Today, I am reminded that I was given a new life.
This means that I am responsible for living, for living with purpose. The journey to understand what that purpose is takes me back to the beginning…
You were a dreamer, once.
The eyes-clamped-open kind of dreaming.
The Technicolor-movie-mind kind of dreaming.
The kind of dreaming where you let your heart run through an open field, not holding it back, not fearing a hole to trip in, or a thorn to step on.
Dreaming all out.
Do you remember what that was like, that kind of dreaming?
I wish I could go back and take notes from the little me, who was without a doubt a dreamer, a big time dreamer.
The little me was often asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and believe me, she knew exactly what that was.
It was more of list, really: actor, Olympic ski racing coach, walrus trainer at Sea World.
Little me was very specific.
Little me didn’t make a t-chart listing the benefits and risks of a future career.
Little me knew her heart and knew that if she wanted to be something -wanted to be something with every fiber of her being- it could happen.
It’s that childhood confidence, I suppose, that allows one to have such wild and beautiful dreams.
Little children, such bold little children.
Bold in wearing purple polka dot socks, a rainbow striped shirt and tiara.
Bold in scripting, directing and starring in an original musical production, performed to a host of teddy bears.
Bold in declaring a national cupcake holiday mandating that everyone feast on sugar-frosted goodness.
Kids don’t often hesitate. They think up an idea and they do it.
There is no question of ,‘Will Timmy think my outfit looks cute? Will he think it makes my thighs look big?’
No such things as, ‘Is my voice on pitch? Are people going to laugh at me during my solo?’
And never something like, ‘How many calories are in this cupcake? Maybe I should go for the mini size, the low-cal, low-fat one…’
It was more like, “I would like the biggest cupcake with the mountain of icing and chocolate shavings, please.”
Doubt. Worry. Anxiety. Those words aren’t in the kid dictionary.
Dream. Faith. Do. Be. Those words are.
In fact, those are the words that are woven into the fibers of your heart.
Don’t believe me? Think back to the little you, the dreamer you.
You came into this world as a dreamer.
You were birthed into this word as a bundle of confidence.
You entered this life with faith so deep that you never knew anything different than dreaming big.
A dreamer. That was you.
And that still is you.
Maybe it feels like a long time since you last let yourself dream.
Maybe it feels like it was so long ago that you can’t really remember the last time.
By the time you went to college and people started asking you what you wanted to be, your answer got trapped somewhere in these thoughts of … How much money will this career make me? What will people think of my job? What will people think of me if my job isn’t great or glamorous? What if I hate my job? Why do I hate my job so much…
What a shift.
What a huge shift from the dreamer you to a soul who has forgotten the dreamer, forgotten the dream to ascribe to the conventional, to the acceptable, to a life inside the imaginary lines.
I’m not sure if you know when that shift happened, if it did. Maybe it was when someone laughed at you as you were reading aloud in class, or when that girl gave you the once over when you were wearing your favorite t-shirt, or when your crush pretended to gag as he watched you eat the tuna fish sandwich that your mom made you.
Whether or not you remember when the shift happened, that doesn’t mean that the dreamer is gone.
She’s still there, still sleeping inside your heart, still buzzing around with a sparkler in one hand, popsicle in the other, dreaming up dreams of places to travel -real and imaginary- things to build, dances to dance.
The Creator created you as a dreamer.
In your purest form, you are a confident dreamer.
When I think back to the start, I am reminded: this life was meant for good. Crazy, beautiful good.