Are we any less because our dreams did not come true?
It depends on our dreams.
If we dreamed that one day we would be out of a particular situation and finally be happy and free, and never made it out of that dream, that is one type of disappointment. For as the ‘now’ generation says (and I wholeheartedly agree), all we have is NOW. Make that dream happen today or tomorrow, don’t wait until forever gets here.
But if we dream that one day we will buy a Ferrari or travel to some foreign land, and never buy that car or visit that place, that is another sort of dream. That is the dream of merely having fun stepping out and running around, rather than running away. This sort of dream is safer because, even if we don’t get that car or visit that world, we had a great time pretend planning it.
Well, I have a secret.
I have a pretend planning dream.
Well, lots of them, but this one has overwhelmed me for the past six months. A dream that, if I decide to take this gigantic step, will change my life. Kinda.
I want to go to a writing workshop in Paris next year.
Now. I have no money. I am still working. I have bills and a mortgage and a hubby and grandkids to think about. I am one step away from flighty, have to write everything down or I forget it, am 15 pounds overweight, over 65, and a hundred other legit reasons to wonder why I’m even considering it.
Yet I am considering it.
The biggest hurdle has been overcome — sorta. Hubby said go for it. I don’t think he thinks I’m serious. I could take money out of my 401K plan. After all, if I leave it all to my kids all they’ll do is spend it anyway.
So why does a 66-year-old scardy cat woman think Paris is the only place I can write?
I am not sure.
I know Paris is not the stuff of movies. There is no Midnight In Paris car to whisk me away to meet Hemingway or Picasso. There is no Eat Pray Love or Under the Tuscan Sun ending that will change my life, for I’m happily married and in love with my family. There are pickpockets and tourist traps and muggings like in any big city.
Why am I even entertaining going?
Maybe it’s because there are few challenges left in my life besides illness and death. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been afraid to do something all by myself, and figure there’s no time like the present to try it. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a wonderful imagination and believe I’ll overcome my apprehensions and actually enjoy exploring a world where I don’t speak the language (except for the American-sponsored writing workshop).
Am I crazy?
Perhaps I’ve always been a bit crazy. Who else would write novels about time travel and being taken to another part of the galaxy for adventure?
It’s easy to dream these things from the comfort of my livingroom sofa.
It’s quite something else to think that one day I might be dropped off at the airport and board an airplane and travel half way across the world to learn something I already know.
Yet I know nothing.
We all know nothing.
I don’t know if I will be brave enough come open registration season to really go through with it. But I’m having a ball planning and researching and picking out clothes to wear and what souvenirs I will bring back.
We all need to dream something that is just out of our comfort zone. Something just out of reach. It’s exciting and eye-opening and makes you re-examine your own hangups and fears.
And who knows?
Je peux aller à Paris après tout!