Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Out my window...

When I was a girl, I never was one to go to sleep easily. I'd lie awake long after my parents assumed I was fast asleep. Sometimes, I would imagine scary things moving in my closet, as if my clothes had come to life to haunt me. Other times, I would imagine my life and what was to become of it as I became an adult. My bed was often positioned close to the one small window in my room. And, sometimes, I would lean over and peer around the flimsy vinyl roller shade that blocked out the sun during most days, and see what enticing things were lurking outside.

The things outside always looked more grand to me than my small house and even smaller little room that confined me to sleep each night. The single street light cast a glow on everything around, making it look mysterious and different from in the daylight. Most of the time, my neighborhood street was quite empty and lifeless, like an unpainted canvas waiting for the artist's inspiration. And, most of the neighbors lights were already dimmed for the night. Life in a small town seemed to shut down quite early in those days.

Every once in awhile, I could see the family's home across the street with one bedroom light still shining. I was never sure whose room that was, but I always imagined it was one of their sons. The three boys were all athletes and quite popular, especially with the girls. I'd imagine that maybe one of them was awake but dreaming, just as I was that night. Maybe they were looking through their window back at me at that very moment. I wondered what he was dreaming about and if he ever saw my light on too.

Most nights, this blank canvas allowed me to imagine a life outside of what I knew. I tried to picture my twenties and thirties as filled with fantastic adventures. The stories always changed, but sometimes the faces were familiar. Most of the daydreams involved me moving far away to some exciting city where I'd find my calling, find my Prince Charming, and find my real meaning in life. You see, back then I really didn't know what I wanted to be when I looked out my window.

Today, my life is much different than it was in those years growing up in that small town. I did move to a city. Three big cities, actually, from the time I graduated from college until today. I met my future husband at that college too. And, I had a pretty nice career with a great paycheck until I was fortunate enough to have enough to choose to stay home with my son and later my daughter. I have two beautiful kids who fill me with so much joy at times, I feel my heart might explode. And, at other times, I feel such worry that I am sure it will break in two. Such, is the life of a parent, you might say. But, while my life is very wonderful, it is never what I pictured all those years ago as I looked at my window to dream.

There is one thing that has not changed in my life, no matter how many years have gone past me. And, that is that I still often find myself staring out windows. I find myself in this enviable life with a beautiful family, wonderful friends, a gorgeous big home in a nice neighborhood, and all the trimmings that go with that. I am eternally grateful and thankful for all the presents life has given me. But, the window still calls me quite often, reminding me that there is still more life to live, more dreams to fulfill, and more fantasies to explore.

Sometimes life as a grown-up can be so overwhelming. I often let my practical and perfectionist tendencies take over, putting huge expectations on myself for the life I should be leading and refusing to let myself dream. This is something I know about myself, and as I grow older I am learning to deal with it better. I give myself more rope and allow myself to fail more often. I choose to beat myself up less for my mistakes and instead focus on what I do well. I try to take steps to fulfill dreams more, or at least define those dreams more clearly so that one day I might live them.

My window lets me break away from all the routines and practicalities when I need it. When I look out, I'm myself in ten more years. I might be the author of an unforgettable memoir, a teacher who touches lives or a counselor who helps others find their truth. The stories always change, but some of the faces are familiar. I still view myself as that young girl dreaming about what I could do with my life and what I might become.

You see, as long as there are windows, I can dream. And I will...

8 Comments:

Blogger Karen Rani said...

I LOVE this entry!!!!

6:27 AM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger Tyra said...

Very good post Steph! I'm all for cutting ourselves some slack, we're not perfect and never will be. It's so hard though!

7:44 AM, December 15, 2005  
Anonymous Theresa said...

Lovely post...keep those dreams.

9:41 AM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I think you definately have the ability to write a novel. You really put some intangible feelings into a picture for me. Looking out a window now means something entirely differently for me.

5:32 PM, December 15, 2005  
Anonymous Angela said...

I've always been one of those night time dreamers and I loved reading these words because they seemed so familiar to me. Thank you so much for letting us "see" inside your dreams, and never lose sight of that window!

8:23 PM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger Chrixean said...

beautiful post.... it's nice to break out of our little confined world which we called "reality" from time to time and allow ourselves to wander... even if it means just letting your thoughts fly in and out of your little window.

12:09 AM, December 16, 2005  
Blogger Shankari said...

Dream on dearie, and share those dreams on-line with us! :)

4:44 AM, December 16, 2005  
Blogger christina said...

Beautiful writing Steph!

9:23 AM, December 21, 2005  

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