When a dream takes hold of you, what can you do? You can run with it, let it run your life, or let it go and think for the rest of your life about what might have been.
~ Patch Adams
The directive: Write five things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things maybe you have forgotten in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday but that never really leave your soul. What would you do if anything were possible?
OK. Here goes.
I. Be a writer. Published. Relevant. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. When I was about nine, I decided to publish a family newspaper, using my mom’s old manual typewriter (circa mid 1950s) as my printing press. Needless to say, only one copy got produced at a time and that one was riddled with typos and terrible typing errors. But it was my first work. I loved the big family dictionary, often just opening it up, closing my eyes and pointing to a word to simply learn it and add it to my childish vocabulary. For the heck of it. These days, I’m doing the most serious, in terms of dedication and volume, writing of my life. This blog has been the most amazing outlet for me. I find myself thinking in terms of how something might play on the page. Carrying around a Moleskine in my various purses in case inspiration strikes. Gleaning inspiration from unlikely sources. Maybe I’ll get this dream right after all.
II. Be a singer. In a band. Rock & roll. Or jazz. Music is such an integral part of my life -- it’s always playing in some form or another during my waking hours. And while I love the thrill of acting and performing (even though it’s been years since I exercised that skill, such as it is) it’s the singing that I’ve always wanted to do. My voice isn’t bad -- it’s low as all get out, which makes singing chick parts more challenging, as my upper range has something to be desired. But it’s always full of passion and earnestness. Karaoke is about as close as I get these days -- unless you count singing along with my preschool choir. Which I don’t. My galpal has a crazy neighbor (I'm not kidding -- guy is nuts) who wants to start a band. Called Beer Supply. No -- I don't get it either. And he keeps asking me to join as a singer, both backup and for "girl songs, and to play tambourine. We'll see. Did I mention he's nuts? I'm tempted, though...
III. See the world. Travel anywhere and everywhere. Experience all this planet has to offer. I traveled a lot as a child, but in a limited area. I think I saw every single Civil War battlefield and monument south of the Mason-Dixon Line before the age of 14. And had my picture made at every overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I loved those family trips. They just whet my appetite for more travel adventures. And while there are still parts of my own country I haven’t seen -- the Grand Canyon; New England (although I am going to Boston weekend after next); Texas -- I yearn to go to other countries, cities, continents. And now that I have my passport, I’m armed and ready to go. At least on paper.
IV. Own a bookstore. Not a branch of a big ass chain. A neighborhood bookstore with regular patrons and book clubs and music and children's’ reading activities and literacy programs/tutoring and big comfy chairs and a cat or two and the ability to order anything for anyone. So not practical, but wouldn’t it be loverly...
V. Be a mother. Of more than one child. This isn’t going to happen for me. Not anymore. Marrying at 33; having a very complicated baby at 37; making my priority to try like hell to facilitate the most opportunities for that baby so he can maximize his potential; having a spouse who doesn’t want another child; experiencing my first hot flash. All factors pointing to the big neon sign saying No More Chillins’ For You.
The possibility of having another complicated pregnancy was always at the back of my mind whenever I thought about expanding our little family. Scares the living shit out of me -- I could not do that to another child, much less my husband. Or myself. My guilt and pain regarding my body’s failure to protect Will still runs deeply with powerful currants and whitecaps through my soul. There's not room in that baggage I tote around for any more self-blame or neuroses. And the chances of that particular scenario playing out again would always loom large. I think I’m saddest about this situation for Will, as he will never know the joy of being a sibling, a big brother. My brother is one of my best friends --and I wouldn’t give that relationship up for anything in this world. A sibling would also be someone to be there for Will after we’re gone, and vice versa. I need to stop with this now...
Some dreams come true. Some dreams stay stagnant. Some dreams fade away. These are mine. For what they’re worth.
There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts being broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream--whatever that dream might be.
~ Pearl S. Buck