Discarded Dreams, Faith, and Hope
Dear Loo (and Everyone Else), #2
No, I haven’t left yet but I already want to memorialize something I’m carrying with me to England later today.
I have a writer friend on Substack, her name is Jennifer Loudon (well worth subscribing to her newsletter too, I think). This morning Jennifer published a piece called Why Past Due Dreams Still Matter (and how sharing those dreams can give us a lift). She wrote about how she’d once dreamed of working for Doctors Without Borders but had discarded the idea because it felt so unlikely. She said that today more than ever we need to have faith that things can change. She believes that dusting off our past due dreams (and taking action on them) is the spark for change, giving us “a little boost of oomph and courage to get through these dark times”.
I agree. Not quite two months ago I revisited the house we lived in when I first met you and wrote (Pieces of Me):
“I didn’t realize it at the time but I found what I came for. Parts of me that I’ve lost and also, who I am and can yet be.
There, I was a young mother who quit her job to start a small business and stay home with her daughter but who eventually went back to work full time. I was a good administrator and public information officer. I was a home school mother, not a bad teacher, but not a great one. I was a new writer inspired to write travel stories the first time I bought a copy of Outside Magazine in the nineties and read a Tim Cahill story. I was a horsewoman who loved to ride in the Sierra Nevada with her friends.
Most of all, I was a dreamer who made things happen. I dreamed so many things, some of them have come true. Others, I’ve discarded or revised. After I moved away, incrementally, I lowered my expectations of myself. Our daughter grew up, we retired, time moved on.
What I found in Lake Don Pedro though was that I still need big, audacious dreams. They make me feel alive. Hopeful. They keep me young. And I’m too young to feel old.”
Jennifer closed her piece this morning with, “Let’s give each other energy and encouragement to keep going and maybe, just maybe, by sharing our small steps, we can knit together a tiny bit of our frayed human trust and give ourselves a little more energy to work toward the greater good, as well as our own illogical dreams?”
OK, so I’m sharing though they are decidedly illogical. You were there for the birth of one of them when we sat on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and I had the epiphany that, “I belong here!” I’m not saying I’m picking that one back up (quit my party and have little hope in our political system at this point), but there are others. Singing. Writing a book that makes the NY Times bestseller list. Living on a ranch and doing retreats. To tell you the truth, there have been so many dreams that I don’t remember them all.
So, this will be a week for dusting them all off and perhaps even dreaming new ones. Deep thoughts ahead, I think. I’ll keep you in the loop.
PS I’d love it if everyone would take a small step with me: share your dusty dreams in the comments. We’ll encourage each other!