The Realist Dreamer

Lately I’ve been hooked on the show “Once Upon A Time”. I’ve been binge watching it on Netflix for the past 3 weeks and I absolutely LOVE the whole idea of it. The show takes a collection of fairy tales and stories that most of us are familiar with from childhood and applies a “real life” plot twist by giving the characters additions to their stories. They do so by applying realistic settings offering believable explanations as to why things happened in the stories the way they did. Watching this has given me the idea to write this piece because seeing those fairy tales depicted in that way reminds me that we are living out our own stories and while we can’t be our own authors, we can still attempt to live out our dreams with a little faith.

I know it may seem childish but at age 29 I am still very much infatuated with fictitious stories. Maybe I get so caught up because fiction is written by real people with real problems but their stories are symbols of real dreams and faith that dreams can come true.

As I watch this show, I recollect how I would read the many story books my mom bought me as a child. Not only did I own the story books, but you’d better believe my “puffy-case” VHS collection of Disney and other fairytales was stacked and packed inside the old school entertainment center.  It warms my heart whenever I think of the innocent enjoyment I got from watching those movies and reading those books. Although I didn’t know it then, I have always been a creative soul. With every blink of princess gowns and magical wands, my imagination grew: and so did my expectations for my future.

Fairy tales taught me that being imaginative also meant being optimistic. Being imaginative led me into so many realms of dreaming: day dreaming, night dreaming, dreaming on paper, dreaming with paint, and last but not least, dreaming with words. I would dream and to fulfill the Capricorn in me, I’d plan. I’d plan and dream. Dream and plan. I still do! I dreamt of my prom dress and just about every detail imaginable about my prom night. Then, I planned it. I planned how my date would be, what he’d take me to prom in, and I even planned his “prom proposal”. LOL! After dreaming those things, I’d even draw them. I kinda did the same for my career (which changed about 500 times over the course of my lifetime), future home, future family, future wedding, and etc. Dreaming and planning gives me a sense of fulfillment. Above feeling fulfilled, it’s just relieving to mentally escape and let belief take over the heart. Without a doubt I concur that believing delivers us daily from what seems like nightmares. Belief ties us over until we get to “happily ever after.” Without belief and some optimism, we’ll never get that “happily ever after” ending.

While my former self was imaginative and optimistic, growing up has offered me a reversal of those qualities that I have to fight off everyday: realism and pessimism. While I don’t believe in necessarily fighting off realism, I know that I must keep it in balance. Naturally, growing older means changing your perception all the time. You soon learn that there is no fairy dust, no horse and carriage, no happily-ever-after, no prince waiting for you with a promise to love you forever in that moment right after you triumph over one of life’s dragons. While I believe that these things are still very much possible for any woman like myself, I have also come to terms with the fact that fantasy and imagination can only take you so far

!I believe I have a soulmate out there somewhere, but I also believe that there is no such thing as “THE ONE.” I’ve dated some guys who I feel will always hold their own special places within me. There are several people in my life including some little ones, my deceased grandmothers, and my best friends who I also feel each have their own special places that no one could ever override. No matter who comes in and claims their share of my heart, as big as it is, they will never be able to fill those spots. There will always be rooms inside that red chamber in our chest that only certain people can live in. The only “The One” I can imagine of ever having in my life is GOD. He’s the only whole being that could encompass this whole heart of mine. He’s my true “prince charming”, “THE ONE”, my all–in-all.

Then there’s all those other “tiny” things in life. There’s those things that aren’t really supposed to matter but they do, you know, the details.. Details make EVERYTHING complicated. Even though they’re only supposed to be the supporting facts, when details don’t measure up to the emotions we feel, that’s when the true conflict begins. My details look like this:

  • 29, single, no kids
  • family oriented with a family that is not so much
  • damaged, but I still work
  • I live an isolated life, both physically and mentally
  • still figuring things out

Those are some of my details. What’s so conflicting about that? Well, there’s the fact that I don’t want to be single. I want children and a strong family unit, badly. I want to build something I feel I didn’t or don’t have. My family is great in their own way but I want to develop a closeness I’ve never had with my own bloodline, sharing traditions and making memories in new and exciting ways. I don’t want to be damaged, but I am. I’m confused and bent (not broken) by some of my life experiences. While I do enjoy my fair share of peace, my life can be way too quiet sometimes and that bothers me. I do tire of spending time alone and I have the tendency to not share my thoughts much, only because I don’t feel my truth will always be received well. Lastly, at 29, I’m still figuring EVERYTHING out. Most day’s I feel like I’m sitting at a desk with a 1,000 piece puzzle and I only have about a 4th of it pieced together, if that much lol.

MY details don’t look ANYTHING like I’ve dreamed or planned. They  never do, but I’ve grown to be okay with that! I do have to work daily to not feel down about that but I have acquired a growing faith and I still have my imagination and my fantasies to keep me going! Being a black woman on her own has proven to be difficult every waking day. Every day there’s a battle I have to face alone. Sometimes that battle is as minor as having to check my tire pressure on my car lol. When things go wrong that involve a man I have to figure out who I’ll call and what to do about it. That in itself can momentarily strip me of happiness because it’s a reminder that my details still don’t match my dream or my fantasy. It sounds crazy but this is my learning experience!

The older I get I’m drawing more strength and more faith from my struggles and that is what life is about. I believe we are given the dreams and the fantasies, but we are given the struggles to match because nothing is handed to us and there is no value in things that you don’t have to work for. Who wants to be granted with things that won’t be appreciated? I’m thankful that I grew up wide-eyed and bushy tailed, believing I am a princess with a prince and castle waiting for me because I have the faith that it’s still going to happen and when it does, it won’t easily be broken by “the details”. I’m happy that stories reinforced the notion that the only weapon I need is belief and I can slay any dragon that steps in my way. I’ve done that and will continue to do so! I can honestly say that while I don’t enjoy every moment of my “right now”, I do take the time to appreciate and enjoy the enchantment that does come along in the season that I’m in! I don’t need fairies, ballgowns, or a prince to help me understand how blessed I am..

I’m a realist, but I have faith. And I still dream. And I always will.

#LoveVeeKay

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