The grill billowed with smoke. Your stomach growled. Children frolicked in the yard and your mouth watered as you savored the flavors of life. You could practically taste the grizzle and ketchup and hot dog bun in your mouth. Your mom threw in some chips and soda and you were in heaven.
As usual, you played until the street lights came on and when you laid in your bed at the end of the day you dreamed of who you'd become.
You were young. You were fresh. You were exactly who you were supposed to be and your dreams were bigger than life.
If you were like me, you wanted to be a stunt man and jump the Snake River like Evel Knievel, soaring by the power of your will. Or maybe you wanted to be a dancer, a drummer, or a writer.
Then life happened.
You got pregnant. You went to college. You started a career, working long hours, hoping to get ahead while you paid your bills. Sometimes, you thought about your secret dreams when no one was looking. Of course they were there, hiding, waiting, still electrified with that youthful energy you once had. But you pushed them aside.
You gave your time to your children. You gave your time to your wife or husband. You gave your time to remodeling that house and it drained the life out of you, but you wouldn't change a thing. Your family has made you who you are, loving you through the highs and lows of life.
And yet through it all, you never forgot your dreams. Thoughts of leaping the Grand Canyon and writing your magnum opus have faithfully remained at your side, calling, whispering to you, hoping that you'd drag them from your memories, and realize them for what they are.
Let me ask you a question; do you hear your dreams calling, or are you blocking out the noise with the business of life?
I hope you're listening, because your dreams will never stop calling you. They're a part of the child that still exists inside of you. Your dreams are who you're meant to be. And if you have a dream, there's no reason why it shouldn't, at the very least, be your hobby.
Of course, you've made choices and you've learned to accept them. Good for you. You did the hard thing, the important things.
But listen...for just a moment...and remember who you are. You are what you dream.
You can dream big, or you can dream small, but dreams unrealized are nothing at all.
Author of Reunion at age 40.