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We all have dreams when we’re growing up of the fantastic things we want to be, do, and accomplish.  Some people dream of becoming president.  Some want to be ballerinas or movie stars.  When we’re very young, the sky seems to be a the limit.  We literally can do anything we put our minds to.  Nothing is impossible.

I wanted the be a tug boat.

As we grow older our dreams become more streamlined, more defined, and, in many cases, more realistic.  We begin to look at our “potential” and our “interests” and start to define our dreams around those things.  And, while we still believe in our heart of hearts that we can do anything we put our minds to, the harshness of the world and reality begin to set in and we close up shop on some of our more outlandish dreams.

The reason for this little examination of the “stuff dreams are made of” (God,I love quoting Bogart) is I’ve been spending a bit of time reflecting on the dreams and plans I’ve had for myself over he course of my life (beyond the tugboat thing, which is still a work in progress).  When I was younger I had so many things I wanted to accomplish.  At this point, I feel like those old dreams and wishes don’t fit me very well anymore for the most part, but I’m afraid I’m closing up shop on the others.

That’s a little scary.

I recently reconnected with my family after many years of self-imposed exile.  I have two siblings who are among the smartest people I have ever met.  I look at what they have accomplished with their lives, and it makes me proud of them.  It also makes me realize just how much I have not really worked as hard as I should have for my dreams.

I used to believe that I was on par with them.  Now I know that may never have been the case.  They have both eclipsed me to such an extent that I truthfully feel that I am not even in their league anymore.  That is not to say I don’t think they care.  I know they do.  But, somehow I have now become what everyone told me I would become if I didn’t work as I should have: wasted potential, an object lesson, even a loser if I’m being honest.

I don’t want it to be that way, but perhaps it is.  That’s not to say I can’t turn things around.  But, in the back of my mind I think that maybe, just maybe, I will always have that niggling doubt about whether I really am that loser I see right now.  It’s time to dust off the old dreams and see how they fit, I guess.  A scary proposition under they best of circumstances, terrifying to me right now.

At least I have the tug boat thing to fall back on.

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