by Tab Moura
When I was 5, I listened to my mom talk to my older siblings about things that seemed so complex at the time. She had asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, she then explained how our school subjects were building blocks for the careers they each expressed interest in.
I was still new to school, but I didn’t understand that my sight words were tools I would build on for a lifetime. I thought to myself, “well, I want to be an astronaut… I can’t see how anything I am learning right now will prepare me to listen to mission control count down, as I push the launch button at just the right moment. I don’t need math OR reading to figure that out, nice try mom.”
Now I can’t help feeling like life is all rocket science, and I wish it were as simple as pushing launch buttons. I would love to be an astronaut, even now, but my life would look so different.
If I had stuck with that dream, I would have what I wanted, and that would give me an exciting life. But I wouldn’t have my children, or be married to my husband, or have the friends I have now. I wouldn’t have this life; a life that, for all of it’s faults, is so beautiful and real.
It’s safe to say I wouldn’t change how things unfolded, but the dream still fills me with joy.
- 1 What did you want to be when you were younger?
- 2 What events took place that moved you toward or away from that dream?
- 3 What do our dreams tell us about the lives we’re living?
I love ruminating on things like this, because the lesson we learn from dreaming is that we can either stay the course or dream a new dream. Both are natural progressions.
I have seen many doors close in my life, like all of you, and we’re not just talking about becoming astronauts. We’re talking about first loves, colleges, moving states, diagnoses, divorce, career changes… sometimes our dreams change, because of things beyond our control, or things that fill us with grief. But that doesn’t make plan B, or C or D any less meaningful.
It makes us resilient.
There is something here for us— and I do mean here. 2020 has been a year than most of us have felt eager to escape at one point or another, but perhaps rushing ahead (even emotionally) would be a disservice. I believe there is opportunity here for each of us to dream of what could be, with our feet planted in the present… maybe it’s time to finish your degree, maybe it’s time to get that tiny home. What I know for certain is that we have time to dream our next dream, there are so many more letters in the alphabet.