I'm sitting in the gray light of increasingly late morning, thinking about dreams. Letting dream worlds roll about like hard candies against the tongue of my mind. Thinking of the wrapper and the spit and the sugar and what allows them to be.
As a woman, I am beginning to realize that perhaps my dreams have always been slightly pulled towards the mild. Women are encouraged to nurture the dreams of those around them: friends, lovers, family. Our own dreams are acceptable so long as they do not interfere with our ability to be selfless and keep everyday life going. Men are expected to be absorbed in what they are doing, selfishly, forgetting to eat, forgetting to sleep. Women don't feel right about this sort of thing.
I want to stay selfless, sure, but I want to dream selfishly. I want to get so absorbed in what I love that I forget myself, lost in timelessness and flow. I absolutely want to nurture the dreams of my loved ones, strengthen them, and I feel myself doing that the most strongly when I pour myself into my own projects and works.
Within each of us lie boundless dormancies. We have all of these facets, but we try to fit neatly into the roles we saw in our childhoods: teacher, banker, doctor, vet. Sleeping inside me there's a dancer-gymnast, a medic who jumps from a helicopter after an earthquake, a teacher, a linguist, a healer. In some other universe, some other me is climbing Kilimanjaro, documenting forbs in a cloud forest, pouring over ancient texts, building walls of stone, making giant colorful bold sculptures. These me's live within me and they all matter and they all need to be nourished. Everything tells us, no, get real. Get a job, work very hard in that one way, be secure. And that stuff matters too, but we can't starve our other selves just to feed our bank accounts.
For me, now is a time of transition. Of scheming. I'm asking myself, deeply, understandingly, but with tough love, to design a life that honors my 9-year-old self. That girl was aware of earth-shattering injustice, of real danger, and of a huge world and she said just wait til I can get out there. She read about explorers and heros and saints and she's like, yeah, totally, this will be life. She built with mud and fallen branches and dug holes and hung upside-down as much as she could. She was totally badass and totally nine.
I'm still badass. Sometimes, in the cold and dark of winter, I forget, because I get cold and dark. I was invited to a solstice party recently and the theme of dress was winter purity: I pictured lots of ice queens in white dresses. But I wore my leather jacket, because in winter I have to remind myself of my pure self, my true self. A badass.
I'm not going to give away my goals right now. They are still spinning on the wheel, and I keep dipping my hands into the murky water and giving them shape. But I will say that last night, I attended my partner's hometown release party for his first solo record through a really great record company. I've been tagging along with him on interviews for a mini-documentary, reading about his beliefs and motivations in the paper, and those shows were big squishy love fests full of people who are so ready to support someone chasing down a dream. Seeing him come forward with this thing he's made over years, songs written in loneliness and struggle, practiced, recorded in a friends' living room with little kids dancing around, and give it -bare- to the world, is the most emboldening thing I've experienced in a long time. I think when you step off of the pre-designed, neatly packaged and boxed idea of life that we've always been fed, lots of people resist and call you crazy but lots also say wow, look at you. You're so special and brave and you did it, so they support you. I don't know, everyone relates.
It's so different from what I hope and plan for, but he is walking a dream and a goal and it's making my dreams and goals, the ripe world of possibility seem all the more palpable, juicy, and full of seeds. Cheers to a new year, may your big dreams refine into goals and may they remain in your sight until they become the new base camp for new dreams.