I believe we start off in the world full of desire.
Desire is simultaneous with dreams.
I know I did. From an early age my step-dad would come home with rugs, carpets, dolls, and jewelry from places all over the world. I wanted nothing more but to be like him. To see those places he went.
My mother, being more traditional, was deeply concerned with the notion of travel. For a young girl, my exploratory side should only last until my late 20’s. At which point, settling down and reproducing would be necessary, Les I wait too long and regret it for life.
My step-dad was anything but traditional. he believed, I should travel, I should “taste the rainbow” as he put it. I should experiment with everything and everyone until I have such a diverse nest of knowledge that I know what’s most compatible with me and I go for that. My world should be an open shell for which i rest my head and I should be the captain of my own ship.
As a child, to dream big is easy. You are void of responsibility and life seems only complicated in the immediate. I resolved from an early ago that my only goals in life were to travel, write, fight for justice, go to college and have many, many lovers until I find that special one whom I can travel with.
Normally, people change from birth to adult. However, I stayed true to my goals. I wrote love poems, left home, left the country, had a few boyfriends, drank wine and whiskey and generally had a ball at every opportunity. That was until I graduated.
For the first time in my life, after 22 years of living my own dreams. I was comforted with an obstacle. I tried desperately for a year and a half to hold on to my identity I had created from childhood. I fought for justice in Sacramento, I traveled to Turkey to teach English, I could write a book on the crazy adventures I had. But upon returning from lack of funds to pay student loans…life fell into an abyss of routine.
My travel was reduced to two weeks a year and love affairs were bar hopefuls and dreams. I was slowly beginning to realized that the “dream” life I imagined was not easy to live. I could not afford it with this economy and debt and rather, it had started to become empty. But what do you do with your life if you figure out that this identity you had created for yourself was something drifting farther away from you. If I couldn’t or didn’t desire the life I use to live what did the future hold?
Sometimes letting go of dreams to create a new desire is like giving up an addiction. Your desires and dreams define you as much as substances can. For example, an alcoholic or drug addict is defined by their addiction and the company they keep. Whatever feelings and friends they have associate with the substance define life. Once they recover from the addiction they almost have to recreate themselves. The idea of who they are, their circle of friends. Realizing your dreams no longer define you is like a rebirth.
I’ve spent the last few years trying to pick up the pieces or rather redefine the pieces of my life. But what I’ve learned most is that what we desire is fluid. It changes as we change. A 15 year old has different desires than a 25 year old or a 35 year old. To remain only on one track in your life. To live 30 years without a doubt of your purpose or desire; is to now have grown, not have changed, and is to have wasted 30 good years. Everyday we become who we desire to be, everyday that definition changes, and as we grown and learn. Accepting something different in place of past empty desires only creates a stronger person.