Thursday, January 6, 2011

Practical Dreams

“If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.” ~J.M. Power

I'm linking up with Mama Kat again. Sigh. She makes me think too much sometimes. 
Mama's Losin' It

As a teenager, I had dreams. As I dreamt, those dreams transformed into plans. There was never any question of whether or not they would come true. I would go on with my business, and everything would fall into place. My life was just that magical. 

It was all decided, by myself, of course. I would be the first person in my family to graduate college. My parents would be proud of me, and I would be proud of me. The dreams continued. I would go to college, where I would have a full scholarship, quickly become best friends with my roommates, and charm all of my professors with my intelligence and wit, while still achieving top marks. This is what I had imagined since junior high. 

By my senior year of high school, those dreams were about to become a reality. I had accepted a full scholarship to a college two hours from home. Even better, they wanted me to be a part of the Honors College! I was off to a great start before even walking onto the campus. Graduation came and went, and I began to get everything ready for the big move. By August, I was set to conquer the university. 

My roommates and I got along, and my professors didn't hate me. Not bad, but not up to the standards I had set for myself. I was not the girl who would throw herself into the typical college lifestyle of partying. I didn't skip classes. I didn't spend my nights getting drunk. Instead, I went to class and rushed back to the safety of my dorm when class was over. I spent my nights on the phone with my parents, boyfriend, or anyone who reminded me of home. By the end of my first year, I was relieved. I knew it wasn't my best effort, but I would be ready to conquer everyone and everything during my sophomore year. Then I got the letter. My grades had slipped below the requirements to keep my Honor's College scholarship. They didn't want me anymore. Dread consumed me. I could have gone back...but I would have been in a different house, with new roommates, apart from my Honor's buddies. Instead of facing everyone who deserved an explanation, I ran. My dreams were shattered, and I was a failure. I closed my eyes and ran in an entirely different direction. 

I returned home, all the while pretending I was fine and cursing myself, the judgmental professors, the ridiculous requirements, and even the disgusting dorm shower. I spent the next 3 years being a nanny and working at a bank. I even got married, and we bought our first home. Something was still missing. I realized that my dreams hadn't died just because I was still sulking. There was still something I had to do. The hubs (God love him!) supported me (literally and figuratively) when I decided to go back to school. It took 3 very long years of odd jobs and cranky customers and 3 more years of college, but in December, I graduated with a degree in history. 

I accomplished my goal...I graduated from college, just not quite like I had imagined. There was no weeping or shedding of tears when I left. No professors ran to me to declare their admiration for my many accomplishments. And that's okay.  

"Dream in a pragmatic way."
-Aldous Huxley


Coma Girl said...

LOVE this! It's doesn't always happen as perfectly as we dream it will, but at least you did it. You accomplished what you wanted and that's great.

It took me 10 years to complete my degree, not how I had planned. So I completely understand.

Stopping by from Mama Kat's!

Jenn said...

Lovely post, and so, so true. How often do I set goals, and I eventually get there....but not how I intended.
I was pretty disillusioned by a few bad art school instructors and ended up changing my degree to Finance. NOT what I expected, or what I really wanted. Things worked out in the end...congrats to you on hanging in there.

Stopping by from Mama Kats!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. We all accomplish our goals on our own time. And having completed a goal before this year has even begun puts you ahead of most.

When I was little I wanted to be a famous actress. Thankfully my goals have changed dramatically since then!

Stopping by from Mama Kats's.

AZLB said...

Love it! Congrats. Accomplishing our goals is so fulfilling, especially those that take time!!!

Brenna said...

Congratulations on making your dreams come true, even if it wasn't as you intended. But what do we know of the real world in high school anyway? ;)It takes a strong person to admit failure and try again anyway.

Red Velvet Confections said...

Congratulations on getting it done. It takes a special person to move past an emotional obstacle and go on to fulfill such a wonderful dream.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I wish you all the best in 2011!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post! That is so fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for meeting your goal. And, no, rarely do things go as planned. There's (another) saying, something to the effect of "People plan and God laugh's". I think we will all eventually do want we are meant to when the time is truly right for us. I was a honor student but dropped out of High School when I got pregnant. I eventually finished, 3 kiddos later. And now I am back in college working towards my psychology degree.
*Stopping by from Mama Kat's

Ashley said...

Good for you and congratulations! My husband's going back to school now so I know how hard it is. I don't think I could do it! Great job!! =)

Thanks for stopping by Stinker Babies earlier! Glad to find your blog! Looking forward to reading more...

Steph said...

Congrats on achieving such a big dream in your life. It can be hard to move past the sulk, it has taken me A LONG time to move past that portion of the program. All the best for all your future dreams :) Thanks for stopping by My Adventures In Mommyhood earlier

Diane said...

Congratulations for having the courage and determination to go back and fulfill that dream, knowing it wouldn't be exactly how you originally imagined it.
Great post!

Mariposa said...

Great post! I took 6 years working my way through college so I know how accomplished you must feel. Congrats! :)

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