The Dream that Never Came True

The other day…well, the other day long, long ago, in the past era, I went to this conference where the speaker asked you to close your eyes and visualize yourself as the child you were.  Then, you had to ask that child if she would be happy with the grownup you are now.  I don’t even know how it ended because I left way before it was over.  The idea was good, but the speaker was more powerful than a sleeping pill!  I even preferred to be at a car wash, two blocks away, waiting for my car than forcing myself to stay awake in that auditorium. 

Anyway, while my car was being washed, I thought about the topic of the conference over and over.  Let´s see now… I feel like there is a tendency nowadays to idolize and worship the child you were?  I mean it´s like, they make you imagine this wise, illuminated kid, a little saint… with the potential of becoming Gandhi or Nelson Mandela, or somebody.

If this little girl were to meet me today, I know she would say that this old lady has done nothing with her life, I´m sure of that, because of course, her dreams are a hundred times more ambitious than the results of my life today.  But, let´s see… let´s turn the tortilla around, as we say in Mexico… ¿What if I was the one interrogating her? I would sit with her in a café, I would buy her a large peanut butter cookie…oh! she would love me for that… I would get another one for me, of course.  Then I would ask her… Honey, tell me, what will you be when you grow up?  I know that the first thing that she would tell me is…number one and most important… I will have lots of kids.  At least six.  Oh Dear! If that dream would have come true, those poor six people would have to be paying for therapies for life because of growing up with a mother that lost her mind…she went crazy, and mute… poor thing, she lost her voice with all that yelling.  But I remain respectfully silent and keep on biting my cookie.  Is that right?  And… Who do you want to marry?  The little girl’s eyes brighten up and she says… I don’t know… maybe an actor, maybe a writer, maybe a painter….someone like that, romantic, bohemian… Oh really? You like artists? The little girl would say yes, I love them!   I crack up inside… Brace yourself, little one, because your big artist will end up being a Mechanical Engineer that has not one drop of bohemian in his blood.  I look at this dreamy girl with tenderness and I think… I bet if you would have ended up with someone too bohemian, you both would be smoking pot in the Tepozteco in Mexico and performing energetic cleanses for tourists or something similar. 

Let’s continue… What are you going to become? What do you want to work in? The girl answers right away.  I want to be a writer.  Oh that’s wonderful.  What do you want to write? The girl says she’s not sure.  Maybe novels, maybe children’s storybooks… but I know she imagines herself very famous, like J.K. Rowling or Isabel Allende, travelling the world with book signings and talking in congresses and motivational speeches in the United Nations.  What would this little girl think if I told her that one of her greatest joys would be to publish weekly articles on her Facebook page? I keep quiet. 

I will also travel all over the world…she continues. – I want to spend long seasons of my life travelling.  I know what images are popping inside her head right now.  I can see those flashes of her dressed in a red sari, with the little dot on her forehead and everything. She appears in a documentary film from National Geographic or BBC living in the Amazon Rainforest with the aboriginal tribes.   She appears to be meditating in a monastery in Tibet with her head shaved and wrapped in an orange cloak like the Dalai Lama. 

Just one quick question my dear.  In those wonderful, long travels, who will take care of your six children?  She looks at me puzzled, then she smiles… Oh, I can take them all with me.  Of course, I think, that is a very wise idea, little Regina.  Just pull them out of school and just take them along! The more, the merrier… I can see that at this point you do not have the slightest idea of the word homeschooling.   You can Sing Do, a Dear… in the Alps like Maria Von Trapp in the Sound of Music with your six kids travelling the world…. Oh! Now, wouldn’t that be SO relaxing and fun?  I don’t even attempt to ask her my next question, I don’t want to be a party pooper.  And do you know how you are going to pay for all those exotic trips?  Maybe your husband, the bohemian or you, the writer, are going to have an endless budget?  No, see, in her future, the girl is already a millionaire.  She has not thought of how she got there or what she did to be loaded but, she just is.  

The only thing I’m sure of today is that if all my dreams would have come true, I would have been so screwed.  I’m telling you, I would have lost my mind with six children, I would have had to win the lottery to become the millionaire, and since it’s not very likely that that would have happened, my only “trips” would have been hallucinating mushrooms with my very “bohemian” husband. 

So, let’s get real and stop torturing ourselves with these depressing thoughts about not achieving our dreams.  Mere excuses to stay depressed all day. What the heck was that kid supposed to know what would become of you? The twists and turns life was going to give you?  So stop all that mental hara-kiri and just live your life with ease, very proud to have ended up with the Mechanical Engineer, to be a writer on your Facebook page, but above all… be very relieved that not one of those “wonderful” dreams came true!

Regina Moya, day 77 of lockdown.