I woke up this morning humming I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. Although this song is a bit melodramatic for my situation, I knew exactly why it came to mind.
For a dream of mine died this week.
Let me back up and give a little history. I have always had a dream of seeing the wonders of the USA by driving cross-country in an RV. I am not exactly sure where this dream came from, but I have had it for decades.
Every time we tent camped in a campground and saw the RVs parked in all their glory, I would nudge my husband and say, “that will be us one day.”
Every year at the State Fair I browse the RVs picking out the best model for our family to travel in.
Granted, I was usually alone in my browsing and daydreaming as no one in my family shared my dream.
But this summer. This summer I got them one step closer to the dream.
I went to Airbnb and booked us a half week’s vacation in an RV located in the Appalachian mountains of Georgia.
It was going to be great. Sleeping in efficiently designed quarters by night and exploring the countryside by day. Grilling on the porch, chatting with the neighbors. It would be so fantastic that everyone would fall in love with the RV. The American dream would be played out during the week of the 4th of July. What could be better?
Well, as it turns out:
Space. Privacy. Actual walls. These things could be better.
You see, in my fantasty, I didn’t get into the details of what it would be like for three introverts and an extrovert to share such close quarters for such a long period of time.
Did it hit me during the first night’s lack of sleep or the moment we realized you could have a full conversation with someone in the bathroom with ease? I am not sure but it definitely hit. The realization that the Hobbs family would never travel cross country in an RV.
Drive to a cabin? Sure.
Fly to a hotel? Okay.
RV? Big NO.
To be honest I am not crushed by the RV dream dying. It was a nice idea, but superficial in the scheme of things.
But there are times when REAL dreams die.
Our biggest hopes.
Our heart’s desires.
- We never meet the one.
- The pregnancy stick is never positive.
- We get turned down for the job we always wanted.
- Our marriage dissolves.
- Our child becomes estranged.
- Our parent dies before they ever get the courage to make amends for the hurt they caused.
Dreams can die in a hundred different ways, but the pain is the same.
What we thought would be, will never be. Only sadness, anger, disappointment, and grief remain.
What do you do when a dream dies?
In my life, I have found the best course of action is to find a new dream.
Now with the RV dream, this is not hard. Maybe for our grand Hobbs vacation of the future, we will start planning a cruise or a trip to a big city we have never seen.
But with bigger dreams, the adjustment is harder.
We cry and grieve. And then we buy a house on our own and start living a life as a fully complete single person.
We cry and grieve. And then we adopt. Or turn our focus to being a good Aunt or a mentor.
We cry and grieve. And then we look for a new job where we can add a little bit of good to the world.
We cry and grieve. And then we forgive our parent anyway. And try to live a life that does not cause as much pain as their’s did.
When a dream dies, it is always painful.
But it is not the end of the story.
There is still hope. Still life to be lived. Still grace to be given and received.
How have you moved on when a dream of yours died?