Most of my life through high school, and even to my one semester disaster through college, that specific goal served as beacon and guide. As a child, doctors landed high on my list of heroes because my doctor, a man I loved and respected right down to recognizing his scent, saved my life not once, not twice, but four times when everyone — including other doctors — told my parents to give up hope and contact clergy.
Before I turned five I’d received the Sacrament of the Sick (that’s what Catholics do to dying sick people so they maybe possibly hopefully go to someplace other than hell) four times. Most Catholics won’t receive it once, frankly. But hey, I’m not Catholic anymore so I guess it didn’t work.
Ahem. Back to the topic.
When I dropped out of college and had my life subsequently fall into ruination for myriad and stupid reasons for the next two years, I didn’t realize the decision’s ramifications would have echoes and ripple effect throughout my adult life. To this day I feel the effect of that one, teenaged decision which I shouldn’t have made. The one mistake which set me back more than I could imagine still has impact on me today.
Now, I’m not really sorry I let that dream go. In the end I found out I was barking up the wrong tree anyway. I don’t have the right heart to be a physician. But I’d make one devastatingly effective research scientist… or litigator. Tha’ts another story fueled by a former high school friend who got a degree in psychology from Stanford University and ended up a paralegal… and is now a lawyer.
But as bad as it seems, and believe me over the last eight years it has seemed very, very bad indeed, there are bright spots. If I’d gone the way I thought I’d go, I likely wouldn’t have met my wife. And without her, my children wouldn’t exist. And without them — life is unbearably empty, even if I didn’t know it then. Another woman? other children, loved just as much? Perhaps, in an alternate timeline. But would that woman have been the perfect mate, the perfect partner, my wife is for me today? I doubt it. When I left college, a chain of events led me to this spot on my life’s map. It’s hard to know if the other paths even existed, but I tend to believe they didn’t. Nothing pre-ordained my life to turn out this way, but the choices I made aren’t able to be altered and this destination was inevitable.
When I woke up that day and realized I couldn’t, realistically, ever become a doctor of medicine, I had to let that dream go. And something inside me, something tiny and shining bright and vibrant, had to be snuffed out. Something I carried inside me since I was five years old or so finally and completely died. It was terribly painful, but my life did go on.
I’ve had a lot of “dreams” since then, but I don’t cling to them as I did that first one. I have bigger fish to fry now, and dreaming — while essential to our existence as human beings, in my view — isn’t the primary focus or purpose anymore. Helping my kids fulfill theirs is now. I have many of my own which are on the verge of being fulfilled, but perhaps I don’t have a grand, over-arching dream for my life anymore. Perhaps I’ve set that aside to let the Lord deliver it, because His entry to my life made everything different. Everything.
But letting go of dreams is never easy. Never. It’s one of the hardest things we have to do, I think.
How about you? Is there something you dream of, or did dream of, which has to be released? or has been released? How did you cope/are you coping/will you cope?
God bless and have a great weekend, all.
Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All Rights Reserved