I have a dream. It doesn’t involve world peace or solving the hunger crisis. It’s a personal vision. In truth, the only thing remarkable about it is its simplicity.
A hammock, an endless ocean and powdery white sand. Me, a cool drink in one hand and my favorite book in the other. The gentle breeze and surf mixing together to create a perfect harmony of sound while the warm glow of sunshine paints the world in hues of red and yellow.
It’s a simple dream, though as vivid in my mind as the computer screen I’m currently staring into. I’ve had it ever since I can remember.
I believe most people have a similar dream, though few take the time to shape it into anything more than a fuzzy idea of where they hope their future takes them. Most of us wake up with a purpose, however have no greater plan than to make it through another day hoping that we’re working towards a better future.
I believe the lucky ones in life have a clear vision of where they’re going. For some of them, their dreams are so focused that they’re like arrows pointing them exactly where they believe they need to be.
I’m a little jealous of those with such a clear focus on what they need to do to make their own dream a reality. I also applaud them for having the strength and patience to see their dreams come true.
An unusual dream
That said, I believe my dream is a little different from most. It’s clear as day, however it doesn’t push me in any direction. Mine is just constantly playing in the background of my mind.
At times, I believe it gives me the energy to keep going. Other times it gives me perspective on the road I’ve already traveled. Sometimes, it cheers me up on days that I’m feeling blue and occasionally, it even gives me focus on days where my choices seem cloudy.
The funny part is, it’s such a simple dream yet it has no urgency. In it, I’m content to spend the entire day just lounging and there’s absolutely no rush to get anything accomplished except maybe finish reading the chapter I’m on or the cool drink in my hand.
Realizing my dream
In terms of dreams, it’s also fairly obtainable and a dozen years ago, I thought I achieved it.
A few months into our first year long round the world trip together as a couple I found myself in almost exactly that place. It was everything I ever dreamed and more since I had someone I loved beside me. The problem was that after a few days on the beach, there was a restlessness growing inside me.
Up until reality smacked me in the face that beach and that hammock was my lifelong dream. Don’t think that the absurdity of that statement isn’t wasted on me. I know it’s not much however guess what, it’s still my life dream. Except now when I close my eyes, the dream isn’t only a vision but also a memory I continue to cherish.
You might ask yourself why after every country I’ve explored, every natural wonder I’ve seen, every “once in a lifetime event” I’ve had the good fortune to participate in that my dream hasn’t changed. You’re not the only one. I ask myself that same question every day.
I think the answer lies in the definition of a dream. For me, swaying in the breeze that day the truth hit me. It wasn’t an abrupt realization but a slow understanding of myself and the world around me.
You see, I never realized the dream didn’t start with me laying on a hammock, it ended with it. The sense of peace, completeness and happiness I felt in it wasn’t from finally getting there, it was from having completed everything I wanted to do before I got there.
That hammock was my reward for having lived a full life. It was the icing to my proverbial cake and though that hammock still sits there waiting for me, I know in my heart that I’ll never by truly content until I’ve eaten as much lifecake as my body can stand.
Every person has their own dreams. Some are vague, others are more defined however what they each have in common is a goal we all hope to one day reach. It sits there waiting for each of us. Whether it’s finding Shangri-La, owning that mansion on the hill or achieving the unthinkable, never let anyone or anything stop you from pursuing your dreams. They’re part of who we are and give us the strength, endurance and perseverance to reach for the unobtainable.
My future awaits
For me, that hammock is still swinging near that sparkling clear ocean just waiting for me to finish whatever life decides to throw my way. For now, I can concentrate on the tasks at hand like raising my kids and making sure that their own dreams are forged. That they too have the tools necessary to reach whatever heights they dream of.
For now, the hammock can wait. I have other dreams that need tending. I’m fine with that. Regardless of what I do, it’s one step closer to my dream anyway and isn’t that worth striving for?