I have big dreams!
Much bigger than a tired, full-time teacher and mom of a child with Down Syndrome should have.
At fifty-one years old I still dare to dream that a new endeavor will lead me down an uncharted, blissful road.
There are times I question myself, though.
And then I think, why not? I may be fifty-one, but then doesn’t that mean I have another thirty years to embark on a new journey? A new career? A new home? A better future?
My mind continues to argue with my heart…
What right do I have, with so much on my responsibility plate, to wish for adventure? Aren’t I foolish to yearn for an exciting new life?
And even if I’m not as sprite as I’d like to be, in my eighties, the seventies seem realistic. And that would mean I have another twenty years in which to reinvent myself.
I could surely accomplish amazing wonderful things, reach new heights and attain my heart’s desire over the next twenty years.
I believe my big dreams are the reason why my circle has gotten smaller in recent years. I must sound irresponsible and ridiculous to some people when I dare to dream so big. But, I have a one-track mind. I have to at least give it a shot. So, I surround myself with positive, supportive people. Nay-sayers are longer welcome.
Too many so-called, and maybe even well-meaning friends have tried to burst my bubble of excitement. They tried to thwart my dreams in the names of responsibility and security. They left me doubting myself and questioning if my dreams were worthwhile. In the past, I have been easily influenced by blatant skeptics and well-meaning questions.
What about my children? What about my mother? Sister? Niece and nephew?
And oh, there is that tiny detail… money. After all, I don’t really have all that much to speak of. Teaching is not exactly a lucrative career. My savings account is probably not at the level it should be.
Some say I’m foolish to dream as big as I do, especially at my age.
I often pray for guidance, asking for help because I can no longer squash my dreams or stop myself from wanting more out of my life. I feel the pull, a calling to do more, make a change, and more importantly, make a difference in the lives of others.
That includes my family. They will surely benefit from a happier version of myself. My family will reap the financial benefits through having the ability to travel, explore, and truly enjoy our lives together.
As much as I do believe it is never too late, I am overwhelmed with a sense of urgency. I feel it in my bones that the time is now!
For the better part of the last decade, I have kept my dreams to myself. There are a select few loved ones who have truly listened, provided support and encouragement, and believe in my dreams, almost as much as I do. They are my circle. My people. My tribe that I know I can turn to, and I am blessed and grateful.
I think about it all the time. The doubts creep in, and I struggle with the nagging argument in my mind… “Should I or shouldn’t I?”…
After all, who the hell do I think I am?
I’m a fifty-one-year-old divorced mom of a daughter with Down syndrome, and a twenty-year-old son who needs his mom, whether he’ll admit it or not. I’m a remarried, overweight wife who is run ragged and depressed by what my golden years may turn out to be.
Who the hell wants to read stories about THAT!?
Well, come to think of it…
Every woman over fifty.
Every burnt-out teacher daring to dream up a new endeavor.
Every parent of adult children who desperately seek a life of their own.
Every parent of a child with special needs.
Every menopausal woman who struggles with weight gain or trying to practice serious self-care.
So, here I am, daring to dream big! I will admit, I don’t dabble. I’m an all-or-nothing girl. I’m a reach-for-the-moon kinda gal. I’m an if-not-now-when kind of thinker. I’m a listen-to-your-heart-not-your-head woman.
Who knows if it will all work out, but you can bet I’ll damn near kill myself trying.
All I know for sure is my heart yearns for more, different, better, exciting, and fulfilling new adventures. I want to enjoy my family while traveling to all the places I’ve dreamt about for decades, and I want the opportunity to work as a writer from anywhere in the world.
Now, really, is that too much to ask?
My head says, “Yes,” but my heart says, “Do it anyway!”
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis