The Poverty of Our Dreams

This year, most of us will keep our jobs for fear of quitting them and losing the small income that we manage to make to see us through the coming months. This fear and the self-doubt it creates robs us of ever attempting to achieve our dreams. Now, think back to that time when you were little and the world lay at your feet and your parents told you that you could do anything! Be anything! All that potential. All that promise. Where did it go? Over the years, it’s been eroded by fear, doubt and the Canadian economy; the one that demands that we feed it money we all too often, do not have. We suffer from two kinds of poverty; a poverty of spirit and a real poverty, a lack of funds to cover our most basic of needs.

Social norms dictate our dreams now and what do we consider normal. A society that requires both adults to work full time taking precious time away from each other and their families. We struggle daily in the pursuit of money and seldom do we have anything left for ourselves. We need that 9 to 5 job that pays a low but guaranteed hourly wage. We need it to make enough money to pay our monthly bills, our rent or mortgage, buy our food, put gas in our vehicles and maybe, have a little bit left for saving or investing. Pocket money is getting harder to come by, especially if you have children. So, what really did happen to our dreams, our ambitions? Did we lose faith in them or did we just put them on the back burner and leave them there, while what we accept as ‘normal’ living took over each of our lives.

What was your ambition? Once, long ago, mine was to become a writer. I know this because the love of words has been a part of my being since I learned to print my name. My school years were filled with journals of short stories and poetry, most of them unfinished. High school and college followed, where my teachers took an interest in my writing because they saw the potential I did not and throughout my work-a-day life of going from one to the other service or menial job, writing has ever been by my side; my constant companion. I have written legions of articles and short stories – all in my head, never having had the time or the belief in my talent to put them on paper. Shadowed always by the fear of losing whatever 9 to 5 I held at any given time. Important commodity: time. Employers want it and eat it up as fast as you give it to them. My question was always: Where is the time for me? and What happened to my weekends? How did I get lost in this daily, monthly, yearly struggle for job and money.

This is where the signpost changed! We all reach this point at some time in our lives. The dreaded crossroads! Where we either strike out on our own or not. The test of our long, almost but not quite, forgotten talents. When mine came, I did not recognize it at first because it came quietly, unassumingly.

A request to co-author a children’s book! So simple, so innocent but it awoke my ambition to write again and to question whether it was worth the risk of pursuing and sacrificing my 9 to 5 ball and chain to achieve it. My long drought was finally over and being something of a limited risk-taker, I decided to take the plunge. Only time and hard work {for myself this time} will see what I make of it.

We have all become complacent about the ambitions and dreams we held as children, allowing fear and doubt to rule instead of inspiration and joy. Its like waiting for Spring to finally come and loosen Winters’ grip. Perhaps its time, in this new year, to rediscover the child in each of us by reclaiming what we lost or let go of because the pressures of life got in our way. Where there is a will, one can always find a way to achieve ones true ambition or dream. Who knows where it will take you. Award winning author or successful home-based business person doing what I love to do. Poverty, whether real or imagined, need not rob us of our dreams if we just embrace them and reclaim this year as our own! Rediscover the childish ambition you once had and trust the child within you who knows you can achieve it.