Though it is always a pleasure to have Valerie from A Bohemian Season here at Brocante I am particularly thrilled to share her latest gorgeous thoughts on dreams on this the day the very first Muse email went out, because Valerie’s chosen subject matter couldn’t be more fitting on our journey to persuade our inner muse to come out dancing with us…
Dreaming, deciding, dancing, doing
I wear the label “dreamer” proudly. The last few years of my life I’ve been dreaming. “You gotta have dreams”. We’ve all been told that right? “Dream big!” Stop. “Dream bigger!” And so I sit down with my pretty little notebook and make a pretty little list of dreams. We’re told dreams are important so that we don’t limit life with our own small imagination of what’s possible. So I have dream jobs, dream houses, dream dates, dream bodies, and dream vacations. I have dreamed far and wide, big and small from earnest dreams, like being a mother, having a creative career, or traveling to Europe to wild maybe dreams like hot air balloon rides, taking a course as a pastry chef, or living in another country a few months out of the year.
But I’ve realized dreaming only gets me halfway. Dreaming opens my mind to possibilities I discarded as impractical or ridiculous. Dreaming can inspire me. Dreaming can give me far-off fantasies of someday-maybes. But unless I act on my dreams they’re nothing more than lists on paper. I thought merely by having dreams I was opening the door to them happening. And maybe that’s true, because if I don’t even consider something to be possible, how can it happen? But it was more like my dreams unlocked the door, but I never opened it and passed through. I saw dreams as things to write down, hoping they would magically appear in due time. But most dreams won’t materialize until I decide to do them. And in the process of deciding, some interesting things start to bubble up.
Sometimes it’s so easy and simple I wonder why I didn’t do it yesterday. I’ve been wanting to digitize my music collection, for-like-ever, and I’ve had the tools to do it, but I haven’t done it. The day I started doing it was like a party in my head. Whoohoo! I’m finally doing it. It’s going to happen. It’s happening now! I’ve experienced this same whoohoo feeling with little things like buying a new pair of shoes or cutting my hair or painting my kitchen cabinets.
But dreams aren’t always easy to step into. I dream of being a published author and I’ve decided to act on it. But it’s not a simple one-time action. It’s every day, sitting down, writing. It’s action over a period of years. But the minute I started taking action, I stepped into the dream instead of looking at it from afar. I may not be to the end, but I’m already living it right now.
Looking at a list of dreams, contemplating action, I’ve been surprised at all the strange emotions that come out of nowhere. Is this really the right decision? Too risky? A waste of time, money? Too much work? What I really want to do? What will people think? (I hate how often this one comes up!) Will they think I’m crazy? Self-indulgent?
Some dreams have fallen off my list when I realized I didn’t want them enough. But I’ve also found things I really want to do with a whole host of fears holding me back and before I can experience the dream I have to give the fears the old heave ho. And sometimes unexplainable forces hold me back. I’m not even sure why, but I hesitate. A silly example… I have longed for a moroccan pouf for at least a year now. I could buy it online in five minutes. But every time I get close, I pull back. It’s like a dance. I’m dancing between dreaming and deciding. And maybe that’s part of the process.
I never even realized how often I was dreaming instead of deciding until I listened to the language I was using – “I want” versus “I will”. “I want to go to Paris someday” versus “I am going to Paris this year.” I have journals and journals full of things I wanted, but so few of them I decided on. Wanting is dreaming. Doing is deciding. I’ve been dreaming lately of getting an adorable little dog a la Audrey Hepburn’s adorable little dog to be my canine companion, but I’m just not ready. I haven’t decided. And that’s okay – to dance for awhile in that place between dreaming and deciding, as long as I’m not just hoping it will magically happen in the meantime.
So what do you dream? Is there anything you want to move from your dream list to your decided list?