Dreaming – Part One

The miracle isn’t that I finished it’s that I had the courage to start
-John Bingham

Since our short summer break in December and January I feel like life completely changed. There has been lots to process for me emotionally these last five months, lots of new schedules and routines and lots of new jobs to conquer. The last 2-3 years I have done a lot of staying at home and watching kiddos. I love those memories and love those days but I am so happy they are over. I love our new crazy life and our normal that is anything but normal. It’s been one month since I have had a chance to share anything at all with our new schedule. As a med school wife I have loved this year most of all. There is less stress in the house, lots more fun conversations to hear about from school and more shared life. I have had to figure out new ways of doing life. I work entirely more than I ever have married, so house work and meals happen very rarely. I am not a fan of cooking on a good day but throw in a lot of 7 day work weeks, a three year old that is exerting his leadership and wisdom (or at least I like to tell myself that is what the tantrums are all about) and a husband that isn’t a big foodie, means meals just are not my priority. Nutrition happens most days but, well, let’s be honest I have had crackers for a meal more times than I want to count this last five months. One of my husband’s friends from school said to him after watching me and my son pull up to pick him up one night, “Is it so great to have a home cooked meal after having classes all day?” I laughed out loud before my husband shared his response with me, “Um I wouldn’t really know.” HA!

My personality loves hustling. I love being busy and I love my plate being full. I fall into bed a happier and a more fun person to be around when my day is full of activity and change. That said it is very easy to hide from emotions and fears and even dreams when you hustle. They hide out in the quiet moments to and from school or for me in the elevator between floors in the hospital. If I am not careful I can miss dreaming or be kept paralyzed by a fear or let my emotions and/or the pretend conversations with others run wild in my head. I am learning that I need to find a balance of the hustle I love and the health I desire.

The hardest part for me is to keep dreaming when I am in a stage like we are in at the moment. I love the hustle, I love the team work, I love sharing the parenting but I love it so much I fool myself into thinking this is all I want. And yes I do love it and want to enjoy the now but I never want to stop dreaming. My love of hustling can stop my need to dream. I love my life but am I fulfilled? I love the pace of right now but am I giving back what I hoped to give back? I love my family but will I keep dreaming about adoption and that sweet baby girl I know is somewhere out there?

I am glad that the slow season for me is gone for now, but I have to find the sweet spot of the time that the slow season allowed for me to dream and the rush and excitement I get from a full day. I haven’t done this well. I live all or nothing. I am either all in and dreaming in my slow and quiet days or running a hundred miles an hour with no time to dream. Dreaming about the mark you want to leave, the person you want to be, the life you want to create for you and your family is important. For me dreaming happens when I ask myself ‘Is that what you really want?’ It is a scary question and one that is often unasked. It is easy to say I don’t even have the luxury to ask what I really want because I am just surviving or barely making ends meat, but that is a LIE. You always have time to ask what do you really want? It isn’t the question that is scary but the answer or the silence that comes because you have never asked it. What if the answer is I have no idea? More scary still is what if the answer is NO. Or what if you have an answer but no plausible way of getting there? What do I do with that information now? You bravely ask it again: what is it that you really want? And how are you going to get there?

For me that question has sat with me for about 3 years now. I can finally say I don’t know what I want to do for my career but I know I don’t want to just do this. That sentence took many frustrating conversations with myself, tearful car rides alone, lots of processing with my supportive husband, and courage to ask myself over and over what I want and painful action steps to figure out what I am good at and how can I translate that to work and helping others. I don’t have it figured out at all! Don’t get me wrong I love my jobs at the hospital and somewhere deep inside me I think it is preparation for something I can’t see but it isn’t what I want completely. Until then I will practice dreaming in the busy. Finding snipits of my day where I can wonder about what life could be, long for things that seem impossible and find themes of what I enjoy in the work that I do have.

As long as you have breath you have something to offer the world, a unique stamp that only you can give humanity. Whether you are a surgeon or in food service, a CEO or an administrator, a teacher or stay at home parent we can always keep dreaming. Even if you don’t know how to get to your dream or even start the process don’t quit dreaming, it uncovers parts of your soul that you need to see and the world desperately needs to hear.

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