“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.
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."