Most of us grow up imagining the great things we will accomplish in life. Perhaps you wanted to be a dancer, a painter, an athlete, a pilot, a singer, or a writer. The list is as vast as the individual's imagination. While few of us will ever have the opportunity to fulfill these dreams, does it make them any less important? The answer is no.
While we may not realize it, every childhood dream served a purpose. They allowed us to envision doing something greater than our situation might allow. Dreams open us to possibilities bigger than ourselves, leading us down roads we may never travel. Our childish dreams gave us a chance to see all the possibilities without the constraints that reality places on us as adults.
Our society places little importance on dreams. Adult thinking emphasizes responsibility based on tasks, considering imagination unimportant in landing a good job and making a living. The feedback we receive growing up often convinces us to abandon our vision of what others consider impossible. In the process, we lose so much of ourselves.
Growing up, my dreams and imaginations were as vast as the stars in a desert sky. They were my escape from a difficult and painful situation. Dreams allowed me to see a better world full of happiness and intrigue. One by one these dreams were compressed into a little ball named reality as the necessity of living replaced fantasy. For a long time I lived without dreams focusing on placing one foot in front of the other believing I had no choice in the path. I was wrong. Learning to dream again allowed me to see that I could walk around the roadblocks I saw in front of me.
As adults we have choices. We can blame our parents for smashing our dreams into little pieces, holding on to bitterness and resentment. We can blame our situation for not placing enough opportunities in front of us to allow these dreams to be realized. Hopefully, we will come to understand that our parents and others were trying to protect us from being disappointed since they too had childish dreams that went unfulfilled. They most often simply did not have the tools to guide us in the safest ways or the understanding that imagination is a healthy manifestation of a growing mind.
Regardless of how much we may have suffered from being told we would never be good enough to be the things we dreamed of, it is not too late to put this in the past. We cannot undo what is behind us. Forgive yourself for falling short of your goals to open up the possibilities of what you can become now. Allow yourself to dream again.
There is nothing wrong spending a little time with your head in the clouds. Go places in your mind. See yourself for whatever you want to be. Some things may be possible given enough effort. If you believe you can, go for it. Many things we dream of may not be within our reach. Providing that we do not cling to the impossible, we may find that our wildest dreams lead us to see possibilities we would have missed with our minds closed.
I believe I read it best some while back on Amanda Linehan's blog "Look Far, The Art of Self Awareness". "It's OK to have your head in the clouds as long as your feet are on the ground". Living in reality comes with being an adult. Imagination simply makes life more fun.