12.4.18 - Dream A Little Dream
Dear Sweet Babe,
Today I want to talk to you about dreams.
I’m not talking, exactly, of falling asleep and finding yourself in a story where your limbs have turned to wings and you’re soaring with your talking penguin sidekick, but more so of the wants that you hold so close that only those you trust as deeply as you trust yourself will ever know of them. I am talking of your momma’s dreams of having a beautiful baby and being a tenured professor at UTC. I’m talking about your poppa’s dreams of raising a happy child and flying through the clouds. I’m talking about your uncle’s dreams of finding as many people to love as possible and of winning a Tony.
What are your dreams?
They don’t have to be big ones, sweet one. They can be any size that you want. You can dream about what you want to make for dinner, just as easily as you can dream of owning your own bistro. You can dream about your plans for your next day off, just as easily as you can dream of your plans to fly across the ocean and have an adventure in a foreign land. And, your dreams don’t even have to be about anything specific either. A dream about winning an award is just as valid as a dream about getting through a difficult test. A dream of finding a life-long love is just as valid as a dream of loving yourself. Your dream can be, and should be, anything you want it to be.
But, there is a crucial thing about dreams: they have to be deep. You have to want something deeply enough that you are willing to work for it. You can’t just have a whim and call it a dream. Passing fancies do not dreams make. You have to be able to look at something and peer so deeply and intensely at it that you can know every facet of it. You have to be able to break your dream down into smaller, manageable bits. That’s why concrete things make the best dreams.
Your momma knows that there will always be tenured positions available for her to find. Your poppa knows that the sky will always be there for him to reach for. And I always know that The Tony’s will be there for me to work towards. So, what concrete something are you looking for?
If you’re having difficulty thinking of something (believe me, it’s terrifyingly hard to pick a dream; to open yourself up to admitting that you want something that deeply, even if you may spend your entire life working for it), I’d recommend thinking of something that you want and asking yourself, “how long have I wanted this?” If it’s been less than a year of wanting, maybe think a bit harder.
When I was a boy I would watch The Tony’s and listen to original Broadway cast recordings, imagining myself singing these parts on a stage. Then, I would choreograph whole numbers in my mind (and in the backyard) and I would envision how it would feel walking onto the Radio City Music Hall stage and accepting that tiny, beautiful trophy. Even when I thought about giving up on performing, I still felt that deep want pulling me. Even when the work was thin, I still felt the want. Even when I was fighting the overwhelming feeling of failure all through college, the want was omnipresent. That’s how I knew. That’s how my dream found me.
So, what dreams will you find for yourself, or what dreams will find you? What goal will drive you? Please do let me know when you find one…because I want to help you to wake up to your dream come true.