We had so many of them when we were little. The world was our oyster, a limitless oasis where if we could imagine something, we believed that we could bring it to life. That’s what I love about children and the nostalgia of childhood. Even in the most vulgar, unjust upbringing, children still have dreams. It is beautiful. It is powerful. It is daring.
Somewhere along the way, however, life knocks us down. And it keeps knocking us down. We’re torn apart and broken, and left to pick ourselves up from the floor. Maybe with the helping hand of people that we love, but sometimes it’s just us, and we have to help ourselves. All of a sudden those dreams we had from childhood seem so far away in the distance, in a place that we cannot seem to get to or grasp. That distance grows and we think we’ve lost our way; we think our dreams have vanished.
Our dreams, we think, are what makes us extraordinary. So when we’re swept away by the practicalities of life, when we think our struggles are leading us nowhere, we are left feeling quite ordinary. Even though our dreams were never what made us ordinary or extraordinary; our dreams, all of us, are how we connect to each other, to our humanity. Our desires, our passions, our perseverance is what brings us together; it how we are made more compassionate towards each other. But sometimes we’re too busy struggling to even notice how far we’ve come.
It’s easy to compare what you think your life should be, to what your life is. It’s easy to compare the dreams you once had to the dreams you have now. And on the search for goodness, for greatness, for creating new paths, for doing something different, we sometimes don’t even stop to think that what we have right now might be the dream. We don’t even stop to think that maybe we’re living the dream, and we don’t even know it.
There is always a goal to be accomplished, a struggle to face, a challenge to meet, a dream to chase. And by all means, chase those dreams. But remember that life isn’t a race even if you might see it as a journey. Remember that wanting more isn’t always greater than gratitude and contentment; remember that the two are not mutually exclusive. And above all, remember that living the dream isn’t what happens at the end of the journey, it is the journey.