It has been a long time since I have written anything on this blog because, to be honest, I haven’t known what to write. Not because things haven’t been happening to me–they have. It’s been more a matter of fear, fear that my words written on here might somehow change my dreams.
Today I realized fear cannot govern this blog, and so here I sit ready to write again.
I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams lately and, coincidentally, so was this person. In fact, everyday when I need an uplifting moment I turn to this blog and just the right words appear on my screen. A small miracle for me.
Opposite to her, I never dreamed of being solely a mother. I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I knew I also wanted a career. Sometimes our long hoped for dreams get away from us and we realize the ones that replace them are “better” for us. When I think of all the things I do well in my life, I can’t think of one job I’ve done better than being a mom. This was never a painstakingly imagined dream that I scoured over everyday of my young adult life, being a mom, but it’s one I’ve come to know I needed just as much as it needed me. It’s a dream better than any of those that I had envisioned; ones of me working in a suit and bossing a bunch of professional men around. In fact, I’ve actually come to see that dream for an inkling, the business women one, and it wasn’t as great, as fulfilling as I’d imagined it.
Today, I realized, it’s that dream I had to be a high-powered woman–that’s the dream that has hurt me the most. It has punched me in the stomach as I’ve failed at it, it has told me I’m not good enough, it has even brought me to knees crying. Though, it’s the other dream, the one that hid in the back of my mind, that dream has brought me such delight, it has brought me to tears in happiness, it given me strength on my weakest days, it has whispered to me so many times “you are enough.” It has never brought me wealth or power, but it has taught me the greatness of sacrifice and selfless devotion.
I’m reading Meaty by Samantha Irby, in a book that seems so “dirty” and, to be honest, crude at times, there is so much honesty. This honesty is about dreams too. In one essay Irby gets really real, she talks about raising her daughter–her very own mother. Behind the sarcasm flows the dreams, the dream of owning a telephone so she wouldn’t have to walk down the street to the fire station when her ‘daughter’s’ legs quit working, the dream of being able to take real Oreos to a school party instead of the off-brand Hydrox ones, the dream of knowing sooner that if she looked clean and got her homework done then she could keep living the dream of raising her ‘daughter’ and no one would ask questions. She talks about realities too though, in fact that’s where her essay ends, seeing her ‘daughter’ without her dentures lying on her deathbed. Her entire life her ‘daughter’ had only taken those dentures out in some late night escapades where she’d gather her cane and pretend to be a witch. But here, on her deathbed, Samantha saw the truth–she really looked more like a [sweet] baby.
It’s true that dreams can be as big as having a high-powered career and finishing a master’s degree and as small as buying name brand Oreos for a party. The truth is though, no matter how big or small dreams are sometimes they just aren’t reality. And sometimes, reality is better than the biggest dream.