Dreams – Part I
“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream” –Khalil Gibran
Someone asked me recently if any of the dreams I had as a young man came true? By “dreams” I assumed this person meant aspirations, not the succession of images, thoughts, or emotions that pass through my mind during sleep, and it was something I had to mull over. In my boyhood years I wanted to be a major league pitcher but I sucked at the game. Later I endeavored to become a famous musician, or find stardom in a popular band. I became somewhat of an accomplished artist and played alongside some very talented people, but fame was elusive, always one-step ahead. My parents imagined I’d be a doctor, it was their dream for me, but that undertaking was light years ahead of my motivation and dedication.
The magic of movies compelled me at a young age to fantasize about my place in the halcyon halls of thespianism, but the powers that be did not grant me with the austere quality of manly beauty necessary. I dreamed of being a superhero, an astronaut, becoming president…all the standard fare of early on, fire-in-the-belly, pre-pubescent hankerings.
But I don’t recall my dream being to dip my hand into a dozen careers, from truck driver to professional photographer (of limited achievement), food circular layout artist to real estate sales manager. Nor do I believe I ever planned to work twenty years at the phone company, bypassing countless family events and personal situations to get the job done, only to be tossed aside, like old socks, in a high-income salary purge.
There was lying awake in bed at night with the heartbreak of losing a sister, a brother and my parents all within a few years of each other. And I doubted my fingers were crossed hoping that loving members of my family would suffer from addiction, mental illness, or a debilitating, life-threatening disease.
But I digress. Of course they’re not dreams, it’s just the bullshit life throws your way when all you’re trying to do is get by. Dreams are those hopes that thrive more stringently in a youthful mind, when all of life ahead seems endless and full of all possibilities for the future. And that is sad because dreams should never die. We should continue to push the envelope of our life, relish the prospects of as-yet unfulfilled promises because promises are what we should strive to keep and demand of ourselves: that we continue to dream, continue to keep an eye on the big picture. The end game should be heralded by your consummated dreams.
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” –John Barrymore
RjCook is the author of Dream Lover and Other Tales & The Road Behind Me (The Lie of Hannah) author.to/rjcook