On dreaming

In 2005 I wrote this:

Somehow dreaming — hoping, really — feels like falling. You have to stand at the edge, hold your breath, and jump in.

You get out of practice so quickly. Standing at the edge for an eternity, you forget how, or what, or that only you can. The moment feels impossible.

I’ve built up a wall against hope, against dreaming. I’ll “jinx it” or “ruin it,” I claim, but really, I’m worried that I’ll believe, and then I’ll be disappointed.

Well, I’m hoping again, and dreaming again. I’m trying not to be afraid of the fall and instead revel in the small jolt of fear. I’m remembering that the dreaming is the destination; even if you never get there, you’ve felt the lift of possibility.

I’m proud of myself for having the courage to hope. I’m finding that most people don’t.

Setting aside the judgment of the last sentence (I was a very immature 25 at the time), I find myself still trying to learn that lesson.

I’ve generally constrained my wants to things I can have; if I can’t have them, then, I don’t want them.  Perverse — and judgmental — but a fair coping mechanism for growing up around people whose parents made a lot more money than mine.

Now, though, that coping mechanism limits my potential.  If you can’t even begin to consider wanting it, how can you make it happen?


I’m searching for photos of furniture upholstered or slipcovered in corduroy and I come across this website.

It’s gorgeous, like a really cold desert.  I’m smitten.  I want to go there.

But then, reality.  It’s in Patagonia. It’s really far away. It’s super expensive, no doubt (I don’t even bother to see how expensive).  Also, I’m not a nature girl.

What pathetic excuses for not dreaming!  I am too good at talking myself out of things, then secretly coveting them for an eternity.  High school: $70 Doc Martens. Later: a trip with these guys, a chair like this, a weekend home on a lake, a weekend trip here.  If I can convince myself the thing will benefit other people, I’ll do it, but otherwise, my monsters tell me I’m ridiculous and I’ll never do it so why want it?

I want to live an extraordinary life (extra + ordinary, not more than ordinary) but I never will if I talk myself out of anything but the most inexpensive purchases.  It’s okay to want, to dream… as long as I’m not wishing.

How do you dream?


3 thoughts on “On dreaming

  1. http://www.43things.com/

    I love this stie because I can tap tap away and list my dreams. Some to happen this year – some to happen in 10 years. Some I’ve been thinking about for years… some I post on a whim.

    ~ get a tattoo in memory of my dad
    ~ visit south africa
    ~ make life happen – not let it happen to me.
    ~ implement a ‘TV diet’ day. Or two 🙂
    ~ finish my cowboy quilt
    ~ go to cosmotology school

    It’s fun to view my husband’s list as well! Sometimes I learn stuff I didn’t know.
    Plus it’ll also show you how many other people share your same dreams. 238 people want to visit South Africa with me.

    It’s simple. And I like simple. And I love to dream and point my life in that direction! I think dreams help me make sure my life isn’t going around in a pointless loop – ya know.

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