Posts Tagged ‘Children’

The flames licked at the log, radiating warmth to the dog-tired people surrounding it. I always loved fire: the heat, the thrill. My heart thumped with excitement each time I scooted an inch closer, but the heat burned my face and squeezed my eyes shut. The standoff continued between what my body could handle and what my curiosity wanted to explore, until eventually the heat itself made me a bit sleepy. It had been a long day, my feet were worn out from travel and play. My need for exploration was almost sated between sitting by the fire, climbing rocks, and experimenting on how long it takes hair to burn. Answer: not very long. My eyes drifted shut.

This is my dream. My mother created this dream for me, then snatched it away.

Our goal was Katahdin. My mom had taken us out of school for the last nine weeks, and we were going to thru-hike the Appalachian trail. We made it from Georgia to Virginia before my mother took us home due to my bratty brother misbehaving. I was ten and he was twelve. That boy needed to man the hell up. But the end of the trip didn’t snatch my dream, the prevention of me going and backpacking the trail myself is what snatched my dream.

Minors apparently can’t traipse about the country on their own, especially teenage females. Go figure.

But my mom promised to take me, then tried to kill herself instead.

She promised to go with me, but shouted at us every holiday instead. 

She promised to go with me, but refused to leave the house to get the mail in fear of the neighbors judging her fat.

In the end all I had was empty promises and the mindset that facing your problems is more important. But it isn’t. This is a major struggle I have had to face: the realization that your dreams are more important than your problems. Dreams are what make us human. They embody hope and the art of the mind. Problems are potholes in life, not the meaning of it as living in a family facing mental illness had engrained in me.

I found a shard of my stolen dream when I turned eighteen and realized I had both the money and legal right to backpack the Appalachian Trail. I continued dreaming.

I found another shard today when I finally understood that dreams don’t become reality without a concrete plan and a hell of a lot of courage and motivation. You also have to remember that tomorrows are not infinite. 

What dream did you lose along the way?