Have you ever made a wish or written down a list of dreams only to look back years later and feel grateful that they didn’t come true?
Sometimes what we wish for isn’t really what we need, or even what we want.
Maybe it’s a case of not really having the courage to ask for what your heart truly desires.
I often think back to my teenage lists, my journal pages filled with dreams.
I wanted to join the army, to see the world, be a career focused woman. I didn’t want children and as for being married seriously two weeks in a relationship seemed scary. No commitments, no ties, no emotion.
It’s hard looking back and knowing how untrue I was to myself. That even in the pages of my journal I couldn’t find the courage to be honest, to be true.
You see I didn’t believe in happy endings and I certainly didn’t believe in true love. Yet here I am about to celebrate my 19th year of marriage. I met a man who is far from Prince Charming which is lucky as I’m no Cinderella . Yet he is a man who loves me to my very bones. Who brings me tea in bed every morning. Who empties the rubbish without whining and who encourages and believes in me and all that I do.
I believed that I didn’t want to be a mom, the fear of being completely responsible for a child freaked me out. It was never a case of what will I mess up, it was more a case of when. Now as a mom to four incredible daughters and a Foster mom I’m still scared of messing up but when I look at my girls I know that somehow I did something right .That underneath the chaos and the arguments my kids know how very loved they are.
I can’t even imagine myself in the army now, yet back then at 14 it was my life’s plan. I think it was the order that attracted me to it. Having someone control my life was appealing, not having to make decisions for myself. Yet I would have been a lousy solider. Besides the fitness stuff which I used to love I am incredibly messy and often get lost in my own thoughts, not good when you are supposed to be alert and on guard.
I understand people change and grow and I don’t dispute that I have but if I am perfectly honest I think then I was simply afraid.
Afraid to voice my real hopes and dreams.
Afraid to be true to my heart.
I remember vividly sitting at my grandparents kitchen table writing out my lists. My first list was so very different to the second but as I read the words back I ripped the page out of my journal and tore it into tiny pieces. I remember asking myself what I was thinking, mocking myself, mocking my dreams.
You see I so wanted to be in love, to have someone smile at me in that way, you know the one. Where their smile reaches deep into your soul. Where your heart begins to race and your body just tingles.
I wanted the perfect wedding with fresh flowers and hippy hair. I wanted to promise forever in front of those I loved.
I wanted to write but more than that I wanted to share my words. To have them read in places I have never visited, by people I would never meet. I so wanted to speak through my words to others hearts.
And I really wanted to be a mom, to hold that precious child in my arms. To watch them grow, to catch them when they stumbled, to teach,to encourage and to love. I didn’t just want to give birth to children I wanted to love on those in need. Whatever the reason I just wanted to open my arms and welcome them home.
It’s crazy how life works out, I still have a few more wants to achieve but somehow I was lucky. My dreams that I was scared to write down, well some of them certainly came true.
Did my subconscious play a part, who knows?
Yet I so wish I could go back to that scared 14 year old girl and to tell her to own her dreams. To not care what others may believe to be unrealistic, to know that her hopes were within her reach.
I teach my girls now that nothing is beyond their desire to achieve. That to get something you first have to believe in it.
I wish I had known this, maybe I wouldn’t have messed up so many times. Maybe I wouldn’t have set myself up to fail. Maybe I wouldn’t have hurt myself so many times.
Self sabotage may be my favourite two words (NOT)
So if you are reading this, pick up a journal, a notebook or a scrap piece of paper.
Now write on it your one true dream.
Not whats practical or what other tell you to aim for.
Write your hearts desire.
Now believe in it.
Take steps toward it.
Because seriously if I can get there, you all can.
Start the journey towards them now.
It’s never too late.
Avoid the self destruction and start with self construction.
I believe in you.
This post and a few others can be also found over on the Huffington post