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     Volume 4 Issue 28 | January 7, 2005 |

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Straight Talk

Do Our Dreams Change?

Nadia Kabir Barb

A conversation at a party set me on a chain of thought along the lines of how many times in our lives we have said, "I wish I had done …." Or "God, I wish I had never done…" In fact this is a question that really doesn't even require an answer as I am more than aware that most people spend a great part of their lives regretting not having done a multitude of things or lamenting countless things they had done. A guest at the party was telling us how he had decided to follow his heart by quitting his job as a consultant and completing a course in film making something he had always wanted to do. Currently he had just finished his first short film. "It's funny how you sometimes end up with a job that doesn't give you any mental satisfaction and forget all the dreams and aspirations you started off with". As we grow up, we don't necessarily get to plan how our lives are going to turn out to be. Even when we start off with preconceived ideas of how we intend to achieve certain things by the time we are thirty, forty, fifty etc. it doesn't always turn out that way. We tend to grasp the opportunities confronting us believing them to be the best choices at the time and react to situations as and when they happen and let our heads dictate to us the decisions we take and in the process bury many of the dreams we weave when we are children.

As a child we have the most spectacular and even at the best of times rather impractical ideas of all the glorious things we want to do when we grow up but by the time we get to College or University those aspirations change. For whatever reason, be it family expectations or pressure, the desire to establish ourselves financially or the unfeasibility of our initial ideas we let go of those childish dreams. If I think about it I have met a banker who given a choice would love to have been a musician, another one who said she had a background in fashion and had taken a job in the banking industry but subsequently had never made the actual effort to get into the fashion industry. I know a businessman who would love to be an archaeologist, a lawyer who has a penchant for cooking and would have made a superb chef, I could go on. It always amuses me when I hear my son tell me how he wants to be a toy maker, restaurateur, sports car designer, actor etc. when he grows up, the form of employment changing regularly but usually based on what activity he might be involved in at the time. Behold the exuberance and naivety of children and long may it last. But sadly life and reality take its toll and gradually most of us settle into routines and lifestyles that make it impossible for us to drag ourselves out of the quagmire of apathy and actually do something that genuinely makes us happy or is fulfilling.

Then again not everyone has the luxury of being able to pursue the career of their dreams but the funny thing is we seem to extend this inability to follow our hearts into every sphere of our lives including the little things. Once again we never do half the things we want to. The reasoning behind our reluctance can be due to the lack of time, lack of funds, and concern of what other people might say or just general ennui. Come on if you had a chance to do three things in your life that you always regretted not doing, what would they be? I can come up with at least half a dozen if not more! Some people regret not having learnt to sing, never stood on top of a mountain and shouted at the top of their lungs, never slept under the stars, never done something that was truly selfless or told someone they care for that they love them. Let me bare my soul and tell you that I have always wanted to go sky diving or parachuting but have never looked into it properly or followed through with this particularly bizarre ambition. My husband usually gives me a look of horror every time I mention it, "Why on earth would you want to throw yourself out of a plane especially when you are afraid of heights?" Well I don't know but I guess as a child (and as an adult) I have always wanted to know what it would be like to fly and this seems like the next best thing! He on the other hand decided a few years ago that he wanted to learn to rollerblade so he bought himself a pair and went off to Hyde Park for a few weeks. Maybe what we need to do is to dredge up the inner child that exists stifled inside us and start doing some of things that we secretly hanker for but never get around to doing. You can do that can't you?


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