Dreams- Realize Who You Are, When You Are

My aunt says she has a friend who proudly wears a t-shirt that reads ” If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.” I love that. It made me realize my own ambitions may be dwarfed. 

In fourth grade I wanted to be a singer.  I would draw pictures of myself with sequin gowns on and a mic in my hand. By sixth grade, I wanted to be an attorney.  Ironically,  by high school I had already performed at Carnegie Hall and Westbury Music Fair. I sang for McDonald’s Gospel Fest and Pathmark Gospel Fest at Penn Station.  I represented my school at a debate at Fordham Law School. It seemed as though my dreams were being realized.  The problem was they weren’t my dreams anymore. 

I developed a passion for writing.  At first I didn’t know if I was any good but my teachers and my family were taking notice. So I submitted a few articles to New York Newsday and they published four! I remember getting the checks in the mail. You would think that would help me focus. Focus. Focus.

Focus. If I could write that word 15 more times and not lose the attention of the 60 followers I have (lol), I would. I think of where I would be if I realized who I was when I was. I’m starting to see that as convoluted as it may seem, YOUR AMBITIONS HAVE TO MATCH YOUR ABILITY AND CURRENT REALITY. The peers I have who explored their musical talents when we were young are making a living doing music. Some are producers or music instructors but they’ve succeeded.  The girls on my debate team are lawyers now (well one is a paralegal but you get it.) It’s all about timing.

So what are my dreams now? I literally dream about my family. I dream about being someone they know they can trust and rely on. I want to age gracefully.  I want to meet my great great grandchildren one day. I want them to see all the things I’ve accomplished through life because I couldn’t “focus” so I did it all! I’m going to prove to them that you can be a jack of all trades and a master of all! As corny as it sounds I dream of love. The kind I read about as an adolescent.  With the right partner, you can be motivated to accomplish ANYTHING.  Everyone guides their decisions with love or lack of it, whether they admit it or not. So I’m going to focus on everything because my REALITY is I’ve never failed at anything I’ve attempted to do. I just didn’t do it for long! The constant in my life has been my dedication to good and my commitment to the human spirit. That’s who I am. Hate it… love it or shutyamouthandcallmeugly.

-SMN

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Emotionally Unstable

I called my significant other and I asked him whether he thinks I’m emotionally unstable.
His reply was simple.
“We’re all emotionally unstable.”
Sometimes I wonder if I’m in more control than the average person because I dedicate so much time to introspection. I actually give a crud about my feelings. I embrace the very micro memories, disappointments, fears, failures, and daring ambitions that most people try to suppress.

I give a damn.

If I’m in love with you. I care about your dreams, what you ate for breakfast, what you always wanted for Christmas that you never received. 

If only you knew what goes through my head at 2am in the darkness of my one bedroom apartment. I check the doors to make sure they’re locked, even though I know I already have. I think if how I would kill the “bad guy” if someone tried to hurt my family. I pray for my loved ones and even my adversaries. I sing with confidence like im onstage somewhere and I’m going to accept an award after my performance. I feel exposed and vulnerable even if I am the only one in the room.

If it sounds overwhelming, it’s not. Recently, I’ve learned NOT to suppress these kinds of emotions with a glass (or two) of wine. I’ve learned that working 2-3 jobs to keep yourself busy and your mind cluttered doesn’t help either. At some point, your thoughts will intrude upon you like an uninvited guest. You may be embarrassed to mingle with them because you haven’t done the psychological housekeeping necessary to entertain those thoughts.

Emotionally unstable?

Child of divorced parents, private school education, mother, sister, significant other, Christian, college drop-out and drop-in, cynic and visionary. I’m an idealist. Eden and Utopia sound good to me. Scared and strong enough to admit it. Loved and courageous enough to submit to it. Analytical and arrogant enough to write this post.

Stop pretending to have it all figured out. Stop allowing people to place unrealistic expectations on you. Join me in my instability or ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly.

By:Shaun Nickens