You’ve got your passion, you’ve got your pride
but don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true…
Billy Joel, “Vienna”
I’ve begun to realize that there might come a point in life where you stop living your life for others and start living for yourself. Maybe this is due to defiance, trying to prove something to yourself, to them…Or maybe this occurs through self-awareness, as you realize that only you alone can lead your life. But for whatever reason, there seems to be a change, where you stop trying to appease others, where you learn to lead your own life, where you realize that, while those you love may have led you this far, you have the means to carry yourself the rest of the way, wherever that might be.
This thought about what I want out of my life and how to get it is at the forefront today. Practicality and advice tell me to do one thing, while a passion and intuition tell me to do another.
There’s a balance there that I haven’t yet found. And so I find myself a bit torn, between that practicality and passion, between being a dreamer and a realist, and between being ever-grateful for what I have and longing for something more.
Like most of my generation, I grew up believing that anything was possible. While at times I’ve felt jaded, while my rose-colored glasses have faded, to be replaced by responsibility and, in a word, reality, I still believe this sentiment to be true. Anything is possible. It’s just getting there that’s the tough part.
I’ve had to take a hard look at what’s stopping me from achieving my dreams, and, in doing so, I’ve had to examine what it is I really want out of life. What would it mean if I could remove the guilt of wanting something greater, something more? What if I had nothing keeping me back, if I didn’t concern myself with others’ judgments or societal pressures?
If I were to be truly honest with myself, if I could strip away boundaries and convention and responsibility and realize my greatest desires, I would find myself taking chances, believing in possibility, and living a dream.
I would move to Europe, where I could explore culture and walk the streets of history. I would spend my days writing and connecting with other artists, helping fellow writers achieve their desired success. I would advocate on the behalf of animals, find peace and joy in having dogs constantly by my side. I would want to find the kind of love I’ve always been searching for; I would want to raise a family.
I would want to live each and every day feeling inspired and challenged and experiencing something new.
This is who I am. When I cut out everything else, I am a dreamer, a romantic. I don’t know why I ever thought I could be satisfied being anything else.
And I find that I don’t know how to settle for less.
Is this just a castle in the clouds, a dream not meant to be realized? Are dreams meant for longing; is reality meant for settling? Do we adjust our dreams so that we settle for some variation of it, always wanting that something more?
When it all comes down to it, I’ve placed those barriers in my own path, and only I can remove them. But it’s going to take courage and faith. And while I’m determined to make these dreams someday become my reality, sometimes I wonder if I have enough of both.