Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dream a Little Dream for Me

I sing harmony along with the new Target commercials, and I think I sound pretty good. :) La, la, la, la, la, love! You all should sing along too. :)

Let's get the randomness outta the way. I've got the Twitter bug. I thought I already had too many technological balls in the air already, and that's why I put off getting on twitter even though several of my friends were telling me I realllly needed to sign up. So finally I hopped on board the other night. And now I'm getting little nuggets of goodness all day long from my nearest and dearest, and Demi Moore and John Mayer. And it is sooo hard not to correct Britney Spear's grammar, but I restrain myself. :)

On to the topic at hand. I have a lot to say about sex ed and decriminalization of marijuana and socialism and especially about the use of fanny packs, but Mary's topic grabbed my eye tonight. Dreams gone by the wayside. Cue the strings. And here it is in a nutshell. I don't believe in dreams gone by the wayside. I've learned many a lesson in the short 29 years I've been on this earth. I've learned some hard ones and I've learned some by looking at those around me. And when I think about accomplishments and achievements and dreams and goals, I always think about my dad. He always said to me, "Ashly, the difference between the people who always dream about doing things and the people who get them done, is the willingness to step out and take the risk." I firmly believe that. There are people who always wish and hope that things will happen to them in life, and there are people who get it done. And I, more than anyone, am guilty of being one of those people with the grand idea in my mind and no fire under my butt to get it done. So many things stand in our way. The time, the money, but mostly fear. What will people think of me. What if I fail. What if it's completley stupid.

What if it's not.

When I told my mom that I knew I was going to marry Poncho someday, she was a litle hesitant and didn't quite share my enthusiasm for my new relationship. She said, "Ashly, you'll be giving up your dream of living on the west coast. Do you want to give that up for a guy?" And I had to explain to my mom that I wasn't giving up a dream. I was dreaming a new one. I don't believe in leaving dreams behind, but I do realize that sometimes they shapeshift and take new forms. And I think that we can explore those dreams in new and different ways. But the same old dreams, or new and different ones, they all require us to step out. To do.

I'm inspired every day when I look at the people around me. People like Caroline and Mary who are amazing artists doing what they love, even when that probably didn't mean choosing the easy road to get there. I look at Whitney building an extremely successful business from the ground up completely on her own and outside the norm of what most people expected from her. I look at my sister doing brain surgery now. These are all no small feats! And they required motivation and stepping out and staying true to something that wouldn't let you go. It requires some small part of your brain having just the teeniest glimmer of confidence that in some way, shape, or form, you can make this work. Then you step out and see what happens.

So there you have it. Write. Paint. Draw. Sing. Build. Take a picture. Put it out there and see what it does. Allow your dreams room to grow and change. And if you've put some on the back burner, pull them out and dust them off and see what they look like now-- they may be better and more accessible now than you remembered. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you in them and stay far, far away from the haters. Dreams are fragile. Handle them with care. (Ok, that was cliche but it's true.)

I'll leave you with a quote from Tony Kushner's play and my absolute A#1 favorite movie/mini series, "Angels in America". In this world, there's a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we've left behind and dreaming ahead. At least I think that's so.

And I promise to thoroughly address the fanny pack issue next time.