What first comes to mind when you read these two words? Do you think about your hope of becoming a vet or astronaut? Does an image of you in a superhero cape bring back a happy memory, remembering those days when it felt like anything was possible?
What has been on my mind this week, as I thought about childhood dreams, has not been about a specific wish for my future, but a childhood memory. A memory that carried with it great inspiration for my life.
My grandfather was driving with the windows down as we drove towards Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. He told me that if I focused on my senses, I could smell and then hear the ocean before I actually saw it. I remember bouncing in the seat, barely able to contain my excitement, but following my grandfather’s instruction to begin to experience the ocean before seeing it for the first time.
Standing on the beach staring out at the ocean, I screamed to my mother, “Mommy, it’s the biggest bath tub I have ever seen.” As I jumped up and down, my long pigtails bounced and blew in the breeze. I stood in that spot, wearing my green and white polka dot bikini and matching green sunglasses, for what could be considered an eternity for a restless six-year-old child.
I struggled to comprehend completely what was before me. The enormity of the ocean was overwhelming, and the beauty was magnificent. I can still feel the emotions that bubbled up inside as I watched, entranced by the waves and endless horizon. Joy, awe, excitement, and wonderment rushed to the surface.
It was a pure, innocent moment as I discovered the beauty of something in this world for the first time. A haiku I wrote captures the moment:
Excitement fills me
Standing at the ocean’s edge
All is possible
I am a 41 year-old single, working mom with two children and a crazy dog. These responsibilities alone make my life hectic and busy. But I am also in photography school, write for my blog, write for other online sites, work for Studio30 Plus, date, train and race in multisport events, maintain good connections with friends, and more.
Never could I have imagined when I first separated from my ex that life would shape and take hold as it has these last two years. My children are happy, we have wonderful friends, my writing is well received, I continue to be offered more writing opportunities, and I love growing and becoming a better photographer. I would not have thought I would be in such a good place in my life, or that I would embrace writing and photography as creative outlets for myself in those dark days early in the separation. But I feel, at this time in my life, that I am standing on the edge of the ocean again for the first time.
I am living my dream.
The dream that anything is possible.
NOTE: Today’s post was inspired by a writing prompt at Studio30 Plus, which is a social media site for writers over 30. The prompt this week: Childhood Dreams.