Today’s post features guest writer, Manuel Tapia. What did you dream of being when you grew up?
One of the most popular versions of the Native American’s dream catcher’s purpose says that the dream catcher would be placed above the infant’s bed so that it may protect the child from nightmares. It would let the bad dreams pass through the netting, and the good dreams would get caught in the netting. In doing so, the good dreams would then trickle down the feathers to the sleeping child. But what happens when we take the same dream catcher theory when looking at our childhood dreams of what we were going to amount to in our lives?
We were all asked on plenty of occasions, “What do you dream of being/doing when you grow up?” And of course we all had the common answers like: professional athlete, astronaut, firefighter, and so on and so forth. It’s quite funny when we put ourselves in our childhood mindset and attempt to recapture the feeling of absolute belief that the achievement of our dreams was not only possible, but inevitable. What has happened to those childhood dreams? Why have so many of them been put to rest, or placed in the nooks and crannies of our mind only to be brought out and acknowledged when we reminisce upon our childhoods? Better yet, what has happened to those dreamers?
We have all listened to the older generations say things along the line of, “I remember when I was young, I used to dream of doing/being (fill in blank)….” It seems that somewhere along the path to adulthood our perceptions of the possibility of those childhood dreams has fizzled away and have become as flat as soda that has been left out for a day or two. I have come to the conclusion that lots of us have taken a page right out of Peter Pan…. and have grown up. For some reason, once we become adults, we instead tend to trade these dreams in for a steady paycheck or salary. Now, I’m not saying that this is a negative thing, because I have just as many responsibilities (bills), as the next person. What I am saying is that most often, our dreams cannot be achieved without sacrifice, but why do our dreams become viewed as the object of a sacrificial ritual to become an adult?
The peculiar thing is that once our dreams evolve alongside us throughout our travels into maturity, they seem to somehow begin to revolve around money. Of course, just about everything really does have money tied into it somehow, but there are those whose dreams only have to deal with the simple fact that enjoyment is the core motive.
Of course, there are those who never lose sight of their dreams and ultimately achieve them. From professional athletes to astronauts and everything in between, they prove that anything is possible. Needless to say, they all had their doubters and nay-sayers cross their paths; nevertheless, it’s when the individual indeed catches their dream that they are finally given the credit for their hard work and dedication. All the while, the idea of those who are still in pursuit of their dreams is swatted away like a pesky fly, or even worse…criticized.
“He should get a real job!” “She’s just wasting her time thinking that’s going to lead anywhere!” Comments and remarks like these can only be fueled by bitterness or even jealousy, but I may be mistaken and it may be their genuine feelings. But rather than lash out at “dreamers”, I believe we should try to give them a hand up or at least some moral support for trying to do something that they enjoy or have a passion for. There is a good percentage of people who work their whole lives, yet never truly enjoy the line of work that they were in. However, just because we grow up doesn’t mean we have to exchange those “unrealistic dreams” for “realistic goals”. Everything is realistic as long as we believe in the possibility in fulfilling those dreams.
The limits to where our dreams are capable of taking us are anything but finite. We have allowed ourselves to fall into a state of insomnia and seemed to have gained an unhealthy fear of dreaming. There are plenty of doubters and nay-sayers who try to get those who do attempt to catch their dreams to “wake up”. There is only one thing I have to say to my fellow dreamers, and that is….Keep dreaming! Keep dreaming and don’t you wake up until the reality that you awaken to is that of your dreams!