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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dreams

Dreams are a good thing.

It's great to aspire to do/be/have/achieve something more than you do/are/have now.

Imagine how boring life is for those who have absolutely no aspirations whatsoever.

Not even for chocolate.

(shudder)

Wanting more is natural.

And, as long as it's done with moderation (not going to condone obsessions or over-indulgences here)

I encourage you to dream

to reach

to be all that you can be

and then reach and grow more.

You go girl!  (oh, sorry, you go guy!)

BUT

you knew there had to be a but, didn't you?

I'd like to caution you to leave a little wiggle room in those dreams.

Lemme explain.

My senior year of high school, we had to do an exercise in our psychology class where we plotted out all our future significant moments of our lives and presented them to the rest of the class.  

It was interesting to hear everyone else's dreams and goals.

There was one girl, though, who was painfully specific about her life.

PAINFULLY.

She was going to marry a millionaire 

with blonde hair and blue eyes.

He would father her blue-eyed blonde baby girl, 

who, of course, would look just like her.  

After a year or two of marital bliss (or not) 

she would divorce him and take half of everything. 

 Then she would proceed to live the high life on his hard-earned dough.

She had everything planned.  

The things her daughter would like

the places they would go --

EVERYTHING.

The class, as a whole, was shocked.  

She had planned so many things that just can't be controlled.  

Last time I looked, you couldn't plan to have a baby girl, and certainly couldn't dictate what she'd look like.

So, go ahead and set goals.

Dream lofty dreams.

The sky is the limit!

When you run out of sky, reach for the moon and stars!

But, please, for heaven's sake, make sure you're planning things that you have control over.  

Maybe instead of saying you want to sell 4,231,568 books you could just shoot to be on the New York Times Best Seller List?  Or set some sort of new sales record?

So, reality check time...what are you dreaming about (and please keep this PG...I'm not talking about THOSE kinds of dreams)

I had a transition to tie they pics in, but I forgot what it was.  This is my sister's cat...and bird

 

19 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

I like your mention of the girl who was so specific. I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, I assumed he'd have brown hair and eyes, since I'm brunette with brown eyes. He came out blonde with blue eyes. So did the girl I had four years later.

Life is like that. Your goals needs to be less specific or you'll be disappointed. And how far we look ahead isn't helpful either. Just look to the next step or two. I want a tighter manuscript and to keep improving my writing. Then I want an agent. If I've already decided I want a NYT bestseller, then I've gone too far ahead.

Maribeth said...

We did a similar exercise when I was a senior. Our girl, though she was very beautiful, did not get asked to the prom. She scared the guys off that day.
Since I'm starting this writing thing late in life my dream is to publish before it's too late. ;)
Maribeth
Giggles and Guns

Paul C said...

Shoot for realistic dreams is well expressed here with the convincing anecdote.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Wow, she was specific. I think you are right, dreams need to be something you can reach for but you have a little bit of wiggle room with. Sure, we all want to be on the bestseller list, but I'd settle for an agent first. ;)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

wow, that was specific. I'm guessing she's probably waiting for that dream to come true, or maybe she lowered her expectations. A bit.

Great post as usual.

I have something for you on my blog. :)

Carolyn V. said...

Dreams do have to be realistic. Mine are finish getting that degree (I have 3 more classes...whoop!). Query that book (almost finished). And spend time with my kids.

Wendy Ramer said...

I feel very sad for that girl in your high school class. I wonder what has become of her though sadly I'm afraid it has resulted in misery and disappointment.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Hey, MissV! Loved this post. I agree: you gotta not only HAVE a plan, but know when it's time to CHANGE the plan. Which calls for wiggle room :D My dream? Just get this WIP done so I can put it away and work on some short stories. Specific, yes, but plenty o' wigglin' in there, too. Nice post!!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great post! Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading about the webinar I attended. :)

You are so right about dreams...you have to set smart goals (I wish I could remember what S.M.A.R.T. stood for???) The A was achievable...But I like what you said about only setting goals you can control.

Love the pictures; a bird and a cat who would have thought it?

Candyland said...

Haha love that you forgot the transition *so here's my unrelated pictures*

Shannon said...

Hi Vicki,

Pfft who needs a transition? I made my own up about the bird setting a life long goal to have a cat as his best friend. :)

This is a great post and a fantastic reminder.

KarenG said...

That girl sounds like a ;sycopath, or at the very least a socio path and if so she very well may have found a way to achieve her dreams, or should we say plots??

Matthew Rush said...

That was almost like a poem. Awesome!

Lenny said...

hi miss v! i like this dream stuff. right now for my little dream i just want to get back at writing my story cause me and my animal friends been stuck on the mountain and i need to get us off before we get froze. my more big dream is to get the whole story done. the pics of the cat and bird are sooo neat. ...hugs from lenny

Jen said...

Okay that cat and bird is seriously the coolest thing I've ever seen!!!! My cats would be intrigued and would paw at it a few times, not trying to hurt it but just out of curiousity, I never would see them sleeping with it, but it's the cutest thing I've ever seen!

Okay so back to the real post: I love to dream! I dream of fully revising my novel and sending out a query, being represented by a wonderful agent, then finding a wonderful publisher and on to seeing my book with my name on it in my local bookstore (and every chain around AMERICA!)

I also dream of having another great idea, and have them continue to come! I would say my goals are realistic. I love that about myself!

Jen said...

Oh but I do wonder, have you ever checked in on the painfully specific girl in your school? I'm curious to know if she did end up getting everything she wanted, after all now a days it's not out of the ordinary!

Dawn said...

Sigh. I've got a pretty typical dream - just to see that book on the shelf. I don't need awards or money, just the ability to walk into my favourite book store and see my name on the cover.

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, learning to fly..."

Stephen Tremp said...

Loved the poem but when I got to the critter pictures I completely forgot it. We used to have two pet parrots and really miss them. Peters and Pepper were their names. Maybe we'll get a cockatoo like in the picture someday.

Stephen Tremp

notesfromnadir said...

Same thing happened to me as it did to Stephen...read the poem but got so caught up in those beautiful pictures. I just love to see supposed enemies being friends. It really is inspiring! :)