You don't always get to have the dream. I wish someone had told me that.... Or that I had understood it, if they did.
That's why it's a dream. They don't tell you: Go after your dream but don't have the expectation that you'll get it. Living more for the dream than for the folks in your life is what leads to hurt and shattered lives.
Maybe that's why the ones who seem to attain their dreams are usually single... or end up single in the process. There is no "happily ever after" or even the little white house with the white picket fence.
I expected the dream, or at least my semblance of it. But I found life is more about coping with the traumas it brings. No one is exempt. I wish they had taught us that.
Expect pain. Expect troubles. Grab the joy where you can. Smell the roses. Because you're going to need them when times are tough. Make it about the love, not about the gathering about you of things. Don't place your value of you and the ones you love on what you have, what you have accomplished - what they have or have not accomplished. You can live with very little, but you can't live without love.
Maybe I heard all these things, but I just didn't heed them.
Or maybe I just expected both - the happy little life, made up of things and love. This is America, after all.
It takes a lifetime, they say. When I look back, I can see that. The coming together, in youth, is often about the getting of things, and I wonder just how much real "love" is in those years.
It used to be, for me, that not having the things or losing the things or not accomplishing some thing was what brought the pain, led to anger, bitterness, distance, misunderstanding.
Now, when I look back, what brings the pain is the memory of the hurt, the anger, the bitterness - the gulf created between us over want of the thing.
I don't have the "things" anymore. Of course, I'd still like to. But it's not important if I don't.
Now the priority is to not hurt the ones I love. Now I see where those around me always knew that, much better than I. Now the pain comes from remembering how I hurt them in the past, over want of things. Now my life is about showing them that only the love matters.
Maybe some people have always gotten that. For me it's taken a lifetime. Now my dream is that I can live up to the love that they have for me, for the rest of my lifetime, with or without things.