Back when the wasbund and I were dating, he brought up the topic of life goals, plans for the future. He started asking me questions about what I envisioned my life would look like, and what my perfect random day might consist of. He even bought me copies of workbooks and CDs and things that he’d found helpful in thinking about his own perfect future.
At first it seemed like a super strange thing to talk about. At the time I wasn’t thinking much about the future. Mine was a more day to day existence. Go to work, have some drinks and some fun, pay bills, finish school somehow, then what? But while it puzzled me at first, it did seem like something that sounded important. Or at least worthy of consideration.
I should probably have an answer to that question, I thought.
So, I read a bunch, as I do when I’m searching for answers. And I wrote stuff down. And then threw it away and tried again. Until eventually I had a few things that seemed like Truth. And what it boiled down to was…
I want a cozy home. Small, low maintenance. But with a yard for kids and a garden and pets. And I want those too. And I want to spend my time with them, not stuck in an office all day. I want to be near my family and my people. I want to gather and eat yummy food with them sometimes to celebrate or share things. I want to hike and camp and take road trips. Maybe once in a while take a trip to some place farther afield. I want to read good words and try to write some of my own.
But mostly my dream was just the simple feeling of a safe home.
I don’t remember how it went when I shared that with him the first time. But I do know that over the ensuing decade of our life together, we would have this same conversation at least a few times a year. And always, for me, it came down to the same things.
A home. A family. A garden. Security.
Looking back from this new vantage point, at all those very similar conversations, I can see that what at the time was presented as ‘just checking in,’ actually felt like judgement. Like my dreams weren’t good enough, or just plain weren’t enough. I was always trying to explain it in different ways, or add on things that seemed to enhance the picture. He was always asking, but it never felt like he was hearing the answer.
And so I started to doubt my answer, to question that it was worthy or even a goal at all. Over the years, all of those moments of feeling like my picture perfect future was not something worth remembering, and I started to doubt myself. I thought there must be something wrong with me, with my heart, my gut, my dreams.
Today, I am grateful.
Because now I can clearly see that my dream is amazing! And so worthy! And so beautiful and perfect and challenging, now more than ever, but attainable. I am proud of that dream, and glad that it has lingered in my heart. Dulled by doubt, but now bright and vivid again. True! And mine!!
And now I am free to pursue it without having to convince someone who does not recognize its worth, or appreciate its simple beauty.
I still don’t know what the future looks like in this new chapter. But the fog is lifting, and things are starting to take shape. It’s going to be my future, and I get to choose my path, and I’m going to make it so freaking awesome!