The Battle of Dreams and Wings.
Sometimes the fear sets in and I find myself staring at the wall in the dining room trying to find a name for the color. Putty. Sand. I feel panicky and overwhelmed and my first instinct is that I want to paint it.
The American Dream.
A house. a picket fence.
We have these things. and we earned them with our own hands (or rather our heads, if we’re splitting hairs here)
94 percent of the time, I marvel over this accomplishment.
Not because it’s anything noteworthy.
Lots of people buy houses (many of them bigger and more impressive than ours)
but it’s the fact that we did it.
you and i.
For some reason that feels particularly weighty.
When I think about how impractical and irresponsible we were in the beginning.
How one time when I was twenty I bought a bunch of clothes on a credit card and never paid the bill. (I didn’t pay a lot of bills back then)
Or how you never really had to be responsible for much but yourself for a lot of years.
How we never saved any money. spent every dime.
But we figured it the hell out, didn’t we babe?
We got our heads in the game when we decided to make a life together and we started to sweep up the mess and hang a photo or two on the walls.
You took me from a girl to a woman with all your ideas and hopes and the pile of dreams we kept adding to.
I welcomed you to your first responsibility… me.
And somehow, as the years passed and we grew accustomed to being a Mr. and Mrs. and a mama and daddy we took enough right turns to buy ourselves a little house.
We signed our names on the dotted line.
Do you remember how complex those feelings felt as they fell down on our shoulders? A wish. A dream. A reality. A responsibility. Heavy and beautiful.
And so 94% of the time, we walk around with our fingertips dragging the walls, feeling the old bones of this place that belongs to us now. Where we hold on to plans to paint over this color in the dining room with no name. And where we mark our children’s heights on the door frame in the kitchen.
but that 6% of me. It’s the part of me that still exists in the world you found me in.
The one that still is trying to find her feet and feel comfortable with these deep roots we’ve laid down.
Sometimes I wish we could pack up the kids and a couple of suitcases and set off for something unknown. Sell it all. Shed everything but ourselves. And find a place that doesn’t come with a contract or a commitment or an initial here, please.
I hold my breath that the roof will make it a few more years before it needs replacing. I lie in bed at night wondering what we would do if I lost my job. I wonder if it’s safer to never tie your dreams down to a pile of bricks.
But then I find myself daydreaming through the kitchen window about growing grass in the wasteland that is our backyard. And watching the way our magnolia tree dances in the wind. Our magnolia tree (It’s ours, baby, OURS!). And oh, how lovely the echo of our children’s voices sound as they bounce down the stairwell and through the halls. My thoughts linger on how perfect our front porch is for watching rainstorms.
And I realize that the 94% is always right. We all need a little bit of fear to remind ourselves why we do what we do everyday. Why we work hard and we take the risk. Why we decide to sign on the dotted line. A little fear moves us - not away from our dreams, but straight into them.