Every little girl in my generation had dreams of what she would one day become, how her life might look, and how happily-ever-after she expected to feel. It was magical.
Then life happened. We grew up and began the process of trying to measure up to society's agenda or everyone's expectations. The hats we picked up varied greatly depending on upbringing, hometown, family dynamics, and media access. And they were many: be a good girl, a career woman, a doting mother, a sexy wife, a responsible citizen, a contributing member, a team player, a leader! So many hats, so little time.
In a woman's life, it is not uncommon to set aside our needs and wants so we can care for others. We start a family, we put a spouse through school, we assume the family business as our parents age. We set our dreams aside and imagine we will get back to them when things settle down. When the children are grown. When the degree is complete. When the parent passes. When we lose enough weight or have enough money. Then the magic will happen.
Life can be so filled with the good stuff that we forget to save space for the best. The dreams we set aside until we could get back to them eventually die from neglect. If life was particularly taxing, we may have even forgotten why those dreams mattered in the first place. We become anxious or depressed but cannot put our finger on why. Don't we have it all? People call that magical thinking and encourage us to be practical.
I call that settling for less. Deep down, dreams never die - they just get buried alive.
Dreams not Drama
Sometimes the clamor of daily drudgery has left us so far down we forgot where we left our cherished dream. We may have tucked it away so deeply into a corner of our heart that we need to go into the cave to reclaim it.
Don't be afraid of the dark - it is where your treasure is buried.
Kim is a career coach for women in transition.