Recently I realized that I had stopped dreaming impossible dreams.
I’ve been wearing my practical pants and sensible shoes. I’ve been working with what’s working and getting into a habit of maintaining – all of which is good. But without impossible dreams, I’ve found myself a little bit empty, a little dull around the edges. Without impossible dreams to draw me out into the adventure of the great beyond, I find my borders getting a little smaller and my spirit getting a little sleepier.
Why do we avoid impossible dreams?
Because sometimes they hurt. Deeply.
You look at that brochure for art school, you peruse your friend’s travel-filled Instagram feed, you see that creative blogger joyfully leap from their full-time job to online entrepreneurship and you cry or growl or simply turn it off. You turn off not only the stimulus but your feeling about it.
A mix of desire and deprivation is just too much for the heart to bear.
But that desire is your true north and when you turn it off, you lose a part of who you are.
Whatever you are in your heart, be that an artist, a world-traveller, a chef, a dancer, an author, whatever, you must find a way to express that part of your soul. An impossible dream can serve as a focal point, a light to guide the way.
An impossible dream can be the brilliant sun on the horizon line calling you to move and to become.
As you journey to what you believe to be an unreachable destination many things can happen. Yes, you can get discouraged. Yes, you can get lost and you can get hurt. But you can also get stronger and grow your courage and I can guarantee you that you will have experiences that you never would have had otherwise. Sure, you might not become a full-time artist but you will create art. You will study and hone your skills. You will build a body of work and an artistic voice. On the road to that dream, you may build a C.V. and enter exhibits. You may have one, two, three solo shows. Your friends and family will come to know you as “the artist” and you will have spent hours, in fact, days, months, years of your life doing something that your soul loves to do.
Isn’t that better than turning off that desire? Isn’t that better than deciding not to dream?
I’ve decided that it is.
And so, I have invited some old and familiar dreams into my heart again, dreams I had stopped thinking about, dreams I had relegated to the world of “impossible”. Now, when this dream comes up, I no longer respond with a dull ache and deep sadness. Instead, there is a fresh and mischievous twinkle in my eye as I begin again to wonder, “What if?”
We are not defined by achieving our dreams but through having the dream in the first place and the journey we take on the road our heart dreams of will take us places that enrich our lives and awaken our souls.