Friday, June 19, 2015

What Happens to a Dream Fulfilled?

What happens to a dream fulfilled? 

Does it sit upon the shelf like an old forgotten toy, a keep sake for some day when a story should be told?

What happens to a dream fulfilled? 

Does it get replaced by the next ambition, the next goal, the next big adventure?

Does it get forgotten, stored in the attic, set aside like a worn out t-shirt?

We’ve pondered the question of a dream deferred, thank you Mr. Hughes, but what of the dream fulfilled? What of this goal we’ve met, this obstacle subdued, this mountain climbed, what of this dream fulfilled?

Perhaps for those who’ve only deferred dreams, a dream fulfilled seems a glorious thing, a chance to reach the highest heights. Perhaps for those who’ve fulfilled their dreams, a dream deferred seems a welcome reprieve, a chance to continue dreaming, an ideal as yet unmet. 

Like a lover you’ve dreamed of, the real thing is often not as pleasing as the idea or the fantasy. We tend to live too fully in our minds, in our perceptions, that we often forget that reality has a different sense of humor. 

What comes next for the runner who completes a marathon, the writer whose works are published, the entrepaneur whose business succeeds, the lover turned husband, the beauty turned wife, turned mother, what next? What more can the future hold for a dream fulfilled, the goal met, the challenge conquered.  Where do we go from here?

What if the grape never turned to a raison, what if we just ate the grape, or made a fine wine with it?
What if the sore didn’t fester, but simply healed and not even so much as a scar was left to remind us of what had happened.

What if nothing sagged or became heavy, what if nothing exploded? What if we managed it all, we carried the load, and we reached our destination, mission accomplished, goal attained, what then?
They tell us to shot for the moon because if we miss we’ll land among the stars, but what then? What if we actually make it to the moon, are we to live there for the rest of our lives, enjoying the solitary celebration of lunar success? And what if we land on the fucking stars? Should we enjoy our time in celestial ecstasy because we succeeded, albeit to a lesser extent and alone? 

Is this what becomes of dreams fulfilled and their dreamers? Are we to revel in our success in lonely corners of the universe, afraid to dream the new dream for seeming selfish? Do we dare to check the box “Finished” and start scheming the new plan? What pompous asses must we seem to those who still are striving for their ultimate, but what will they do when they get it? Did anyone ever tell you how that would play out?

Maybe we weren’t supposed to make it this far. Perhaps this was not part of the plan. If we had failed, this wouldn’t be an issue. If the dream had been deferred, we could ask a different set of questions, we could go on imagining one outcome, one final goal that we may never reach, but we did it, we fulfilled this dream, and now what? I don’t think they planned on this happening. I don’t think we planned on this. 

We’re so used to getting it wrong, we’re so accustomed to failing, we’re so sure that’s not going to work, that this, well THIS, working out, making sense, all of it happening, like it was supposed to, like it was part of some plan bigger than us, well this threw us for a loop. 

So, back to the drawing board, on to the next dream, the newest goal, the hottest tread, the greatest generation, the golden egg, fuck it, the emperor’s new clothes! Let’s try for something else, because they told us this was crazy, and they were actually right but we lived through it, so let’s roll this dice, let’s try for a new one, double or nothing, I’m feeling lucky. 

What happens to a dream fulfilled?

It becomes a new hole on your belt, a notch on your bedpost, a story for the grandkids, a new troll doll for your collection, a trading card you weren’t sure you’d ever posses. A dream fulfilled becomes a lover that you remember fondly. A smell that will always linger in your nose. A faded picture that you’ll carry from house to house, continent to continent. A stuffed rabbit with one eye missing. A scar that never fades, even as the years pass.  A song that you haven’t heard in over 20 years yet still know the lyrics to.

A dream fulfilled becomes a memory. A dream fulfilled becomes a layer of you. Another puzzle piece that fits inside of you. 

A dream fulfilled becomes just that, you, your past. 

So,….. what else where you dreaming of?

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