It was a simple question, really. One that most people could easily answer. Children, in particular, seem to have a million of them.
“Be a professional basketball player.”
“Make a video game you can go inside of.”
“Be a famous singer.”
“Invent real-life unicorns.”
Dreams. They’re full of them.
When did I lose mine?
As you read last time, in my early 30s, I went through sort of a literary awakening, where after a decade of not reading, I suddenly read over 70 books in one year. It felt good, great, even. I felt more like me than I had in a long time. But something was still missing, and I couldn’t figure out what it was.
Then, one day out of the blue, my husband, Daniel, asked me the question, “What is your dream?”
I thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it.
For years my dreams had all been family-centered. To get married. To have kids. To be a stay-at-home-mom. To buy a house. But now that I had accomplished those, did that mean my dreaming days were over? What about the next 40+ years of my life? With four little kids were my dreams merely reduced to one day showering every day? Or one day having a clean house again? Surely, the rest of my life was worth more than that.
Finally, I answered.
“I guess I don’t have one.”
Daniel looked at me like I had just told him I didn’t have a home or anything to eat or a friend in the world. With a confused expression he simply said, “I can’t imagine a life without dreams.”
When I asked him what his dreams were, he was easily able to rattle off a fairly sizeable list of professional, personal, and family goals. That was the day I realized my life was really missing something.
So, off I went, in search of a dream.
I started practicing the piano again. Maybe piano was my new dream. Nope.
I got a part-time teaching job. Maybe teaching was my new dream. Nope.
I got a part-time statistics job. Maybe having a career was my new dream. Nope.
The more things I tried, the more things failed. But the one thing that wasn’t failing me, was reading. And the more I read, the more I felt pulled to the same dream I had had as a child. To have a love affair with words. To tell stories no one else could tell.
To be an author.
Now, I just needed to find my story.
How I found it, next time.