When Dreams Become Reality

I had a piano lesson the other day, the first of (hopefully) many. I did it with my son, a parent-child class. It was basic stuff, nothing more than I already knew, but it helped solidify a passion for music in him, and began the fulfillment of a long-term dream of mine, to play the piano. I wrote about it on Facebook, as one does these days, and a friend pointed out that it takes a lot of courage to step into a dream.

She’s right.

Piano, for me, was easy, maybe because I’m doing it for my boy as much as I am for myself, but it made me think about those other dreams I’ve harboured over the years, especially the wild ones, the big ones, the ones that I would never ever give myself permission to doubt that they’d ever come to pass because that doubt stood waiting at the door like a death shadow, like a smoke-haze, ready to seep in any little crack and snuff that little dream candle like the fragile life it was.

I had to hope.

My dream, my deepest and most heartfelt dream for many years – more years than I care to count (and I kid you not) was to travel overseas. For a long time it looked about as realistic as my (spayed) cat giving birth to puppies, but in 2011, the year of the First Great Miracle, I did it.

Somewhere Over the Pacific Ocean

Somewhere Over the Pacific Ocean

I cried.

The things is though, the thing that struck me most this week, is the memory of walking in to the travel agents on Liverpool Street in the city for the very first time. I’d walked past that office at least twice a week for years, its jaunty red-and-white sign promising me London! $1839! New York! $2103! Fiji! $518! 3-nights return! Jaunty, easy dreams. Still out of my reach. I had no idea that the idea of walking in would fill me with panic, that I’d feel like a fraud, like I didn’t belong there, that I’d need to sit down quietly on a park bench afterwards and let my pounding heart calm down. I had no idea that waiting in line at the post office with my passport application I’d feel the need to justify myself, I can be here, I can, I can, I can…

I had no idea that stepping into the fulfillment of a dream would mean the ripping open of the fragile dream-shell I’d protected and nurtured for so long. Nobody ever said long dreams were easy things to bear though, and anybody who dares say it is probably lying, or their dreams are young and fresh and they haven’t had to withstand the sun-fading and wind-hardening and brittling of them. You know what I mean? It’s not until you hold up a dream against the reality that you understand how one is faded.

Dreams have to die to make way for the reality they represent. The reality will always be fresher, bigger, lighter, brighter, better, but the death of the dream is still a funny little grief to bear.

Or is it just me…?

 

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7 thoughts on “When Dreams Become Reality

  1. Great post, Megan. Lovely.

    Under the present circumstances, my dreams are a little smaller. Near-death experiences are a great leveler.

    Getting past 1000 hits on my blog every month was one, and we’re there, and beyond. It’s humbling.

    The next is to convince Pitunia JezeBull that she does NOT have to bark at every dog she passes on her way out the door for walkies.

    That may take awhile.

    • Thanks Andrew. 1000 hits is awesome, well done! It’s always a humbling thought to know your words are being read, and often.
      Good luck on the dog(s). I cannot help you one iota with that.:)

  2. No, not just you. You post reminded me of the day I wrote that first check to cover the first quarter’s tuition to give me permission to work towards my Ph.D. Before that moment I hadn’t even realized that getting a Ph.D. was such a deeply held dream that it was outside of awareness until that time. I was just waiting for the right program with the right mission and the right learning philosophy. I was so afraid, that my friend and boss grabbed her coat and mine and told me we were going to walk the mile to the post office to post the check. I don’t know if I would have been able to mail that commitment without her. I had to work on it over a 13 year period of time (major job and career change, family responsibilities, full-time work, etc) and when I finally earned the degree she gave me a bouquet of 13 roses. She understood.

  3. Oh I totally get what your saying! It’s one of (the many) reasons I don’t really pursue my writing because what happens when and if that novel is real? What happens if it’s never real, but the dream of it, yea… I totally get it!

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