The kinds of dreams worth dreaming - the big, huge, audacious, captivating, life-giving ones - are too important to wait. So despite the temptation, don't shelve them. They are not jars of spaghetti sauce to sit in a dark pantry until you finally get around to opening them to pour over a vat of steaming noodles. They do not belong in a medicine cabinet to be used only in case of emergency or as the need arises. They are the very fabric of who you are and who you want to become. They are defining you and you them.
Our dreams can be as intimate to us as our lovers, as crucial to our development as our mothers, and as exciting and scary as the time in between the job interview and the call or email to let us know of their decision. Dreams give our being in the present a very real context as we have something to work toward, something to build for, and something to hope on. Without them, we cease to be the kind of person we need to be for ourselves and others.
So why would we put something so important on the back burner?
Dreams cannot be forgotten. If you think you have a dream and before you know it, you can't recall it - as if you're on aisle 12 at the grocery store and you know you needed some kind of baking ingredient but now that you're amidst jars of cumin and various powders you can't exactly remember what's missing at home - if that's the way a dream has been in your life, then it wasn't a dream. It was a passing fad, something that merely excited you for a season but wasn't powerful enough to your psyche or id or subconscious to grab you and demand you go where it lead. That's okay.
Distniguishing between dreams and wishes will save you heartache, ridicule, time, money, energy, and frustration. Let the wish of a moment fall to the wayside so you can run unencumbered towards the dream of a lifetime.
When we find that singular dream that calls to us and dares us to sell everything we own to have the one thing we want more than anything else, there is no other option but to ignore all of the distractions that would veer us off course. The answer is an easy and resounding "no" when asked by an employer if we want to earn lots of money by doing something we hate. "Are you willing to wait ten years before running full out after your dream?" "Can you compromise what it is you truly want for a watered-down version that gets you halfway there?" "Would you consider trying on my dream to see if it fits you?"
Your beautiful dream - that thing you birthed and coddled for so long, poking and massaging, grooming and growing until it matured and defined itself - cannot be realized halfheartedly or accidentally. It cannot be neglected and expected to bear fruit. It cannot be left alone, ignored, or forgotten. Its realization would be too monumental in your life; therefore the becoming real of it cannot happen unless you focus and follow through.
Do not have patience for those who would ask you to discard your dream or defer it for any length of time. They do not appreciate you. They do not understand, get, or value you or what you can offer. If they do not validate your dream, they do not validate you and your life is too significant to be wasted around those who ridicule what your heart longs for. Move on. Take your dreams with you. Find a community that values you and can help you on the journey towards becoming who you want - and need - to be.
You will have few - maybe one or two - chances to bring your dream into reality. Do not miss those chances. They will whiz by and leave you standing on the platform, cursing yourself that you weren't able to make that open door while the train was at the station or that you didn't check the schedule of arrival times or that your hands were too full and you didn't feel like running so you'll make the next one because there will surely be a next one at some point and you'll hop on that one soon enough.
Waiting for the next one is too risky a proposition when it comes to your important dreams. When it comes to the questions your dreams ask, the only answers are "Yes" and "Now."