I will probably write often about following dreams, living your best life, etc. on this website. I do it as I go through my own journey. But how do we know what is a dream worth pursuing, and what isn’t? I think the answer can sometimes be found in our childhood. Before we fully understand reality, or what it means to be an adult with responsibilities, or life wears us out, or people tell us our dreams are dumb or impossible…before all this we are connected to what truly matters to us. We are selfish and focused on our own needs/wants/desires, and therefore, we know what feeds our soul.
When I was young I had several dreams. I wanted to travel the world, especially fancy cities like Paris, and be rich and have romantic adventures like the kind I read about in Danielle Steel novels. I wanted to get a group of friends together and go solve mysteries like Nancy Drew. I wanted to go to India to find a tiger in the wild, and pet it. I wanted to be a famous actress and make movies everyone enjoyed watching. And of course, I wanted to be a writer.
Most of these dreams aren’t likely to happen. As adults we understand reality more, and know what is truly possible. I realize now I’m not going to go to India to pet a wild tiger. It’s not practical. We also change as we grow. Being an actress? No thanks. Fame no longer interests me. And I learned I don’t have the steel nerves required to do investigative work (we won’t discuss how I know this, lol). So what was once appealing was easily tossed aside as I learned more about myself, and my abilities and talents. But the dream of being a writer never left.
Now in my 40’s, I am panicking a little. Mid-life tends to hit us that way—a sudden realization that life doesn’t go on forever, and if we don’t focus on what really matters, time will run out. I’m doing the math and realizing I’ve let this dream sit by the wayside for over 30 years! Always pushing it aside, always telling myself later—when I have more time. Well I’m starting to figure out time isn’t going to appear out of nowhere, gifting me hours a day where there’s nothing else to do but focus and write. I have to take the time, and sometimes against its will.
And of course there’s always the fear of failure. If I fail, does it mean I was wrong? I’m not meant to be a writer? I’ve spent my whole life hoping for something never meant to be? What I do know is: If I never try, I will regret it. And I strive really hard to not have regrets.
That is why this blog is titled The Balance Wheel. I understand attempting to balance all the hats we wear these days can be difficult, and often we feel like we are neglecting something or someone. Our dreams get pushed aside because they’re not as big of a priority. Or we don’t believe we can achieve them. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I think it’s important to start asking the questions. How do we hold onto those dreams? How do we achieve them? How do we balance it all?
So I say to you: those dreams and desires that have followed you throughout your time on earth? Listen to them. Give those childhood wishes a voice, and let the adult part of you do the hard work to make them happen.
Follow your dreams. Too often it’s just an inspirational quote hung up the wall that we read, but don’t stop to think about. Think about it. Think about what steps it will take to reach the goal. Mull over what your life might look like, and how you will feel about yourself when you reach it. Sit with the dream until you remember—until you understand the impact. Fight for it like it’s your life. Because it is.