Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dear Sister: On Dreaming

My sister got married last year. This past weekend marked her one year anniversary. My other sister got engaged a couple of months ago. And so, in my decade-of-marriage wisdom, I've penned these posts gradually through the past year, hoping that they might speak to their futures. 

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Dear Sister, 

Right now, your dreams are big. They cover the world. They string together your enlightened days. They fuel your conversations. About the present. About the future. About the fulfilled & broken past. You whisper them under lovely breaths at night, squeeze them between kitchen kisses, & spend road trips reciting the future. 

One day, they will grow smaller. Not a lot. Not all at once. But they will. Your life together will change your own dreams, make them ONE dream. And suddenly the multitude of big separate dreams will become one big dream of two married souls. You'll share toothpaste and Thai food, parking ticket fees and airplane ticket miles; you'll dream about welcome door mats & open doors around the world. 

Their shrinking doesn't shrink their importance. 

I realized this year that part of me has stopped dreaming. It isn’t that the seedlings of my dreams died—rather, they morphed. My wide dream of traveling the world has been roped in by a family budget, a work calendar, & small children. My deep dream of becoming a vocalist was quickly dubbed by the fact that our four-year-old has better tone than I do. My tall dream of being outdoorsy & spending the summer weekends hiking & mountain biking & rafting & fishing has been forlorn by chubby kid thighs & knee injuries & accessibility. No doubt my dreams are still present—i still smell the gelato & taste the fresh coconut & feel the salt on my once-was skin; but the daily aspirations that we laid under pillows late at night & left on lips between the sheets have faded. 

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If you are roped into the bell curve of statistics, one day you will lie on a bed of faded dreams & share quick kisses of parting on your way to the carpool line. One day you will wake up & wonder who stole your body & with it, all the aspirations of things you were going to be & do & experience. 

But you’ll find yourself. and you’ll find your dreams. you won’t even have to go searching for them. They’ll be comfortably tucked away, asking to come out like sunshine in your pocket when life allows. 

I can tell you that some dreams will die. Like, for example, if you wanted to be Jasmine at Disneyland. Hashtag: black hair doesn’t go with your skin tone. But I can also tell you that your marriage, your union, your support of one another will sometimes be that small spark that reignites the flame for things bigger than yourselves. 

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And if we are honest with ourselves, that is what dreams are anyways: the thought that we are part of something bigger, grander, & bolder than our current state of being. 

Grasp that. Hold that. And don’t let it go. Pass that between the sheets, under door mats, & through postage stamps. Don’t leave yourself out of the dreams you hold close. Find new ways to dream about old things. Maneuver through joy in the necessary restrictions of life & budgets & kid schedules. 
And if I could tell you nothing else about the Sparks of dreams that are & were & will be, it is this: dream together. Dream big & small & in all sizes. Dream far & close & wrap your arms around each other when dreams break & fall & shatter. Because they will. Find new dreams in the fragments of the old, new promise in the breaking of the former. Keep the small ones alongside the big ones. Don't match them by perceived magnitute but by received joy from the dreaming. 

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Roadblocks will come. Cherished dreams will shatter. Life, at times, will seem an insurmountable passage by which you must access those cherished sparks of hopeful scheming. But you will have each other. And if you keep at it, you will have your dreams. Waiting patiently like sunshine in your pocket; waiting to come out & shine light on the life you've made together. 

Love you. 


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