Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dreams et al

What are your dreams?

You know? The disembodied visions sequestered inside your cortex responsible for imagination and emotion? I don't mean the dreams of your subconcious as you sleep as such, but the imaginative aspirations you place far beyond capability and possibility in your life. The kind of imagination that builds a story about what you'd love to do with your life and which makes you feel a certain way. Do you feel wistful about that story? Do you feel uncertain? Sceptical? Content? Energised?

My own dreams are wafty, uncertain musings I tend to compartmentalise into the "Never-gonna-happen" bin from the file "No Way THAT's possible!" What I dream about makes me feel a complimentary mix of wistful bliss and baleful regret that it could "never" be reality.

We are told to take hold of our dreams and make them come true; that the aspect of true success is the fruit of our proactive creating the life we want and the living out of our dreams. If we aspire to write that glorious novel, the one that changes "everything" for the next 100 years of human history; the Classic that stands the test of time long after we're gone etc. Or, the dream of travelling the world and filling our life's plate with a taste of the colours, cultures, sounds and smells vastly different to our experience thus far. Or, the dream of meeting the one person who truly "gets" you and with whom you do not need to be anything other than entirely your truest self. Or, the dream of opening a restaurant, a business, a bank, creating a really nifty gadget that doesn't yet exist... we should simply begin to do so.

The list of dreams is as endless as the sea of humanity.

There are some people in the world who know exactly what they want, why they are here and where they're going and what they want to leave behind. They do not quibble - as I do in this blog far too often - about the vicissitudes of establishing their dreams in reality, they merely begin the first step and with jaw set and chin pointed forward, they march straight towards their North. They fall down, they get up again and they do not meander even when life forces them to. They categorically refuse to be denied the evidence of their dreams, made physically manifest through the genius of perspiration and the kicker bit of inspiration they started with.

What do I want?

For this past year, I've asked myself this question over and over and over again until my whole body wants to burst with the frustration of having to answer it.

I still do not know! Other than wealth in abundance so I don't have to think about budgets and being financially scrooge'ish towards others, I really don't know what I want to do that I CAN do as easily as breathing without over thinking it and with utter pleasure in the process rather than fear of never achieving the final result.

This isn't supposed to be a struggle, it's supposed to be incredibly simple. Those people I mentioned before simply dream and do, they don't vacillate and moan about the improbabilities of achievement or of not succeeding in their hopeful aspirations. I do though.

My natural inclination is to do what I want to do. If I want something I generally make an effort to achieve it so long as I don't try and turn it into a fantasy inside my head! However there is a very strong genetic restraint I inherited from my mother (and to some extent my father too), which says that I CANNOT achieve what I would like to achieve in living out my fantastical dreams, simply because if I happen to succeed at it...I'll have to work harder, longer, better and more frentically to keep up the pace. It's a law of perfection that effectively stops you producing a dream to reality in the very first moment of your dreaming. It says that fail or cannot really hope to match this perfect illusion you have inside your head. Yes! I know it makes your heart tick with pleasure but remember you're "only" human and you are sooooo NOT that clever and this will be incredibly difficult work and if you happen to be good at will turn out to be very bad for you in the long run.

Since the age of about 17 when I first read "Out of the Silence" by Earle Cox, I have wanted to turn it into a rollicking 'Hollywood Blockbuster' screenplay. That has probably been the longest held dream I have to date.

To this day I often think wistfully on this dream and sigh ruefully that I "can never" actually write this old Sci-fi story into a "fabulous" screenplay. I don't have the balls! As soon as I think about transferring this dream across to actual gritty reality with the determination to make it come true - the beautiful sheen on that dream becomes a mere fantasy and an impossibility.

It's not that I can't write it...I probably could, probably really badly - it is however that I can't write it because I fear I will lose the ability to keep the dream alive. Once outside of me, it is not a dream anymore, it becomes a duty, an obligation I must fulfill and I am so lazy it's just "not possible" to do it justice. When I get bored with going uphill on anything, I lose focus and simply let the ambition die. If it stays a dream I am the only one who will regret never bringing it to fruition, no one else needs to be disappointed in me!

For the past few years I've harboured ambitions to be my area's first Professional Organiser. Helping people get their stuff and their lives decluttered, sorted, stored properly and their spaces opened up so their minds are free to finally play instead of feeling guilty and trapped by their crap. I have wanted to help people be free of the junk (and recognise what IS junk too), and liberate them to orderly and functional, organised lives. I've dabbled a little bit at seeing if this dream could even remotely be viable. I still don't really know. Some would suggest I dump it as "No one in this town will pay for that kind of service!". Others, like my mother would, in the gentlest possible, non-direct way, openly disparage the idea as a mere fantasy and that I could never hope to achieve such a glorified position in life! I kick myself for aspiring to this notion when I see the clutter that follows my own family's wake!

Dreams "Cannot Happen" is my psychological wiring. Logically, I realise that I have the power within to change this attitude and response to dreams. Practically, I do not have the skills - at least not right now.

I don't know what I truly want enough that not doing it would make me unhappier than the process of actually doing it.

When I figure that out, a lot of this current angst should dissipate into the ether. I hope.

1 comment:

Steve said...

A comment from one of the other Steves in your life! I am offering to teach you, via Skype, imagestreaming. Then you can use the technique to pose just this question to yourself. Any readers want to join her? It's free for now!