When I was a kid, I had grand dreams. Everyone did, I think. Some wanted to be firemen, or princesses, or even Sonic. Hell, I’ve listened to little kids tell me they want to be animals or fictional characters. It’s the greatness of imagination, and the greatness of a society that tells you that you can be anything that you want to be, if you just set your mind to it.
As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to go back to the little private school I went to and be a teacher there. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of some of my favorite adults and teach others. And besides the lofty idea of being a writer, I wanted nothing else.
It’s not the grandest dream, nor was it the most difficult dream. But somewhere between middle school ending and life beginning, I lost that dream. Now, granted, I have done a few teaching jobs. I worked for after-school care for elementary kids (not much teaching, but I was called a teacher and that’s what matters). And for a couple years, I was a preschool teacher, and worked with pretty much all the young ages. But I had the glorious opportunity to have my own class of the older one’s.
I’m not saying these jobs drew me away from my dreams of teaching. If anything, being a preschool teacher reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher. And yet, in trying to figure out myself and my life, I don’t think I want to be a teacher anymore.
Some kids grow up to live their dreams. They become actors, or politicians, or writers, or construction workers, or any other type of career they wanted. I haven’t found that yet. I thought maybe I did. I thought maybe, in the grand scheme of things, I might have found my dream job.
But something I’ve realized as time’s worn on is that, well, dreams can change. I’ve sat and I’ve poured so much thought into the future that all I can think about is what is going to happen, what might happen, why am I not trying to hold onto my future, what will happen to me. But then I’ve stopped. Yes, I’m sitting here, wasting time, sleeping the days away and passing the nights. Yes, to some it may not look like I’m taking charge of my own life. But that’s just it. I have stopped trying to take charge, just a little.
Instead, I’m figuring out steps. Steps that will get me to a potential dream. And though it doesn’t look like I’m succeeding, maybe I am. I’m finding my way to a place that may make me the happiest person I can be, in the future. I’m finding my way to a place that, hopefully, won’t make me miserable. Does it make sense right now? No, and it’s terrifying. And it’s really difficult to explain, sometimes even to myself. And I just have to let it be difficult. I just have to let it be terrifying. Because I’m letting the control of my destiny go.
People say that when a door closes, a window opens. And that’s what I’m letting happen. I’m waiting for my window to open. Right now there’s a crack in the shutters, and all I want is for it to open wide enough for me to pass. But it’s a waiting game, all while there’s a hammer and a glass window in another room that I can force open. But if I break it myself, do I lose the window I’m waiting on? Should I risk that?
I don’t know if I can risk it. But I think I have to try. Because my dream has changed, I think. Or maybe it’s evolved. And behind the shuttered window is an avenue to my dream, one that’s a huge step in the right direction. If I turn away, I might still be able to work towards my dream, but I think it’d be harder, and I might lose myself again.
When you’re a kid, you dream of changing the world. Of a perfect life, with no struggle, with the power to fix anything. It’s an imperfect dream, but that’s not realized until later. I once dreamed of being a teacher. And now, I’m not so sure.