Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Evening Muse

Is there a point in our lives where we have to toss away all the dreams - the silly and the serious - of our youth?

When real life and real responsibilities overshadow the idealistic dreams we see for ourselves, do we put the dreams high away on some inner filing cabinet or do we shove them down into our mental shredder and never think of it again? I've been trying to remember what great dreams I envisioned for myself as an 18 yr. old young woman, with open personal horizons and expectations for my life ahead. You know what? I don't remember thinking beyond the next few weeks. I didn't plan for my professional future. I didn't have a clue what I "wanted to be be when I grew up". Most of my friends did - mathematicians, teachers, wives, parents, architects, writers - me? Nothing. Or at least, nothing that has stuck with me.

I talked about being a nurse, a doctor, something in the medical field but those were my parents dream for me, not mine. I somehow got caught up in the superficiality of wearing pretty clothes, getting my nails done and hanging out with the popular crowd in college. I dated men that I thought were really creative and sensitive - they just turned out to be gay (see my previous posts, I'm sure I've mentioned it before)...and not just one guy, how about three in a row? I was as uncommitted in my personal relationships as I was in my own personal growth.

I was selfish, insensitive and uncaring of anyone's needs except for my own. But hey, that describes most early twentysomethings. I eventually grew out of that type of behaviour - and the gay men*, thank goodness!! - and here's my life now. I wonder what dreams I dreamed for myself because when I look at my life now, I know something is missing. I like the person I have become, I'm proud of myself for enduring the past few years with grace and humor - but I'm not anymore special than most people. We're all survivors of some personal tragedy. So, what's the plan for my future? What do I want to do? What do I want to be now that I'm all grown up?

Is there an expiration date on dreams? Did I put my dreams so far up on that shelf I can't even see them anymore - and now they're completely out of my reach? Did I, in some incredible moment of stupidity - place them down that mental shredder? Is it too late to figure it all out? Ack!! Too much introspection!!

I need chocolate, a pen and some paper. Maybe it's time to write a new list of dreams.

*okay, I don't date obviously gay men, merely ambiguously gay guys. Baby steps, baby steps.


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