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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Changing dreams

Do your dreams change?

I'm not talking about the dreams you have at night (though I could talk about some weird dreams of late- last night a very young Noah Wyle from back when he was new on ER was my boss at a fancy school and I kept messing up and he was not happy with me and I kept saying it's not like I know what I'm doing, you have to give me a break. Dreams! go figure).

No, I'm talking about the "what you want to be when you grow up" kind of dreams, the "kind of man I want to marry" the "my future home" type dreams.

When I was in 4th, maybe 5th grade, I wanted to be a teacher. By sixth grade, I wanted to be a cop (that was back when I was on co-ed soccer teams where I was one of only two girls, when I was in a shop class instead of home-ec, back when I'd rather slide tackle a boy than think about kissing him). Eventually I swung back around to teacher. Even when I joined the Air Force, I "knew" that one day I would be a teacher. Shortly after I joined the AF, I realized that I was not going to be a career officer (for many reasons - I can say that I was rather disillusioned and later, when the work was better, burned out).

When I got into a teaching position, I was excited. I loved it for all of two minutes. Maybe five. The lack of personal freedom (bathroom breaks anyone?), the constant pressure to help low achieving kids do better and the stress of trying to educationally herd cats kids towards a goal was too physically and emotionally trying. Now that I'm doing analysis, I find that my dream has changed. Teaching is not my dream any more (though I wouldn't mind doing some volunteer work teaching people some basic Excel skills to prep them for jobs).

Throughout middle school into high school I had no interest in boys. None. Unless you counted my interest in showing that I was stronger, smarter, quicker, and funnier. heh. Guess that was some complex I had, huh? When asked about what my dreams of a husband were, I would scoff. Who needs a husband? Later, perhaps in high school, I would loftily say, oh, I'm sure one will pop into my life while I'm achieving great things- natural like, unplanned unlooked for, and uncomplicated.

When I got into college of course, this changed. Oh, not that I wanted a husband. heh. But at least the idea of eventually loving a man enough to marry him settled into my thought process.
That's when I dreamed of having a John Wayne of husbands. Except, you know, cooler and more up to date. I held on to that dream until I met E. And felt my dream shift almost instantly. E is not John Wayne. I wouldn't want him to be. What a silly dream, I think to myself when I look back.

A year ago I wanted a house. I pined for a house the way some people pine for children. We went to the suburbs and looked, and looked, and looked. Every almost adequate house became the perfect house in my mind, and when we walked away, I mourned the loss (I learned to let E do all the talking with the broker). We even put down a bid for one. The owners wouldn't lower their price, and then the stock dropped something like 1500 points in two days. We walked away. I was-not quite devastated, because I'd tried to see it coming when the owners wouldn't lower their price (incidentally, the last price I saw the houes listed at was a good 2K less than our offer- bet they feel stupid). We walked away from houses altogether.

No more looking at the suburbs, we had a lease about to run out, and few options that made financial sense. We found an apartment on the upper west side.

Is my dream shifting? I would still love to have a house. I want the space, the ability to really host guests, a little yard to plant stuff in, space, did I mention space? But does it have to be in the suburbs? We visited a coworker of E's brownstone home a bit ago. It was beautiful, had all the space they needed, enough yard to feel like they had a back yard without all the hassle of mowing and such.

I know what those suckers cost. A lot. But it's a dream, right? Can I have two dreams, one that follows one path (suburbs) and one that follows another (city)? I'm not ready to say which I prefer.

Do you ever look back on your dreams and think, "how silly a dream" or do you look back and say, "yes, that is still my dream"?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I so understand what you're saying. At least, to a point. I always wanted a husband...too much so, but you know that story. :) And then one fell into my lap, so to speak. Kind of the opposite of what you were saying. I got the unplanned, un-looked for, and it was perfect. :) But I always wanted to be a mother...that never changed, not since I was a kid. And I still want more. LOL But I also used to dream of living out my days in the same state, maybe even city, I grew up in, close to family, like I'd always been. That dream left right after I got married, and I realize it will likely never happen. And I'm okay with that. I used to think writing was the most impt. thing to me, and now, even though I do still love it and want to make it work, it only takes a look into those sweet little blue eyes to realize that's not what's important in life. :) I think, Theresa, it's not so much your dreams that change as it is, WE are changing, growing up, learning from experiences and all that jazz. :) And I don't think it's bad at all to not know which dream you prefer...just smile and praise God you have the luxury of CHOOSING which dream to eventually pursue. :) Choice is a luxury so many people don't get. So, dream on, girl, just don't forget where you've been...one day you'll have to tell it all to your kids. LOL

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