Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Oh no, all my dreams aren't coming true.

Posted Monday, September 25, 2017, at 9:14 PM
Eva Rell, age 3, trying to make her dreams come true.

About twelve years ago, this was a popular refrain of my oldest daughter. She said it the same way someone might say, "Oh man, I'm having a rough day." It seemed funny and fairy-tale-inspired to us, but we tried to explain to her that it was a tall order to have all your dreams come true every day.

But, I realize how much my own thinking often resembles her toddler despair. Instead of wanting to view The Aristocats a third time, my concerns usually center around child-rearing, teaching, keeping up with institutional demands and professional development, working for social justice and just...being. I can chase my thoughts down a rabbit hole, thinking one problem will lead to many others and fearing I will find myself at the bottom of a slippery slope. A failure. Wasting my one chance. I sometimes feel life has taken me on so many detours, I'm not sure if I even remember my original destination. I try to work myself out of panic and despair by re-framing unexpected developments as plot twists, that will just make my story more interesting. I try to stop thinking of everything as so high stakes and embrace the current version of my "new normal."

So, if life isn't turning out the way you thought it would, if you think you need to change your major, end a relationship, or move in some other new direction, you're probably in good company. Be brave, dream new dreams, and, while you try to make them come true, see if some of that good company wants to hang out in your blanket fort with you.