Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Moment

One of the saddest moments in life is that instant when a dream dies.

All of us, whether we like to admit it or not, secretly believe that we're special, unique, and gifted. And maybe we are.

But we're not always gifted in the direction we want to be. And sometimes, even if we are, the timing is wrong, or life intervenes, and we suddenly look up and realize . . .

It isn't going to happen.

For whatever reason, there's no longer the chance of it coming true.

In that moment a part of you dies. Not even a little part. And the pain is incredible. Some people can't cope. They end it all because they're not willing to "settle." Others become bitter and angry, lashing out at everyone, but most particularly at those "lucky ones" who have succeeded in achieving the dream.

But I admire the others. The ones who look at the dream the way you look at a lost lover, with regret, some sadness, but an appreciation for something special that's time has ended. These are the people who find themselves another dream, a different one, one they can still achieve: the athletes in the paraplegic games, the wheelchair racers, the seventy year old who takes up painting for the first time.

And sometimes, surprisingly, the second dream becomes just as passionate, just as important, just as fulfilling. Maybe even more so. Yes, there will always be the bittersweet memory of what could have been. But the joy of what IS is enough to compensate for it.

There are other joys as well---smaller in scope, but no less important. The strength of a small child's hug when Grandma comes to visit. The awe-inspiring sight of meteors streaking across a midnight sky. Achievement is not everything. It is possible to be so goal oriented that you miss the journey--and the joy of living. What's the old joke -- "nobody on their deathbed ever says 'I wish I spent more time at work.'"

When the dream of a lifetime isn't achievable it's easy to believe that you're NOT important, NOT special, NOT worthwhile.

But it isn't true.

Just my thoughts. For what it's worth.


crazylady said...

Nice post. I am a proponent of this concept myself. I call it "sideways dreaming." As humans, if we are not flexible, we do not prosper ...

C. T. Adams said...

Thanks. But I do admit it is hard to let go sometimes.

Tammy said...

It is sometimes VERY hard to let that dream go, but sometimes the one that comes after it is even better than the first. And friends can make it even better.

Glad you back Cie and that you enjoyed your trips.