The other day I had a casual exchange with someone who led me to think about the concept of “living your dreams”. I was walking with Mom and Stella on a beautiful path that runs along the Intracoastal Waterway. It is a popular place and there are always people walking their dogs so Stella gets to socialize with lots of varieties of her species – and we do, too! When Stella gets too tired she rides in a stroller and this sight often inspires comments and starts conversations with fellow dog owners.
On this particular day we engaged in a chat with a nice looking man in his late 60’s who was walking with his two dogs. He told us he lives on his boat in a nearby marina and Mom said “Oh, that sounds like my daughter. She’d love that”. I laughed and said “Maybe 20 years ago but not now”, which he interpreted to mean that it was an unfulfilled dream of mine. He said “it’s never too late; you’re not too old to live your dreams” and other things along those lines. He seemed convinced that I wasn’t “living my dreams” and proceeded to suggest different things I should do – sky-diving, flying a plane, etc. – and stressed again that I’m not too old try. I knew it would be futile to try to explain to this man that I am living at least one of my dreams. Retiring at 60 to spend my days reading, writing, drawing, learning, and anything else I choose does not make for an exciting story but it was my dream.
The fulfillment of that dream led to others. I discovered an online venue where I could sell my artwork as greeting cards and I published my first book, Try Lots of Hats. Since then I have also published a collection of personal mother/daughter stories, Velvet Ropes: The Ties That Bind Mothers and Daughters, and my first mystery, Finding the Truth (an e-book). I haven’t received a large financial gain or accolades for my work but, for me, these were important milestones – and dreams come true.
Sure, I still have some unfulfilled dreams, like traveling around the country in an RV, visiting Italy and England, owning a vacation home in the mountains, being a best-selling author and a popular artist, meeting my soul mate but … who doesn’t? I accept that I don’t have the freedom from responsibility, the resources – or even the ability – to live out every one of my dreams. For most of us life is a balance between taking care of our responsibilities and fulfilling our dreams – it is a very rare and fortunate person who can make all their dreams come true.
My final conclusion – and what I want to share with you – is that your dreams are your dreams. Don’t judge them against anyone else’s dreams because they are as unique to you as your fingerprints and DNA and don’t let anyone criticize them or try to talk you out of them – in fact, you’re better off only telling your dreams to someone you trust completely. Dreams can be very fragile things. Dream on!
I was not looking for my dreams to interpret my life, but rather for my life to interpret my dreams ~ Susan Sontag
You can see more of my artwork and books at www.lyndalinke.com