So, I took my 4 year old twin nieces for an ice skating lesson today. One of the wonders of spending time with children is getting to be in on so many “firsts” for them! I got to take them to their first rodeo; their first merry-go-round and roller coaster rides; their first time at the zoo; their first “hike” (about 0.4 of a mile, to a waterfall, but that’s a hike for 3 year olds!); taking them to learn to ski, to bowl, to swim. Now ice skating. As with most things, one of them took to it a little quicker than the other; but both of them were so very determined and bold, it just made me proud!
Afterwards, on the way home (and to get some hot cocoa!), they were talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Maya wants to be a figure skater, and a princess. Oh, and a ballerina. And later a doctor, like her mom. Emery wants to be a pairs figure skater, because the girl “gets to fly”! And a downhill skier who goes really fast. Oh yeah, and a ballerina. And another doctor. The wonderful, tentative, ever-changing grownup goals of four year olds!
But, think about it: what keeps us, as adults from continuing to have such grandiose dreams? Has the universe really quelled our enthusiasm? Is it “reality” to know that we’ll probably never be an artist, a dancer, a published author, an entertainer; or is it the oppression of societal expectations and our own mind? Really, the boundary of our capabilities is really limited only by our imaginations. What we dream, truly dream, what we are passionate about, we truly can achieve. We just let the idea of “reality” oppress us into giving up, or even more sadly, not even trying.
There is so much of a child’s wonder and enthusiasm that I wish we didn’t seem to lose as adults. The ability to believe that anything is possible is just one of those things. And that we are much more than some easily defined and categorized creature in a plain box. Heck, didn’t the “Breakfast club” already teach us all that we are so much more complex than the labels assigned to us by society?
So, as adults, shouldn’t we be able to find a compromise between “reality” and passionate dreams? I think we can. Will I ever be a prima ballerina in the Bolshoi? Nope, but I can crank up my radio and shake my booty, and enjoy the abandon of dancing around with happiness. Will I ever be Jack Kerouac or Toni Morrison? Nope, but I can certainly string together sentences and paragraphs and get thoughts and ideas out in written communication (thanks, WordPress! 😉 ) And will I ever be an Olympic athlete? Nope, but I can appreciate that my body is in better shape now than it was 20 years ago, and do everything in my power to keep it like that.
For those who’s dreams have died, I am sincerely sorry. But for those who may still have the spark, I say continue to go for your dreams. Yes, maybe you will have to downgrade them slightly; but there is nothing to prevent you from enjoying the heck out of what life is bringing your way at this point, and making your current reality your dreams come true! Rebel against reality, and become the princess you truly are!!