Earlier today I watched a video of someone’s dream become reality. A great personal achievement that they got to share with a supportive crowd. This was a ‘creative arts’ kind of thing, although performance is not a necessary aspect of great dreams.
Do you know what my childhood dream was?
Neither do I.
Much of that is tied to self-protective memory repression; things I’ve talked around on-line since there are others’ stories intertwined. I have one clear memory of drawing a bus, with a logo (based on my birth name) suggesting a business. But was I a budding entrepreneur, potential travel magnate, or merely desperate to escape? I have no idea.
I joined a community theatre group in the small city that was my escape from the hell of high school. I had no desire to act (on stage), although I do envy folks who can be comfortable as the centre of attention of a large audience. I work one-on-one. No dreams of greatness, or of some level of achievement. Just enjoying what moments of happiness that came my way.
To be clear I’m not talking about daydreams; winning a lottery’s grand prize, and all that could mean.
I quickly moved to Toronto- city of my birth, and to a young gay man in the late 1970s a shining beacon. A big city offering sex, community, perhaps even love. And I found all three. I’d like to say “I found myself” (for years I thought I did) but really, I just found bits and pieces.
And then the virus known first as G.R.I.D – later as AIDS and then HIV/AIDS- arrived. I’ve posted about that before. Dreams weren’t just differed, they were not merely dashed; they were dragged through disgust at the disease. Fighting for life, for hope, for basic human decency was all too often the limit of what we prayed for.
In my late 20s I dared to dream I would live to celebrate my 40th birthday.
And by that time I did, I had settled, like a concrete foundation, into a pattern of survival. Being happy to enjoy those moments of happiness. Dreams? Bucket List? Gurl please.
I don’t write this to excuse not achieving some kind of greatness, nor to say life’s not worthwhile. And while at times I feel so much of my life has been wasted (compared to social norms, friends, strangers, and whatever other fantasy fills my head) it is really about taking stock. Whatever forces or circumstances combined to keep me here, to experience all that I have (and lawdy, lawdy I have experiences!), I guess it’s about time for me to get a dream or two to work toward.
Pretty much the entire Family & Identity category.