When I was a kid I had a handful of things I wanted to do.
I wanted to do the things that I thought would be fun and make my life happy.
It doesn’t mean I COULD do those things, but I wanted to.
The ceiling started pushing down on me though in 9th grade when we had to start taking tests and filling out forms about what we wanted to do. I wanted to get into advertising. Alas, according to whatever data was used, the forecast was dim on that job stream so I gave up thoughts on that.
Just like I gave up wanting to do art when I was in high school and had a crummy teach who didn’t want me in his course in the first place tell me that I was no artist.
And here’s the thing, we have created a world that likes to say NO when it comes to people’s passions or dreams. We don’t want to help them, we don’t want to mentor them, we don’t want to add sense to the pot that is boiling in them, no, we want to say ‘oh, no you don’t’.
That’s how we are.
That’s who we are.
That isn’t who we should be.
The thing about dreams is that they are made of more clouds than rain. They are the formation of the storms that drive us towards what we want to do and be. It isn’t that dreams are expected to be reality but that they are the fuel that inspires us and as we dive deeper and start to flesh out what it is we want to do beyond – I wanna be a racecar driver – and can start narrowing our focus. I wanted to get into advertising. OK, but in what way?
THAT was I needed, a primer.
Not – naw, dawg, that’s a no-go.
I needed someone to say – OK, cool, well, here’s all the ways you can do that, let’s talk about what interests you most.
Odds are I never woulda gotten into advertising.
But who knows?
Just like, when I got passionate about writing, it’d have been nice if some teacher had said – hey, you really like that, maybe you should…whatever.
The problem here is twofold – our teachers, long past being worn out and stretched thin, have too much on their plates to try to save every darn kid that they have because they will have a LOT of kids go through their classes.
The other thing is that, again, we don’t foster dreams.
We foster reality, and reality is cold and harsh and has no room for dreams.
And we need reality, absolutely.
In measured amounts.
Yeah, you can’t be a rock star, but you can have a career in music and be involved in the thing you love more than the idea of being a rock star.
Sure, you may not be the President, but you can get involved in politics and see where it takes you.
THAT is the key too, if you do things right, and get the education and skills to go WITH the passion then who can say how far you can really go? Sure, advertising may have been a crowded field as a kid but there’s always room at the table for the RIGHT people, just not EVERY person. And our weird metrics for who should do what job also neglects that there is always a bias in these things. Towards this, or that, or the other. Even if it’s just a bias that tells kids not to get into crowded fields, fine, SUGGEST that, but there are ways to do it that don’t squash dreams.
The thing about dreams too is that they linger, even as just the faintest and thinnest of haze to the sky, they are there until the day we blow them away completely. And even if you never will be a rock star, or a professional in the music industry you can still enjoy, create, or foster music. Heck, you could manage a venue and still be involved, the dream not full realized but enough of it so that you feel fulfilled.
Dreams change as we change. They rise and falls like the tides in us, fueled by our passion and the idea notion of what if? Too often though we demand people ‘get their head out of the clouds’ and conform to some sort of silly lie of what being an adult is, what being a productive part of society is, and we seem to punish people for taking the paths less worn. We gave up on our dreams so everyone else should to.
Only, none of us need to.
Dreams change as we change and they evolve as we evolve and sometimes, sometimes we outgrow them but in their place is a fertile ground for more clouds to form and from those may come the dream that leads us to a life more fulfilling and happier.
If happiness is a bowl three quarters full, why do we seem to demand people our out a third or more so that they have the same amount as everyone else.
Let people dream and be the person to add that dash of reality to things and help them turn that dream into the storm that will create their future.
That’s what it’s about.
Not going around the people that want to kill your dreams but going through them to what lies waiting beyond.
(yo, help foster my dreams and buy a book!)