Thursday, May 21, 2015

Living the Dream

By all accounts, we’ve made it. Our decade long dreams are today’s reality. My husband’s dream of flying helicopters in mission aviation is his actual job. My dream of stay at home mommying and a writing biographies is my everyday life. Our together dream of living in a foreign country found us setting up home in Indonesia.  

We’re living the dream!

I’m not trying to be a downer, but let me just put this out there - If you’re working and planning and dreaming towards some lifelong goal, putting everything you’ve got into that future pot. Well, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Maybe you want to be married. Or have children. Or just go on a date for crying out loud. Maybe you want that promotion, that other job, that scholarship. So you, like us, scrimp and save and work your tail off. You make a five year plan, a ten year plan, whatever it takes. You tell yourself all the sacrifice now will be worth it in the end. You’ll get your dream and you’ll be happy. You’ll finally be fulfilled.

But what if you’re not? I mean, I’m not.

Oh you might have a really good honeymoon phase once you get that dream. That marriage, it’ll be so romantic in the beginning. You’ll be with the love of your life and feel like you can take on the world together. Then you’ll get in a stupid fight over scrambled verses sunny side up eggs for breakfast.

That beautiful child you bring home, the one you look at and think God how can he be so perfect! Will turn four and speak to you with more sass and rolled eyes than your 15 year old hormonal self ever did. 

That other job will feel so good, you’ve finally got the title you’ve been working towards. Except there’s now that one super annoying co-worker and a heck of a lot more responsibility. Maybe the money is better, but you’re working harder and later. 

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a forget about your dreams message. It’s more of a Hey, your dreams are cool but they’ll split you sideways. 

I am living my dream, but my left eye has been twitching for a week from stress. I’m so thankful to be stay at home mommying, but this morning all my son did was fight. I can’t believe how privileged I am to record Papuan life stories for a biography project, but my brain literally aches from thinking so much in Indonesian. I’m enormously proud of my husband’s flying, but he comes home exhausted. I love living in another country, but miss the anonymity of just blending in.

Sometimes, it all just kind of sucks.

Bottom line - If you’re assuming that dream is going to usher in some new joyous existence, that your self-esteem will flourish, you’ll finally feel fulfilled, you’ll wake up each morning knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt this is what you were born to do, well…

That’s not exactly what happens, or at least it isn’t what happened for me.

It’s more like Wow, this is a lot more than I thought it would be. I’d better get to work.
“Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." 
- Mark Twain

"Also, throw up." 
- Kay Bruner

Dream: Flying out to a jungle village! Reality: Air sick and vomiting the whole way.


  1. Wow! Thanks for your honest blog-post. Hang in there sister. Jesus never said "Hey don't worry / About a thing / cuz every little thing / 's gonna be alright" (that was Bob Marley). But God did say "Don't fear, for I am with you". Your post came at just the right time as I am jumping into the unknown to pursue my dreak

  2. Yep, that's right, dreams aren't all they promise to be, 'cos wherever those trade winds take me, I always take 'me'! Thanks for being so honest! I guess it's not until I'm at peace with who I am that I can enjoy the dreams without expecting them to fix my life...