Back in high school, we all had ambitious dreams, didn’t we? As teenagers, life looms large and long in front of us. It’s our time to dream big, enjoy life and consider “consequences” the result of a missed curfew.
At the same time, it’s one of the most difficult times in our lives. Reality is starting to sink in. We recognize flaws in ourselves and the adults in our lives. We begin to question why and find that the truth we so desperately seek often hurts and disappoints. We might dream our big, fantastic dreams, but there is a part of us that is calculating college choices and realizing that accountant, restaurant manager or cubicle resident might be closer to reality.
Last week, I had the opportunity to see an old high school pal. We were in band together. He was a drummer. You could just tell he was simply passing through school to get it over with. He wanted to be a musician. And we all saw it in him. Although, part of me probably wondered if it wasn’t another one of the dreams we all dream that will eventually get shelved while we’re busy looking for something to do to pay the rent.
But, you see, he dreamed bigger than I ever could. He had a passion. One that he never lost sight of. One that allowed for opportunity. One that rewarded him. Fast forward 17 years to last week: I watched someone I have known for so long I can’t remember when exactly we met live a dream like it was just another Thursday night. Only it wasn’t. It was a packed venue, screaming fans, an album that was number two on the Billboard charts. I watched as he played that drum set with passion, vigor and pure joy. Happiness bubbled up in me in a way I didn’t expect. He did it. He spends each and every day living his dream.
Before seeing him in the concert hall, I ran into him this past April in the grocery store when I was back home. He had his little girl with him who has the most beautiful, infectious smile that you couldn’t help but feel pure joy in its glow. When he’s not touring and being a rock star, he’s a stay at home dad, a self-professed Mr. Mom. He’s done what I try each and every day to have the courage to do – be a parent while pursuing a dream.
As I watched him on stage, the same infectious smile as his daughter’s on his face, I was inspired. Inspired again to follow my own dreams. Inspired to not let reality kill the passion for writing that lurks in the shadow of my day-to-day mom life. More importantly, I was inspired to be a parent who will support my children to follow their own dreams. To live the life they can only imagine. To do whatever it is that will illicit the genuine joy smiles I witness on their baby faces.
Whether it’s being a musician or an accountant, a thinker or a doer, I am inspired to be the parent who delivers them to their dreams so that I never, ever lose sight of those smiles.
So congratulations, Matt, on your success. And thank you.