Sometime early in high school, I stopped having typical “dreams” while suffering from insomnia. I’m not certain why this was the case, but I had a hellish time getting accustomed to not getting enough sleep. At the time I wasn’t too concerned with not having dreams, as it seemed like I wasn’t missing out on much. Memories of dreams don’t usually last very long after waking, and when they do, they are often just garbled images of nonsense anyway. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the true value in dreaming.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
I was an avid reader as a kid, but that interest waned as I got more busy and frustrated in high school. As I progressed into my adult years, I continued on that same shitty path. Gone was the kid who would vividly act out the final battle at Hogwarts in his mind. I lamented on the days of watching closely as Artemis Fowl masterfully crafted plans to overthrow his enemies.
To me, these bouts of imagination were just as good as the usual dream. Sometimes they were even better. Though as is traditionally expected when growing up, I eventually parted ways with my imagination. I was determined to stop being childish and make the whole “being an adult” thing official.
Bad move, Shcteve.
Turns out, being an adult actually means you can just do whatever the hell you want. To hell with dreaming at night. To hell with keeping my dreams in my head. Now that I’ve stopped following tradition I see that I’m free to have dreams that I can actually realize. A powerful discovery for someone as repressed as I once was.
Sure, we may not be able to have magical battles atop a mystical school, but you know what we can do?
Start that business, paint that picture, write that song, get that degree, write that book and — oh yeah — build that life we deserve. I’m pumped just thinking about it. When your dreams are based in the real world, there is no need to “be realistic”. The pursuit never has to end, as long as you stay in motion. Forward progress is the only requirement to reaching a destination.
So no matter where life has taken you, don’t let your past mute your future. Even if you don’t believe it possible to bring your dreams into reality, I do. Because my only dream is helping you find yours.