Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dreams Never Die

Dreams never die. They may be forgotten for a time, but they live on, indefinitely, until the time comes for the heart to remember. Dreams never die.

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that I once had huge dreams. Like, ENORMOUS dreams. I was going to be a star! I was going to make a living on the stage, live my life as hundreds of different characters in different cities around the globe, become someone else for a few hours every night, and bring joy and perspective to those who came out to see me perform. I had DREAMS.

Then I had a child. Moreover, I had a child with special needs. A child who needs a dedicated team of medical specialists nearby to monitor her progress regularly. A child who needs extra attention, extra help, and structure to her life, more so than some other children. A child who can't be packed up and carted around the country with a touring troupe, or bounced around from apartment to apartment, city after city, without a single home to call her own. A place to grow and thrive. A life that I could never give her if I continued down a path toward the wild and crazy dreams of my young adulthood...

So, my dreams shifted. I dreamed new dreams: dreams of special schools, of helping children, of developmental milestones being reached and tiny smiles on my little one's face. Dreams of her first spoken words, the ability to potty train, walking distances without leg braces, telling me she loves me, her falling in love, her going to college, her falling in love and starting a family of her own... Dreams that are easily as grand and enormous as my dreams of stardom, but in very different ways. Dreams that are just as difficult to achieve as my earlier dreams. Selfless (or mostly selfless) dreams for my child's well-being. Those are the dreams I dream now.

However, even as I dream these new dreams, as I spend my days and nights working toward them, as I go to school in furtherance of them, as I devote my time and energy and heart to that little girl who needs me for so very much, I haven't lost sight of the old dreams. They haven't died. They haven't vanished. They've simply been buried somewhere deep beneath the surface... From time to time, they dig themselves out of their shallow grave, because I can tell myself I have killed them, but they never truly die. They are immortal, and, at times, they are stronger than I. These dreams have a life of their own, and they yearn to be realized. Perhaps they've matured with time, and they've narrowed the scope of their ultimate goals a little. Perhaps New York City and national touring companies are no longer a part of the dream... But the stage is still there. The lights, the greasepaint, the proscenium, the audience... Those things crave realization. They haunt me, and they call to me at night, when the lights are out, when I'm drifting off to sleep and my heart and mind are at their most vulnerable. They whisper in my ear, and they encourage me to seek out auditions, to go to karaoke, to do anything and everything I can to be in the spotlight once again, if only for a brief moment in time.

Dreams never die. They may be forgotten for a time, but they live on, indefinitely, until the time comes for the heart to remember.

Dreams never die.

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