Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sunday Scribblings ~ Real Life


Have you ever noticed how "being realistic" mostly means "don't get your hopes up"? And that comments like "Look, this is real life" tend to mean "Stop dreaming"? One of the things I've seen in my own life and in my coaching practice is how often "being realistic" takes us precisely down the wrong road, away from what we dream of and who we are.

Instead of becoming a writer, we're encouraged to become English teachers. When we say we want to be a dancer, we're told to be realistic and that there's a demand for nurses. We study law when our love is art history. And why? Because we need to be realistic.

But what turns out to be real is that after years of trying to fit in a box that doesn't fit, you find you have an ulcer, depression and can't stop crying when you hear someone play the piano. You heart is crying out, "Isn't there more?" And now you're 40. You have a mortgage. You have 2 kids. You're convinced it's even less realistic to pursue your dreams now.

But there is nothing more real than your dreams. There is nothing more real than the authentic you. You know what's calling to you. You know that your dreams will not let you rest until you notice them. They are crying children in your heart waiting for your love.

It's not about becoming the best in the world at what you dream of, though you might. It's not about becoming a professional at what you dream of, though that could happen too. It's simply about you being you. It's about you allowing yourself to be precisely who you are and letting your dreams come out to play. It means writing that poem. It means becoming a policewoman. It means studying marine biology. It means becoming a chef. It means whatever it means to you. It means being brave and getting naked. It means not hiding anymore.

Keep it real, baby.

Check out more Sunday Scribblings.

13 comments:

megg said...

i hear you my friend! What a great post! Keepin' it real should be everyone's mantra!

Jazz said...

Wow what a nice post! Really what I am thinking sometimes and why I am not studying economy haha^^

chest of drawers said...

Actually it´s 3 kids and a mortgage at 40 (ha,ha) but luckily (thanks largely to you!) I´m being inspired by people who are following their dreams and encouraging me to do so aswell.

Living Part Deux said...

Completely different perspective on the phrase. I LOVE that. And I love your sentiments and expression. Great!

Dan said...

I love your "real life" perspective. It's so important to be you, as any other skin just don't sit so right.
Great post, and I like the photo too.

Marilyn said...

It's so true--we use "real" all too often to squash people's dreams. "Get real!" I'm TRYING to...ha!

Jennifer said...

Preach it! Amen! I for one am not going to discourage my kids dreams. Coming from a bored out of my mind nurse.

aithbhreac said...

These are exactly the thoughts that have been going through my mind since I saw the topic "Real Life" for this week's Scribblings. To reconsider conventional definitions of being "realistic", and to recognize it is NEVER too late to invest in an interpretation that resonates more appropriately for you, is a positive and encouraging thought I am going to hold on to!

harmonyinline said...

Inspirational.

In Otter Space said...

"But there is nothing more real than your dreams. There is nothing more real than the authentic you."
These sentences carry such power, such truth. Thanks for remindimg me.

Laini Taylor said...

Oh Jamie, this is beautiful. It is so EXACTLY how I feel, and what I try to tell people, and what I hope I can teach some kids through my books, even in a roundabout way. It's so true that dream-following is undervalued, even scorned, though I think it's only getting better. Seems like even a generation or two ago, only mad bohemian types followed their dreams, now there are so many of us who feel entitled to live an inspiring life. I think we're going in the right direction (as long as our leaders don't kill us all first! And I exempt your leader from that.)

JourneyThroughLIfe said...

Jamie, a great post! Your last two sentences are so thought provoking. My life right now is about coming out of hiding. So, what exactly does that mean to me...???
Great writing!
JTL
xxx

liz elayne said...

oh this post speaks to me so much my dear. peeling back the layers to remember what is real. this is it.