Childhood Dreams

As the year is approaching a close, I can’t help but think about all the things that happened in 2012. It boggles me how many things ACTUALLY happened this year. How could all of those things fit into 1 year? What the hell was I thinking? (Rock climbing lessons, Barcelona, Hot Air Ballooning, Maris’s Wedding, Pregnancy, A trip to Mexico City, A trip to Grand Rapids, to Houston, 2 trips to Vegas, many trips to Seattle, and this weekend Kathleen’s wedding.)

But this is not a re-cap post, not really anyways. We’ve been marveling at all of the stuff we’ve done this year and then I remembered the post I did last December about the good fruit and the bad apples, where I listed the awesome things about 2011, the things that enriched my life. I also listed the things that weren’t that great, the things that brought me down or limited me. I remember thinking when I wrote this post that I really needed to be more adventurous again. I felt like the wedding had sucked up a year of my life and had hindered us financially and had drained us of time, emotional energy, and motivation to do anything but hang out in a quiet room never to plan another event for as long as we both shall live. Amen. The only problem was I didn’t want to live that way – so I was going to make sure 2012 was the opposite of sit-around-and-stare-at-each-other. And boy… I think I made that happen. Maybe a little too much! If I ever try to convince myself a year isn’t enough time to do anything worthwhile, I will just have to remember 2012 and how we did ALL THE THINGS.

Then yesterday morning the people on the radio were talking about Childhood Dreams and if they had fulfilled their childhood dreams or not. What were they? How did they turn out? And so on. And I thought, rather shockingly, that I am ridiculously content with my life. I feel like the blog world can be a lot of discontent, of whining, of rants and grumbles…. it can also be a lot of false positives, of lives that look beautiful on paper but most certainly are not the whole truth. And I’ve had my share of ranting and self doubt, but when I have the realization that I’m actually doing pretty good and carving out a pretty sweet life, I want to share that too.

I don’t think I’ve necessarily fulfilled my childhood dreams. When I was little I wanted to be a priest or a Safeway checker because they got to make the beep sound when they slid food across the magic counter top. Even if I could be a priest, I have a feeling I wouldn’t be a very good one, and let’s be honest – I probably would have been pretty frustrated at Safeway. In 8th grade I realized I wanted to be a writer, and even though I’m not done walking that path, I’m pretty “fulfilled” with where I am and where I am headed. Overall, I think I have kind of surpassed my Childhood Dreams (in all caps). My life is way cooler than I could have ever imagined. And for the first time ever (and I’m sure for only a short amount of time before I am thrown back into the pit of, “you call this SUCCESS?!”) I feel like I am and we are exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing, and I’m a little bit impressed with how cool it is all turning out to be.

We don’t have tons of money, we don’t have tons of space. I don’t have a backyard or a house where I can paint the walls whatever shade I want. I would really like to have a dog, but we can’t do that right now. And I will have to make another career leap in the near future. A major project I had come so close to starting and launching and ahhhh! had to be put on the back burning because pregnancy turned out to be a second job and a full time handful of woah what the fuck is that, and we don’t even live in the city we want to spend the rest of our lives in. Kamel has never been to Hawaii and I had to say no to a lot of personal fun things to make space for obligations. Nothing is perfect, and I still cry about things that hurt my feelings, friends that have come and gone, I still rage at Kamel and hate hate hate him and then sob because how could I ever live without him?

But I really really love this life. Like really. I am proud of where we are financially, and I am proud of our personal/career/family growth. Really proud. And if we were to stay just as we are (except the pregnant part, that could end please) I would be totally happy. And knowing that is the best. I also know that it won’t be like this forever. I will get antsy in the pantsy… we will have hardship and disappointment and feel like we are failing, even if it isn’t entirely true and even more so if it is true. And I will work too hard or spend too much or not be able to spend anything at all and hate feeling so limited. And I’ll talk about it here, for better or worse, because this is real life. This is the real stuff that actually happens, the hills and valleys, the good/fluffy/pretty home in improvement, lovey dovey crap all mixed in with the sick/stressful/self-loathing/marriage resenting stuff. It’s all ridiculous and ridiculously amazing at the same exact time.

16 thoughts on “Childhood Dreams”

  1. Way to go you, so many things in 2012. And I am so happy for you guys.
    Whenever I think of this I get all ambivalent. I am really happy with our lives… but at the same time two major things on the list are not happening yet no matter how hard we try, and so I feel like Alice, running all the time and staying in the same place. I wish I could press play, but this pause is not something that depends on us.
    Anyhow, now I am one of those persons making it all about me and I didn’t want that.
    What I wanted to say is that you are right, life is about the good parts, and the hard parts, and what we do with those and how we choose to feel.
    I hope Gabe will come soon then you will feel better again.

    1. You can definitely make it all about you, hun! I love hearing everyone’s experiences. And being happy with where I am in life has never happened before. I have had many many years of feeling like shit, being frustrated, and feeling like I am failing myself. Like I’m always standing in line while everyone else rides the ride. And i know for sure that I will feel that way again. Life is struggle struggle struggle and then reward. Eventually it’s time to struggle again.

  2. I LOVE this post! You put into words things I have been thinking, but wasn’t sure how to express. I am SO happy with my life. I love where I am and where I could possibly go. There are many paths to choose and sometimes I get frustrated that I don’t know which one to take, but isn’t that half the fun and happiness? I haven’t fulfilled my Childhood Dreams, YET, but I too am on the path and I think that’s the best part – knowing you’re on your way, you’ll get there someday.

    AFTER we fulfill them, though… do we have to make “Adult Dreams” (NSFW implication unintended)? What will we strive for once we have it “all”?

  3. I love reading about your perspectives on the good and the bad parts of life. You balance the two so well, and always grant space to the other option. That honesty is so refreshing.

    Fulfilling childhood dreams always leaves me a little perplexed, because the dreams from when I was a kid, at least the ones that I was most gung-ho about? Those don’t fit into my life anymore, and they aren’t things that make me happy. But I have fulfilled a lot of my childhood dreams, just not the ones I really expected to. Sometimes its hard to reconcile who I am with who 8 year old me wanted to become.

      1. Biggest one fulfilled is getting married and having an even more amazing relationship than I hoped for. Being an okay adult in that I can manage a household in several senses of the word from being able to manage the money to being able to keep us fed with healthy food. I have a relationship with my body that’s on a steady path of improvement and I couldn’t have imagined having when I was little. I have an utterly useless degree that I loved the process of getting, and I had opportunities in university to push myself to extremes I never though I was capable of. I’m also good at crossing the small but fulfilling ones off the list (right now I’m working on making a quilt, which I’ve wanted to do since I was about ten).

        The ones that still need work are the career ones, mostly because I’m in the process of trying to reconcile what I thought I wanted out of a career when I was younger with what actually makes me happy now. There’s plenty of work left to go there, but steps are slowly starting to shape up. I’ve still got lots of smaller non career goals to work on too, like learning to drive.

  4. Yes! This is exactly how I feel. Because I, too, am so content with where our life is, even though it isn’t necessarily where I expected it to be, and even though things are still changing. I love reading your blog, dear. It’s a good mix– not fakey happy perfect, but still happy, and as Sheryl said above– a good balance of perspectives. <3

    (I sent this to Lindi and she said, "Oh, my god. I love this.")

  5. This is a lovely post, and really got me thinking.

    2012 was an epic year for me (us). SO MUCH happened. And most of it went down in the last 3 months. There were super high highs and super low lows. We’re in a completely different place than we were in the beginning of the year–and I think (hope) it’s a good place.

    But if I’m answering honestly if I’m content with my life RIGHT NOW, at this moment–the honest answer is probably “no”. Mostly because, as I say, all these big changes happened in the last 3 months. There’s been no time to process. No time to let it all sink in. No time to rest and rejuvenate.

    But I think we’ve laid the good groundwork. We’ve made changes that are hopefully moving us closer to our dreams. And I’m hoping 2013 involves a little more time for adventures, a little more time to enjoy those changes we’ve made πŸ™‚

  6. Lauren, hearing about how content you are with your life right now made me feel all warm and fuzzy <3

    2012 has been a big year. It started awesomely, then got shit, really shit. Then I got a dog and it got a little better. And in the last couple of months, things have started to swing around and I feel like life is getting better. So am I content? Yes and no, but I'm certainly not unhappy πŸ™‚

  7. I wanted to be a priest too πŸ™‚ and maybe a teacher. I know I have obviously moved on from those (I so admire teachers, but I no longer want to be one). My highschool dream, of going to Africa, was fulfilled – and I remember that feeling and still hold on to it!

    1. I wanted to be an astronaut! Life looks a little different from behind my desk these days. But i’m so grateful that 2012 picked up just in time to go out on a (hopefully) high note. This year has just been full of ups and downs, more so than usual, and I’m ready to just sit back and let life happen for a little while.

  8. Maybe you did All The Things in 2012 because (whether you knew it then or not) a baby is on the way! And that little guy is probably going to change some things about what you do and how you do them. 2012 was you last year as just a couple.

  9. Whooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa this might be my favourite post I’ve ever read of yours. Came by the blog cause the title was intruiguing, and read it over a couple of times. SO awesome.

    What I really get out of it is: life too too complicated to just say “Yes” or “No” to most questions, problems, dreams, ideas. You can say “yes” or “no” about earning a childhood dream, but was that worth earning? Now that you have it, is it worth sticking with or is there some better way you’ve since discovered that you should be spending your limited time? There will always be questions, and the things you choose to do in your life should always be questioned.

    But when it all comes down to it, it’s not actually about WHAT you’re doing, it’s HOW you’re doing it, and WHO it’s with. If you can live a life you are proud of, if you can be happy… and I don’t mean “hollywood hot pink happy” as John Mayer would put it, I mean militantly happy, unapologetically happy… this is true life success. And if you are so lucky to share in that happiness with someone amazing who kicks ass and is an awesome, supportive badass (right on, Kamel!) then you’ve sure got a ton of things right.

    Keep it up.
    Mike πŸ™‚

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