Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Let’s talk about Bubbles: An exposition on Dreams

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” –C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite words in Spanish is bubble. Burbuja. Pronounced boor-boo-hu. I also love bubbles in general.

Bubbles are a very minimally involved activity to entertain children. These little people get seriously tickled when you blow bubbles for them. I can’t blame them. There is something so satisfying about blowing the biggest bubble of your life and then watching it pop, dribbling leftover soap all over you and whoever is near by.

I love popping bubbles. Especially when there are a ton of them and you start poking your fingers in rapid motion like a boxer training for the ring. It’s invigorating.

I love that it’s a new tradition to blow bubbles at wedding instead of pelting the bride and groom with birdseed. Whoever invented that idea, I freaking love you.

But there is one kind of bubble that I don’t like to have popped. It’s the bubble of my fantasy. The bubble of my dreams. The bubble of my visions coming to fruition and me emerging victorious, slaying the dragon and uniting the kingdom. Yes, girls dream of slaying dragons, too.

My bubble being burst into nonexistence is a very frequent occurrence because I have lots of dreams. Like, lots of them. Not night dreams—those are stupid and usually make no sense. They can be entertaining when you remember them and I have some dreams that I’ve remembered for years. Remind me to tell you about the dream where my dad arranged a marriage between me and a retarded Guatemalan man. A wedding that never happened because it was interrupted by a hurricane that washed everyone away except me, who was wearing the absolutely most hideous wedding dress on planet earth.

That dream has become a legend.

But I’m not talking about those kind of dreams. I’m talking about the dreams that you really, really want to come true. The dream that hasn’t happened yet. The dreams you had as a child of growing up and becoming an actress, or a musician, or a professional UFC fighter. It’s the vision of your dream wedding or your dream job or you dream husband or wife or kids. These dreams fill your waking fantasy and you give them extra puffs to make them grow bigger whenever you have time to focus on them.

Or perhaps it’s the dream that never will happen. The dream, that once you realized it burst and is never coming back, makes you feel like maybe this life isn’t worth living after all. It’s the burst bubble that can make dreaming seem like a waste of time. What’s the point of hoping when your hope is sure to be popped like so many bubbles on a summer’s day?

I remember the moment, about 10 years ago when I realized there was no possible way to be a singer, actress, writer, poet, lawyer, missionary, youth worker, counselor, interpreter and be multilingual, get married, adopt kids, have kids, have foster kids, own a ranch, visit every continent and most of the countries, dance like Byoncé, rap like Macklemore, live on a different planet (even though I hate space) discover a new island (they’ve already been discovered) and visit the Congo to see the pygmies. I’m reaching the age in my life when dreams are actually starting to erase themselves from achievability. I’m starting to realize there is not time to do everything. And I’m starting to realize that several thousand of my millions of dreams have already burst and thousands more are bursting every day. The more dreams you have, the more opportunities for those dreams not to come true. Just like the more risks you take the more opportunities for you to fail.

Well that’s depressing.

And it could be even more depressing to focus on all the things I’ve wanted to do but couldn’t—for some reason or another. It could be depressing to focus on the things I’ve had to say no to. It could be depressing to think of prioritizing and having to put some dreams on a lower level.

Then I have to tell myself “Whoa, girl, get a grip” which leads to me recounting not the dreams that have died but the ones that have lived. It also reminds me that dreams are the sort of things that are transient, changeable, moldable, and not, in anyway, set in stone. This means that for every dead dream, a new dream is borne. Every goodbye often leads to a new hello (this is actually true). And the day you are no longer dreaming is the day you have either given up, surrendering to the circumstances or you are dead.

True, I have had to say no many times. Or I have had “no” said to me. If that were the end, that would just be sad. But it’s not the end.

They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I say, when life bursts your bubble, make another one.

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