We all have dreams. Some are big and bold others are more modest and quiet. Often, they are deeply hidden away in dark corners of ourselves, protected from scrutiny. They are important. They define us. They represent our own vision of our best selves and give our lives direction, consciously or unconsciously. They also make us vulnerable when shared.
What happens when your partner dashes your dreams? It’s not good.
I have always loved cooking, but for most of my life didn’t see it as much more than a fun and functional hobby to express my creativity. To me, it is at once relaxing and stimulating. At the best of times, I have that feeling of being in “the flow” where I don’t have to think hard about what I am doing but everything is just clicking right into place anyway. It feels like I am in my element. Friends and family benefit as well, and have not been reserved in their praise (which embarrasses me, I’m still not very comfortable taking compliments). At one point, I had a friend encourage me to produce and sell a small food item that she thought I did especially well and that could be marketable on a small, farmer’s market kind of scale. When I shyly shared this idea with my then partner, he snorted and said “You’ll never get rich doing that.” Proverbial lead balloon. I remember feeling pretty crushed. It wasn’t so much because making and selling this particular item was my dream nor was “getting rich” for that matter (though I wouldn’t mind that). The problem was that my partner didn’t support me pursuing something that touched that quiet part of me that is important to who I am and who I want to be. The part that didn’t dare hope to dream about the possibility of pursuing a creative life, full time and for reals. He didn’t have to pretend to believe in the proposed product or its profitability, but her sure as shit could have believed in me.
Who knows where a small step toward who you really, really want to be might lead? Perhaps if I had pursued that business idea, other opportunities to further me along the road toward having a life centered around and fueled by doing things I really love might have appeared. If you don’t ever turn yourself in the right direction, you can be sure chances are slim you will ever get there. Even if you don’t know exactly where there is, don’t miss opportunities to at least get yourself on the right road! And if you are in a partnership, makes sure the person by your side believes in you, whatever your crazy dream might be and is willing to travel that road with you.