I’m going to share a little piece of my heart with y’all. You know in Practical Magic, when little baby Sally (Sandra Bullock’s character) walks around and puts petals in a bowl while naming the qualities of her perfect man? She’s all, “He’s patient, and strong, and has one blue eye and one green eye, and always takes out the trash, and has a lisp, and sometimes gets a twitch?” I might be paraphrasing, but I’m pretty sure that’s the gist.
Well, that has always been one of my favorite movies, and one of my favorite scenes. It has many beautiful callbacks, and it’s just full of the the romance of childlike hope. I think it resonated with me because I was the same way. Except I
never rarely ever listed all the ingredients of my perfect bonbon of a man. Instead, I dreamed of my life.
I would be a famous singer. No, actress. No, poet. No, director. No, dancer. No, Broadway star. No, live theatre. No, Broadway star. No, European ingenue. No, a writer. No, how about that singing thing? No, SONGWRITER! NO, AUTHOR! BUT, MY GOD, WHAT ABOUT INTERIOR DECORATING???? Or being the next Oprah???? So many life scenarios. So many dreams. And none of them were this.
Don’t get me wrong. Many, many things in my life are beyond my wildest dreams. My friends, my family, The Hubbit. I never could have dreamed up the beautiful relationships in my life. But the part of me that dreams wildly for my future is still there. I’m a little more focused (writing career), a little more realistic (I’m really not the best singer), and a little older and wiser, but I still dream. I still get that flurry of excitement and that childlike hope burns deep, deep inside me.
It’s hard to live this life, to sit in my dank cubicle all day, and not run through the halls screaming, “IS THIS ALL THERE IS? DON’T YOU PEOPLE WANT MORE?” But I restrain myself, because maybe everyone else is happy. Maybe everyone else thought of their future and imagined a steady job and a sweet family waiting for them. Maybe they find more value in an 8-5 than I do. So I check myself before I wreck myself, and I go back to dreaming and scheming.
It’s obviously not too late for me to achieve whatever nebulous thing I’m trying to achieve. I’m still alive, still healthy, still young. But I have to work. I am too hard on myself. I know this. I hold myself to unrealistic standards. I know this too. But I am TIRED of people telling me to slow down. To be easy on myself. I’m tired of using age (or lack thereof) as an excuse to accept the current state of life, and let the dream slip further away. If I do that, I will wake up one day, approaching my 40th birthday, and the only thing that’s different will be the death of childlike hope for the future.
So, please, stop telling me that it’s okay, that I’m okay. Let me work the job I have to have and the two jobs I want to have. Let me stumble and fall and be grumpy and be irrationally upset over something like not accomplishing weekend goals. Let me dream.
Because if not, I will kill the only part of me that’s left that is still me. I will have become the shell of Kaitlin that goes through the motions without ever evolving and changing. I will be stagnant. And right here, right now, I choose to believe that I have too much left inside of me to kill it off.
So let me dream. Impractical though it may be. Magical though it may be. Let me dream.