Whose Dream Is It Anyway?

I did it! After years of putting my head down and working. After years of practicing good stewardship, time management, and getting a good education, I achieved the American Dream.  And then…meh.  

I had a great job making a nice salary with great benefits.  I bought a nice home in the suburbs.  I was driving a newer model car.  I had respectable credit. And yet, I felt like something was missing. I kept wondering, “okay, now what?”  The days all started running together without any real meaning for me.  

With my house came more responsibility.  Let me tell you, as a single mother I didn’t need any more of that! The house also came with this need to buy new furniture.  The car came with a sudden need to have satellite radio.  And that great job came with less flexibility and less engagement.  But hey, this is the dream, right?

One day, my sister sent a text about getting a promotion and my mom responded with something to the effect of success equating to a big house and a nice car.  It stopped me in my tracks and I asked myself, “Am I successful? By whose standards? Is that really all success is about?  Why did I want this dream?”

I realized that I had bought into a dream that really didn’t fit me.  The values of that dream didn’t fit the values of the dream hidden in my heart, the dream that I let fade into mist somewhere in my life. The dream in my heart was never about stuff or status; it was about freedom, exploration, and connecting.  Most of what I attained in life was to prove something to others.  Proving to my mom that I am wise and don’t need money from her.  Proving to statisticians that single mothers are not all charity cases or tragic stories.  Proving to the world that not all single black women have bad credit.  

Who would I be if I had nothing to prove?

What would I do if I wasn’t concerned about being logical, wise, or respectable to other people? Could I really live out that old dream tucked away in my heart? How was living this dream, not authored by me, serving me? 

I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions.  If you find that your being has no connection to the “dream” for which you’re striving, you have the time and opportunity to design a new one.  You are the author of your story, not anyone else. You get to determine your direction and the destinations along your journey.  

Shake the dust off those dreams you tucked away and ask yourself “….what dreams may come?”

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