Monday, April 14, 2014

On dreams

Remember when you were little? When everything seemed possible? When your fantasies flowed into your reality and sometimes you couldn’t even tell the difference? When it came to your dreams things were easy. You just did what you liked and didn’t think much about the ‘buts’ and ‘what-ifs’.  So why does that change when you grow up? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and about dreams in general. It’s what made me draw up this little doodle. I know it really isn't much and that is what made me realize that a doodle wouldn't be enough to get my musings about dreams out there. So, I decided to give writing them down a try. This is the result. 

You probably do remember that feeling you had as a kid, that feeling of being unafraid to go after what you love. As you grow older that feeling changes. I think in general there are two things that happen to your dreams as you slowly move towards being a grown-up; 1. Your dreams change 2. You make ‘plans’.

Now, your dreams changing or developing isn’t a bad thing at all. I would say it’s actually a really important part of growing. You start to realize what really matters to you and that a person is a lot more than just ‘a doctor’, ‘a mother’ or  ‘a rock star’. Over the last few years that meant that my ‘dreams’  became more abstract.  Instead of being a famous actress, I now wish to entertain and brighten the days of people in any way possible. This also means that the definition of dreams changes (at least, it did for me). Suddenly they’re not crazy big and crazy specific air castles, but quite often small and sometimes hard to describe aspirations. Maybe they’re less dreams and more passions.

This brings me to the no.2 on my little list, ‘making plans’. Please don’t get me wrong, I am all for making plans and setting realistic goals. Unfortunately, when we grow older making plans often means shoving your dreams away in the dark corners of your mind. While you apply for that study program, get that (part time) job and spend Friday night with the same old friends ‘going on a road trip across the US’, ‘being a singer in France’ or ‘learning how to fly a plane’ become imaginary figments that only cross your mind on a dull Sunday afternoon. As you take concrete steps towards the life you’ll have, somehow you forget to include the life you really want. (Believe me, that’s what happened to me.)

So why do we do that? Why don’t we work towards those visions we have of ourselves being life-saving doctors or stylish fashion designers? I think it’s either because we become cynical. We believe it’s impossible. I used to think of a lot of the things I wanted as these huge mountains, higher than the Mount Everest, that only a lucky few with very good shoes were able to climb. Unfortunately, I forgot that every mountain is climbed step-by-step. To say that in a less metaphorical way: There are often small and simple actions you can take to achieve your goals. Actions that you can include in those very realistic plans you made. You want to be an actress? Join a local theatre group or take acting lessons after you finish work. You want to be a doctor? Find out what degrees you need and try to adjust your studies or volunteer at a hospital. Too often we get so blinded by all the ‘buts’ and ‘what-ifs’, to see that we achieve our dreams in the same way we make our ‘safe plans’.

Another thingy I made recently. I'm quite the artist, aren't I ;)
Maybe your sitting in front of your computer screen right now, thinking (or about to comment): “I can take these steps, but I’ll still never reach my goals.” And that’s when I reply: “So what?”. Like I mentioned before, dreams and passions are often very similar or even the same thing. Taking actions to achieve your dreams often means that you are busy with something you love. If you want to be a famous writer and you write stories, but only ten of your friends read them, you’re still doing something you enjoy. Something that is truly yours.
So, maybe this means I can be bold and say; There’s a big chance your dreams won’t come true, but that’s okay. While you’re having fun climbing that mountain, there is a big chance you will stumble along another way to use your passions, or you will realize that there’s an even better mountain to climb, or you will find something you never knew existed.  Although it’s the cliché-of-clichés, what I’m trying to say is: “Shoot for the moon and you’ll land among the stars.”

That’s why I want you to remember that feeling of being young and unafraid, letting your imagination drip into your reality like messy watercolors. Because I think we can learn a lot from that that little kid, while using our grown up brains. It’s okay to be a little naïve when it comes to dreams. To believe in that Disney- animation magic. As long as we are using those dull-grown-up planning skills of ours and shoot for that proverbial moon, we have the chance of ending up somewhere beautiful.

What was your childhood dream? And what are you doing to achieve your dreams at the moment? 

1 comment:

  1. Hoii!
    Leuke blog! :)
    Ik heb je genomineerd voor de Liebster Award!
    Meer info:

    ♥ Eva