Unwater-ed Childhood Dreams (Part One)

Keryn Nelson
Keryn Nelson


What happened to your dreams?


We’ve all heard the stories; ‘success’ stories from the mouths of their owners on how it was they happened upon their gifts as children. How they saw MJ’s dimples, heard his confident, soprano vocals, watched his feet gliding across the floor and knew then and there “I want to do that.” Then, in that ambitious, unforgiving way that children move through the world, they learnt the lyrics to their favourite songs down to every echoed background riff, knowing that one day it would be them up on that stage… on that track or court, at that operating table, on that balance beam, on that diving board and “everyone will know what I am capable of”.

They took up the habit of showing and telling anyone who would listen what they could do. They even won over mom or dad, or both, a school teacher maybe? Or an aunt? The grey bearded sax player who performed solo at the bar and grill near their house on Thursday and Saturday nights? Guardians who looked on fondly, offering words on how superb they and their talents were and where it could take them. And for them these words did not only make their pillows softer at nights, but it also filled them with affirming thoughts and inner wells of positive reinforcement, “You have all you need. Ypu can do anything. Dream big. Nothing is impossible.”

For you however, your tale is different. Instead of encores and talks of the limitless paths there were to your dreams, what you heard were sometimes lengthy other times short, abrupt rhetoric about your dreams treading dangerously close to the edge that hangs matter-of-factly over ‘impossibility’. Words that followed condescending chuckles or curious glares wanting to know what lead you to this absurd conclusion that you could claim or declare something extra- ordinary for your life.

Still though, you shared more in common with your ‘fortunate’ counterparts than most realize as you went to bed with your dreams plopping hard with you on your pillow, raising up a sweet, bright cloud over your eyes and ears displaying all the things your life could be. And like the aforementioned, your inner voice picked up and absorbed every word from your overseers. You fought hard knowing they were untrue, but unknowingly there the words were wielding themselves deep into your foundation, a whisper whenever you attempted a step forward in your own direction. Now you move through your life wondering why and how your dreams are mostly mentioned in reference to your childhood.


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