Some time ago, I realized something interesting. I am not a religious person. I believe in God because this world is too overwhelming, dangerous, and depressing to even think that we are all in it on our own. But the idea of religion and worshiping things/ideas, segregation based on belief systems, and discrimination under the premise of "loving someone/thing" is too far from anything I value. I did realize that the best thing God ever gave us, as humans, is the ability to Dream. I am not talking about flashbacks and nightmares. Although those happen during sleep as well, it's not the same as a Dream. A Dream is full of hope, promise, imagination. Dreams lead you to visualize your potential future, whether real or completely far-fetched. Dreams are personal, individualized... it's like when you Dream you create an entire world, a whole universe, that is all about and all for you. Stop and really think about this. Isn't that the most wonderful gift in the world?!
Well, I am sure you are thinking... what's with all the talk about Dreams? Well, I decided about 15 minutes ago that my Dream was crushed. A big part of my heart and imagination went right out the door with my Dream as I realized that, while we have the amazing gift to fabricate these intense and emotionally gratifying personal wonderlands, identities, and futures... we do not possess the ability to create avenues to achieve these imaginary goals.
Almost a year ago, I set a personal goal. I have been dreaming, rather steadily for about 4 years that I start my own small business selling things that I crafted. I also dream that I write a best-selling novel and travel the world, wearing self-designed, expensive couture clothing. But the second part of the fantasy is not nearly as close to heart as the Dream of being known and loved as an artist/creator. My goal was to work on learning the skills I needed in order to make the things I wanted to sell. Afterwards, my new year's resolution (one of literally 100 resolutions for 2010, I might add) was to purchase the website and start actively working towards getting that Dream to be a Reality. I bought my website last November, but due to working two jobs, going to grad school, and having whatever left over time for my family and sleep, I didn't get started on making things until a few months ago. Six weeks ago, I sat thinking to myself that almost a year has lapsed, where I have been sitting with an empty website that I paid for last November in full, Dreaming and talking about and planning for this online business to kick off. Isn't that a shame? So much time, money and effort on projects started only to be lost, forgotten or damaged as I lackadaisically wandered towards my goal. So, I decided that by Halloween, I would have 60% or more of my inventory stocked on my online store so that I could begin advertisements for Christmas sales.
Here we are... 2 weeks before Halloween. I have less than 10%. Ha! I actually think I have about 2% of the 60% that I planned to be finished right now.
Then, 3 weeks ago, I get this email that says applications for the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair are coming up due this Friday. I thought to myself that I could totally crank out enough items to at least be considered a candidate to participate in the show. I made a plan (which we all know is not my strength) and I got to work. Between picking up extra shifts, migraines, and unexpected fall throughs with childcare, I have been rather ride tracked, but I managed to force myself to keep moving forward.
It wasn't until today, after an argument with my husband that I noticed the truth. It sort of hit me in the face. I absolutely hate being hit in the face, whether physically or otherwise, which is probably why I was so bitter and upset when the truth set in. The truth is I have been trying to make my Dream come true when it's not more than a Dream. Fantasy. False. Fake. Imagined.
My Reality is that I have a husband and daughter who have grown to be very needy because for the past 4 years, I have bitterly played the role of the robot mom/wife predominantly doing things for the family with little or no regard to myself or the things that make me happy. I think, in an alternate Dream, I imagined that's what good wives do. They have kids, take care of everyone, and in return, they are held on a pedestal so that when the wife wants something that's important to her, everyone stops what they are doing/needing/wanting and they help support the wife to that one goal. What in the Hell was I thinking?! That's not true at all! In fact, that's not even in alignment with Human Nature! The Reality is that the more you give to those who are used to taking, the more those individuals take and the more they want/expect.
So I have a new plan... a revised Dream that I hope is more in tune with Reality. The Reality is I have always had to give up every single important goal for my family. I wanted to join the Peace Corps, but my husband said he had no plans of coming with me, which means I would have wasted time and efforts in the relationship to begin with and I chose to stay. I wanted to get my PhD, but to get into any great programs, my GPA would have needed to exceed whatever I squeaked by with after spending more time and effort on being married/pregnant than studying. I planned to breeze by graduate school for social services, which isn't even a difficult program. Unfortunately, when you have to put home life and all it's issues which last indefinitely before anything else, it becomes a little hard to gather the energy to continue giving excuse after excuse as to why you had no time for homework assignments or assignments that require time outside of class.... and it becomes even more difficult to bite back the sheer embarrassment from shedding tears in every meeting that involves important people who point at you and drone on about your failures. I wanted to sell Mary Kay, and I did, until it became evident that I was not going to be able to invest the time I hoped in order to really make something of myself in that line of work. I really liked being a Mary Kay rep too... And now, here we are again. I wanted to be in an art show. Any art show. Anywhere. It's not going to happen. I either have no time, money, space, or energy to get everything accomplished. So I am setting that, with all the deadlines and fees, to the side.
My New Dream is to just create things in order to be happy and to alleviate stress. Next month, I will have paid $80 for a year of a blank website! I am not sad about it. But I really have to bring that to my personal attention as a reminder that things need to change! I also have another revision to my Dream: Find out a way to make things work! What do I really want to do? Be Wife & Mother 24/7? If so, I better shut it up, cook, clean, and cater to my family with a smile on the inside as well as on the outside. Do I really want to be some sort of artistic/creative success? Well, then I have to grow a pair and tell my husband this isn't going to work. Either he better step up and put forth the same unrelenting efforts I do on a consistent basis or I have to be alone! Do I just want to stay the way I am? Well, I have an answer to that! NOOOOO!!!!!
I want to know what it is that means the most to me. I want to know what I want more than anything in the world. I want to know how to get those things and make my Dreams come true. Most importantly, I do NOT want to sit around in a daze for hours per day Dreaming of all that could, should, and would be if I had just made up my mind instead of making longer and longer lists of excuses! When and where did I lose myself along the way? I was never this indecisive about my life, and now I can't even think of what I want for lunch without taking a poll and journaling about it! I need to start a search for who I am Now (not for who I was because she is so very gone) and I need to find out what the New Bri wants for herself. I'll stop there because that is a serious feat in it of itself.
TODAY, rather than tomorrow..... 1-finish cleaning, 2- work on binding books, but not in a way that is disrespectful to my husband and not by ignoring family, 3- cook that delicious chicken meal I planned on.... and 4- write a letter to my mom, my Number One Fan. I need a pick me up!