As you know, I am a wildly enthusiastic person, my eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to dreams and ideas, and I can fly into a frenzy of activity at a moments notice over the most offhand and random concepts you can imagine. This isn’t a complaint, I actually rather like that about me.
The best thing about enthusiasm is that it’s often contagious. Take for example when I feel a fit of activity come on and start cleaning the house, quite often my husband will, after a few minutes, start feeling like he ought to be doing something too! … You think that might not be the best example? Ok, maybe you’re right, but you get the idea. When energy, enthusiasm and dreams are shared, they grow and expand. They take on momentum and a life of their own!
This is why it’s a little bit dangerous to mention your idea’s around me. Quite quickly you can find yourself committed to delivering on them, because I think just about everything is a brilliant idea!
Do you have secret dreams?
Deep in the silence of your soul, do you have a mad desire, an impossible half-plan? Something that might make you rich or famous or change the world forever? Is there something so far outside your usual, dependable, ordinary self that you’ve never dared tell anyone about it? You sit on it. Day dream about it. You long for it and pine for it and you want to realize it so badly you can taste it, but you’ve never whispered it to anyone.
I am the Queen of ‘secret dreams’. Loves that dare not speak their names. Though I wouldn’t want to cast aspersions on the reputation of one who has passed on, I think a bit of it might be lain at the feet of my departed grandmother. You see, I used to be a singer. No, seriously. Almost no one in my life these days knows this, but I sang at the opening of the olympic and paralympic games in Sydney. I’ve performed at the Opera house, on Darling Harbor, more places than I can count really. My poor dad had to drag my overly enthusiastic ass all over the state and beyond so I could sing my little heart out. I wanted to go to NIDA. I wanted to sing, and act, I wanted to make people cry and laugh and FEEL things. I wanted to tell stories and have them touch people…
My grandmother, God rest her, was quite old, already in her late 70s by this stage and when I confessed my longing to her… it wasn’t pretty. Actresses and singers are all prostitutes! It’s not seemly! It’s not proper! Why oh why didn’t we force you to keep up the violin? None of this would have happened if you were a proper, delicate, refined girl.
My dreams of NIDA died, and I haven’t sung in public in over 10 years. Even now I’m a little teary writing about it… it wasn’t just Merel of course. Life got in the way too, things happened and I had other responsibilities that I simply couldn’t shirk… but my fear comes back to that one conversation. I don’t want to show you my dreams, because I couldn’t stand for you to stomp on them.
Many people have had similar experiences, or they’re afraid of having a similar experience. It comes down to the same thing. You want to protect the perfect sanctity of your dream. You want to cradle it close, coo to it, love it, and allow it to while away the time, in the dead of night, when you can’t sleep. It’ll always be shiny and perfect. All your decisions will be ‘the right one’ and everyone who ever doubted you will see how wrong they were.
Perfect. Shining. Sacred… and unfulfilled. That’s how your dream will stay if you keep it secret. If you squat over it like a toad, unwilling to let it see the light of day. Your dreams need light. They need air and space! They need to see the warm glow of interest from others, and they need to stand firm against the buffeting of ‘that’ll never work.’