We are all so very blessed, we Americans, we live in the greatest country in the world. We are afforded freedoms that others can’t even conjure to dream of. One of the greatest freedoms Americans have is the ability to chase our dreams and our fantasies. And, here in the US no one person has the same dream or fantasy as another. They are as snowflakes, some similar, but none exact. Dreams are like the people of America, diverse. Not everyone dreams of being a doctor. Not everyone fantasizes about traveling. Not everyone dreams of getting married or having children. Not everyone goes to college. Not everyone goes to church. Not everyone lives in the city. And, not everyone takes the chance to chase their dreams and fantasies, some may not even have grandiose ideas of the ideal. But if you have ever said the words, “I wish I could do that,” know that no-one is going to hand it to you on a silver platter, if you want something, you must go after it! It takes, sweat, determination and a complete disregard for the fears that block and blind.
“All men and women are born, live suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about… We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.” – Joseph Epstein
Dan and I have evolving dreams, as I’m sure most of you do too. The day we got married we never even had an inkling that this is where our lives would turn. When we first got married, my dream for myself was to get a high powered job as a copywriter in a Viguerie owned Direct Mail company. Immediately after securing the “dream”, complete with an office and a window, Kerry was born, and after leaving her with Dan for the first time, my dream was to be a stay-at-home mom and Dan, being the amazing husband, abandoned his small business and sought a job that would provide a paycheck and insurance. I haven’t looked back since. He was on the fast track, moving from company to company, getting huge pay increases because he’s an intelligent man, but mostly because he’s a very hard worker. Our dream then became to own our own home. Then 3 years after buying said house, our dream was to move across the country to ski. Then we dreamt of owning a home in CO, etc., etc. Dreams are the fruits of our lives. They continue to evolve, to grow and to encourage.
My absolute favorite quote is one by T.E. Lawrence, it’s on our website, it’s ingrained in my head, my heart.
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
And so today, for the here and now, our dream is to show our children a new way of life. They’ve seen the private school education, they’ve seen the public school education, now they are experiencing home schooling. They’ve lived in an apt, a townhouse, a house with neighbors on all sides and a mtn home with privacy, now they are living in an RV. Our oldest know the option of college is out there for them whenever they so choose. But, for now, while they are young and without responsibility (for the most part) they have chosen to hone their entrepreneurial skills, Kerry as a graphic artist, Grady as a videographer and the whole lot of them planning a business, writing their business plan, creating logos, researching marketing and advertising, etc.
Reality has a way of creeping in whether you try to block it or not. Of course, Dan has to continue to work in order to provide food, clothing, shelter, opportunity and adventure for our family. Of course, the kids have to buckle down and work hard at their schoolwork in order to pass their quizzes and tests. Of course, Kerry has to bust her tail to make deadlines and bring in some cash. But this doesn’t have to be the essence of who we are. It simply affords us the freedom to be who we are. My philosophy mimics that of Tupac Shakur … “Reality is wrong … Dreams are for real.”
Our kids have experienced the life society as a whole has embraced, complete with excess, and now they are living an alternate life of simplicity and purity. Surely, when it’s all said and done we will all choose a life that is somewhere in the middle. When will that be? How long can this last? Who knows. The sky’s the limit. It could be next week, next month, next year, or the next decade. I don’t know, but when we do park our RV for longer periods of time and live within the walls of a stationary home, our children will do so with the knowledge of possibility. They will have a new perspective on wealth, religion, nature, love, charity, adventure … basically, they will have a whole new perspective on life. They will know that there is a whole world out there waiting for them. That is priceless.
The world speaks to us all and what we do, not what we talk about, but what we actually do, has a ripple affect that transcends all boundaries, race, religion, etc. We have to take great care that what ripples from each of us is good; worthy of judgment. We all must learn to be self-sufficient, we all must learn to provide for others and we all must learn what makes us truly happy … that’s a reality I embrace and am intent on teaching our children. I know that when it’s all said and done, our children will have learned that dreams are not to be shelved, but to be pursued with vigor. They will have learned that because you dream you live.