Santa Clause could fit through the key hole of my family's apartment; since we didn't have a chimney. The tooth-fairy thought that, my baby teeth where actually worth money, and the monsters in my closet were real enough to make me close it's door and hide underneath the blankets in my parents room. I believed in many things, in my fears, my imagination, myself, my dreams.
Soon thereafter, I discovered that things I thought I wanted to do, I didn’t want to do; and things I thought I was good at; I wasn’t so good at. I knew I would never be doctor when cried at the sight of my own nose bleeds. I knew there was no chance of me being the first professional female football player because, well, I’m five feet and weigh 100 pounds and yes I rounded up. I knew that I’d never be, that one middle eastern or asian kids who won the spelling bee because, I missed spelled the color "black" on one of my 6th grade spelling tests. "Judge me not less ye be judge" or however that scripture goes and thank God for autocorrect; am I right?
I found somethings that I wanted to do, and what I really wanted to do I worked really hard at and in return, I got left with some bitter sweet memories and a mind bruised with “what if’s?” And as the world unraveled before my young eyes I learned quite a few things: One, Life is unbelievably complex. Two, people are both confusing and confused. Three, education does not guarantee knowledge. Four, the definition of life is often mistaken for purpose. Five, I didn't know who I was; and six, self doubt is a cruel and unusual punishment.
By now I have failed at quite a few of my goals. It is hard not having regrets in a world were I am being defined by success and shunned for the failures that create it. I am to proud to complain, to stubborn to admit defeat, and my fears have become like the monsters in my closet.
As I drift further from my dreams, I begin to think of the people who, against all odds seem to find themselves right where they always hoped. I wondered if it's just luck, or skill, or destiny. I wonder if their lives are everything that they imagined; If it is worth the trouble, I wondered if they have just as many regrets. Sometimes, I will wish for just a taste of their life, of their "success." To be able to lay in my bed at night and know, that I have quite simply, accomplished.
It always wows me to hear their stories, their failures, their triumphs, their beliefs, and of that moment that they realize, that they have made it. I compare my life with theirs even when it hurts, because it feels good; because while slightly ripping away at my joy it also bring me hope.
It makes me think about the rest of us. Sometimes while driving or walking, or just sitting in my home; I think about my parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncle. I’ll see a homeless man, a homeless woman, and the thought will pass my mind, “I wonder if they ever accomplished?” The first answer brings me to tears, because I know that surely, this is not a life that anyone would plan. I know several people who have lived and died and have never left their cities, their states, let alone this country, their life has been just one big cycle or relapse. Living from paycheck to paycheck, never owning their possession, skimming though life just trying to survive. It seems then, that as good as it to be elated for people who succeed it hurts twice as much to see others fail; knowing, all to well, which is more likely. So with these two extremes staring us in the face, we do what I believe to be the most basic of human nature; we survive.
I In other words, we settle. We discontinue our dreams, because even with all the motivational speakers, all the sermons, and all the feel good stories in the world; we know a dream is the hardest goal that one will ever have to reach. We fall into the norm. We become college students, hard working citizens, we accept our place among the many because, even a life that suppresses our most deep desires is better than being that guy that lives in their parent's basement...right? It will surly make us happier, bring us some peace of mind, and maybe, if we grow old and if we retire, and if we’re lucky, we will get to venture towards, something...
So, where do dreams go?
Into the key hold that santa couldn't fit in, as valuable as adult teeth; but we never seem to outgrow the monsters in our closet, they're are as real as we believe. Buried beneath them, our dreams.
June 5th, 2015
do not claim to own any of the photos used in this post. no copyright intended.