Dreams Without Dreamers

I talked in another blog about the fact that so many, too many, of us have had their dreams denied by systems they had nothing to do with putting in place and with barriers neither they nor their families helped to build.
The world was against them because of their skin color, religion, sexuality, income level, where they were born, or some other arbitrary thing we humans decide means everything in the world more than just whether someone treats you well or not. 

And it stinks. 

There’s another group though that didn’t face those struggles but has faced the cold, bitter reality of adulthood, something that everyone will face one day. 

As kids we are all so desperate to be adults, believing that adults have freedoms kids don’t without seeing the full picture. 

Yes, adults are free but if they are wise, or even foolish, they will find that they too have someone telling them what to do. 

Even if it’s just themselves. 

Kids wouldn’t understand because they believe the world after one in the morning is magical. 

They think that restricted films are taboo. 

They think that eating anything you want any time you want is freedom. 

They don’t see that there are consequences to the choices you make and that what you can get away with as a kid, you will be harshly punished for as an adult. 

They don’t see the bills. 

The jobs. 

The strained relationships. 

The addiction. 

The depression. 

The struggle. 

They don’t see the dreams deferred until they are gone altogether. 

It’s as if you become an adult overnight. 

It happens little by little as you realize that you don’t have to go to bed at a certain time, that you control your money, that you control your time, and that you control YOU.
And it’s just when you are really enjoying all of this you start to realize that you can’t live that way forever. 

You can’t because if you are not responsible then you won’t have a job and won’t have money and may not have a place to live.
Because there’s that, too.
If you don’t live on your own then you are still beholden to someone, and even if you DO then you are beholden to a landlord that you have to pay. 

Freedom isn’t an illusion so much as a responsibility, and with it, come very hard choices. 

The older you get, the more you want from life, the more stability you want, and the more ‘groundedness’ the more pressure there is. 

You want to make sure you can take care of yourself and what you love and those you love. 

It doesn’t mean you have to take a job you hate but, it often means you take a job you hate. 

It regularly means loosening your grip on the hobbies you had when you were younger and the dreams of another life you may have had. 

The dream to be in a professional rock band. 

To be a professional artist. 

To make pottery. 

To write. 

To dance.

The artistic dreams you had that you slowly lose as you focus more and more on money and family and responsibility. 

And the pressure rarely goes away but often gets more intense the more we have and the more we want. 

What we miss in all of this is that, while we may never be that professional rocker it doesn’t mean we give up playing or being in a band. 

We may never be that famous author but it doesn’t mean we give up writing. 

We are fully adults when we forget that childlike part of ourselves that dreamed and loved fully the things we enjoy. 

For some reason we fool ourselves into thinking that we must ‘release childish things’, as if the things that make us happy are childish. 

This is the great lie in life, the idea that we must stop enjoying things in order to be responsible and ‘adult’. The lie that makes us think of work as a slog, or a punishment, not a means to an end. A punishment we’ll fight by not bathing, or caring how we dress or act but simply doing the minimum to be present and accounted for. We become petulant children fighting a system we don’t understand without really bothering to see beyond our frustration and the fact that we don’t have to love what we do but simply do it to keep what we love.

And in letting go of the things that make us happy, we give in to the sharp machinery of a system that sees us merely as warm bodies and little else.

We mock people of a certain age if they are in a band – oh, they aren’t even going to be famous!

Who cares?

What does it matter?

If they can do that and still take care of what they need to to maintain the rest of their lives then what business is it of ours?

Why do we get a say in their lives?

So many of us are frustrated that we walked away from things we love, even down to hobbies, and are bitter about it and that bitterness follows us like an ever growing shadow. 

A shadow that once it overtakes us never lets us go. 

I know so many people who are brilliant creatives and artists and they let it go to focus on their work and family and everything but themselves. 

Yes, we need to share ourselves but not LOSE ourselves. 

Some are able to transmogrify those passions into things they can do with the family, and that is amazing, but rare. 

Instead we pour ourselves into everyone else’s happiness, not seeing that they are doing the same and, like the Gift of the Magi, no one is satisfied and everyone is empty handed. 

There is a middle ground, a way to love your family, to love yourself, to be responsible, and to not lose your passions. 

It’s hard, and it’s never fully what it was in the past, the carefree way you could do whatever you wanted whenever you wanted before you realized the price that freedom has, but you can still live. 

You can still enjoy life. 

It’s in that joy, that passion, that you radiate the love for yourself and that infects others. Bitterness, likewise, infects. 

We may never be that superstart we dreamed about being as a kid, we may never live on our arts and passions, but we can live off of it, if we feed it, and however long we live, we will live very, very well. 



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.