This matter has been on my heart lately.
On my about me page, I jest:
“Once upon a time I was going to be a journalist/international correspondent to France and spend my time traveling the world parler-ing Français.
Now I dream of making and freezing my own organic baby food.”
But I think I’ve done a disservice to our marriage to be so trite about the issue of my once glamorous dreams. I don’t think I made it clear that what stopped those dreams from being realized was not marriage. Never in a million gazillion years did DanO say ‘No’ to my foreign journalism endeavors.
I fully believe that if tomorrow I woke up and the Good Lord has made it clear to me that I need to be some how involved with journalism or France or some passion of my past, DanO (after praying for strength, I’m sure) would jump on board. We would discuss the details of it, and this is of course his family too so there would be many decisions made together, but my husband would not squash my dream because that is not what husbands do.
We support each other’s dreams, even as they evolve.
What you may not know is that DanO was once going to go to medical school to be a pediatrician. Full blown, paying-for-application-fees-out-of-our-brand-newly-married-pockets, going to medical school. But then he had a change of heart. A change of path. The application process wasn’t looking all that favorable, to be honest, but it gave DanO the chance to say that he was done with school, did not want more loans, and had decided otherwise for our family [read: Pearl and me]. He decided that even though he had a degree in Applied Health Science with a minor in Chemistry and Pre-Med qualifications, he was going to dramatically redirect his (our) course.
And I said ‘bring it on’.
It was perhaps a little hard for me, 3 months after thinking we would be in some city somewhere attending medical school, to chart course for the Cold White North to pursue careers in unknown fields. But this was his new dream and I was as behind it as I was years of organic chemistry and residency.
There are boundaries to this, of course, such as if DanO said that his dream is to spend lots of time with attractive women other than me (not that I’m calling myself attractive?), or quit his job and pursue being a balloon clown at Red Robin, we would likely have somethings to hash out before I got on board (if ever). But all unreasonableness aside, I am a cheerleader for my husband no matter what team (or sport) he is playing today.
I know he would do the same for me because I’ve done that too him. My passion lately? You’re reading it. I have been quite open about our family, our struggles (parental, marital, house-projectal), our very lives to the world wide web and he has not balked. When I feel like I should, I respect him by running content by him before publishing, but his response is usually a supportive “If you’re comfortable, go for it.”
As far as my unrealized dream of traveling the world?
I believe that Journalism passion of mine was real, and that it is likely why I landed at Wheaton College and met DanO in the first place. Perhaps our dreams are things that God uses to chart our course, whether or not we arrive at the destination we once pictured.
Is it considered a dream not realized if it is gone by the time it’s ready to be realized? What I mean is, if a little girl grows up saying “I want to have eight kids, just like Mommy,” but by the time she is of child bearing age and life stage, she only wants 3… is that a dream never realized? I believe God puts a passion in our hearts for a time – sometimes just until kindergarten, sometimes until we’re 84 – and we are to pursue those passions as long as the path allows. Marriage does not have to hinder that.
But sometimes, that time lasts up until marriage, making it look like the dream was sacrificed at the wedding altar. Perhaps that is true in some cases, I do not know. But I do know that it is not true of my situation and I believe it is not true in most. Perspectives change, dreams change – or they don’t! Either way, marriage is not a roadblock to glamorous dreams. If anything, it means that you can pursue those glamorous dreams with your best friend by your side.