Sunday, March 6, 2011

Clouds in My Coffee

I had some dreams...

I was never a big dreamer - and yet I dream all the time. It isn't the quantity of my dreams that is modest, it is the dreams themselves. I have always longed for very average things. I never wanted to be rich or famous - and am often actually quite glad I'm not! - but I did fantasize about what it would be like to have more money and recognition than I have. Not a lot. Not the most. Not the 'est', though a little 'er' would be nice.

But that's how it starts, isn't it?

I never wanted to be the head-turner who breaks hearts just by walking into a room - what a great lot of pressure that must be! - but I did fantasize a lot about being thinner. Prettier. Not the thinnest. Not the prettiest. Not the 'est', though a little 'er' would be nice.

But that's how it starts, isn't it?

... that would be all that I needed... ~ Take, Take, Take, The White Stripes

My most prominent dream, in my twenties and thirties, was to find someone to love, who would love me in return, and to build a family with them. This dream did not exactly make me unique. As it goes with dreams, when one comes true, we develop more.

Can anybody find me somebody to love? ~ Somebody to Love, Queen

I fell in love. We started a family. We were, if you'll pardon the cliche, living the dream. We bought our first home and became - typical. If you read that with a tone of disdain, go back and read it again. Typical was not intended as a slur. Typical had been my goal. I was a very happy typical stay at home mom. I adored my husband and my children were my world. Weekends were devoted to home improvement projects which we approached with the confidence reserved for people who haven't experienced failure yet. Allow me to elaborate. We had both experienced failure by that point in our lives, but never in this particular arena. We changed things - made that house our own - worked towards making it something in which we could place our pride.

A constantly improving house. A beautiful, loving family. The dreams of my twenties and thirties had come true.

Of course, it's human nature to dream, and having one dream come to fruition didn't mean it was over - it just meant it was time for a new dream.

Dream on, dream on, dream on, dream until your dreams come true. ~ Dream On, Aerosmith

Again, in a move that didn't make me particularly unique, I built those new dreams around my children. And again, in a move that was very much in character for me, those dreams were modest. I didn't want the pressure of 'est' for them, but I sincerely hoped they'd be 'er'.

Mostly, I told myself, I wanted them to be happy and healthy.

As they grew, so did my dreams for them. We provided them with every opportunity that we could afford to provide. As their personalities and interests began emerging, we nurtured them accordingly. Again - I realize that this makes us in no way unique. It's what parents do. It's typical.

Mostly, I told myself, I wanted them to be happy and healthy and successful in their chosen endeavors.

My dreams for them were simple and typical. Go to school, get a job that doesn't make you dread Monday morning too much, find a mate, be happy, and maybe, maybe, someday in the distant distant future, bring me a grandbaby or two to play with.

Sweet dreams are made of this. Who am I to disagree? ~ Sweet Dreams, The Eurythmics

This is pretty standard issue stuff.

It was the very typicality and simplicity of it that allowed me to assume that my dreams would mesh nicely with their goals.

I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee. ~ You're so Vain, Carly Simon

Recent events in the world, the nation, my state and my home have forced me to reevaluate my dreams. I've had to abandon a few. That's a lie. I've had to abandon almost all of them.

Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse? ~ The River, Bruce Springsteen

It's sad when dreams die. I think it's appropriate to mourn them. So many people in the past month have told me, essentially, to crawl out of myself. Some of them have expressed that sentiment with more eloquence and some with less, but the message is the same. Dreams die. Life goes on. Get with the program.

Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true. ~ Vienna, Billy Joel

That is exactly what I am trying to do. But to get with the new program, I first need to formulate some new dreams that are in keeping with the 'new normal'. I am fueled by dreams - again - I strongly doubt that this makes me in any way unique. And right now, I just don't know what the new dreams need to be. Bear with me. I'll figure it out. But until I do, I am in a transitional time - a time without dreams. For a dreamer like me, that is indeed a very uncomfortable - even unnerving - place to be.

Who said that every wish would be heard, and answered when wished on the morning star?... Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me. ~ The Rainbow Connection, Kermit the Frog


Cheryl said...

I love dreamers especially when they're in that space between trapeze bars. We grow in the place of uncertainty and discomfort. Growth tends to bring new dreams. Sometimes it even brings happiness.

Hang in there Tammy.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You're right about needing to mourn lost dreams. Take the time to get your footing, and you'll be able to move, grow, and reach for new dreams.

Eva Gallant said...

I feel like I've missed something here. What ever has happened in your life, I wish you well. Hugs, girl, and if you ever need to talk, just let me know. Email me. I have free unlimited long distance on my phone.

Pam said...

Ditto what Eva said. Did I miss something? I think I can read between the lines and figure out that something is going on with one of your girls. It is so difficult for us parents when our kids are hurt or struggling. You seem to have the right attitude. Time will help. In the meantime, know that I'm sending good thoughts your way.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Tammy, I can feel your pain between the lines and hope you know my heart is with you and I'm cheering you on. I know a little something about dreams and managing expectations-- I'm in the middle of doing that in my life-- again. Turning the corner in life can be a slow and difficult process, especially when you still aren't sure which way to turn. All I can say is take all the time you need because YOUR dreams count for A LOT.

Big, big hugs and like the above commenters-- Email me if you need an ear to brainstorm with. xoxo jj

Rosa said...

Beautiful. And don't worry, you'll figure it out and come up with new dreams--and you'll achieve those too. The saying goes, Nobody likes change--but it's not always bad. Different dreams will be a good thing, too. Just try to be patient with yourself and with them.

Anonymous said...

For what feels like the millionth time, I am trying to dream new dreams too. {{{you}}}