“For most of us, dreams come true only after they do not matter, Only in childhood do we ever have the chance of making dreams come true when they mean everything.”
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I'm going to work on trying new things, and being strong enough to enjoy the experience - whether I fail, excel, or pass by with mediocracy. When I was a child I wanted to do so much; my plans for all I would do could fill ten lifetimes. I would win that gold medal at the Olympics. Every abandoned boy would come to live at my children's home and we would live with racket and adventures, inventions and dirt. I would live in a treehouse in Africa and reside in a cottage in Ireland's green hills.
Of course, I was going to return to Italy, where I spent much of my childhood, which perfect because it is (relatively) close to where I would work in the Romanian children's orphanage, nursing abandoned infants and children to good health and happiness. At some point, I'd enjoy a Broadway career and write (and star in the resulting film) my fictional-based-on-true-events story of the first hand account of the bombing of the Murrah Building.
So some of these things sound a bit outlandish, but most of it I really believed could and would happen at some point. The hard part was deciding which one to pursue.
I will never forget the evening my 12 year-old-self was at some social event, sitting next to my father. They were doing a game or activity where they listed four things they wanted to be and four things they wanted to do.
These were my dad's four things he wanted to do:
See Andrea win the gymnastic all-around Olympic gold medal.
Watch L perform Mozart in Carnegie Hall.
Be at the World Series when J hits a home run to win.
Watch T accept a Nobel Peace Prize.
My 12 year old self didn't think too much of those words. How incredibly privileged was I to have a father who just wanted his children's dreams realized? That's what he wanted to do. I don't think he wrote each word, believing it would happen verbatim. If you look very, very closely, he really wrote this:
Andrea will not listen when others question her dreams or hopes.
Finding that she has the tenacity and skill, L will succeed at whatever she sets out to do.
J will find what he was made to do and he will do it well.
Despite what other people think about T, he will live a life of character and influence.
I plan to hold onto my dreams; they will not become less important as I work, age, procreate, wander, and fail. They will evolve, develop, and certainly won't include gymnastics anymore. They will not end in gold medals or a published book, but will be fulfilled when my heart is full and my character solid. So today I choose to make my hopes the most significant thing, because they just might take me places...