, but Parents magazine is more my speed these days. I'm resetting my sights on being a writer. I started this blog, I'm writing daily, and while I'm not famous or even published, it makes me so happy and content.
It's funny, I never dreamed of being a stay at home mom. I laugh at the fact that I'm married, to a republican; I have two kids; I own a house; I'm very happy and on most days well adjusted. All things that are very surprising to me. If I were to tell my 18 year old self this, she would laugh in my face and kick my ass with her Doc Martens.
Because my 18 year old self was going to live in a loft or possibly, a great apartment in the village. She was going to be so punk and rock and roll, that kids were never going to be an option. She was going to be on her own, an individual because most boys (at 18 remember) had no idea what to do with her...
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My 18 year old self thankfully grew up. Its what happens to us and our dreams. Looking back at my dreams makes me smile and laugh. To remember the passion and energy of a dream. Now I'm waking up from old dreams, with a big smile and a huge appreciation for what dreams I'm living. We don't have to abandon any dreams, because we can always wake up to new ones.