It is important to take stock in all the good things we have had. But it is also worthwhile to recognize the opportunities we might have missed. In the past I have told many stories about how, after very humble beginnings, I have had a pretty privileged life. This post is about the things I might have missed. So, here is that story.
The bible says something about not worrying about tomorrow or the past, but just live in today. Those always seemed like wise words to me but being I question everything they also sometimes seem like stifling words. Maybe worrying about tomorrow is not a good thing but not dreaming of it is something else.
I must admit that while I claim to be a dreamer, much of my life wasn’t as fully engaged in that mode as I would have liked. I too often kinda let things just happen instead of chasing me dreams. That is a sad commentary for a 70+ year old to have to make but it is as it is.
I knew from a very young age that I loved to read books, especially the non-fiction type where I learned to admire others and make them heroes in my life. I knew I loved to think and rethink stories. Even as a pre-teen I wrote many stories but they like Simon & Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence they were songs written but voices never heard, my stories had a readership of one.
I knew I was passionate about the written word but never really let it be part of my dreams. Instead I let others tell me what to pursue in life. My dad wanted to be an engineer so I decided to be one for him. I never allowed myself to dream of anything else or maybe I just didn’t have a clue.
My middle years were driven by my occupation. Engineering is not about dreaming but instead about equations, proofs and fact. Dreams had little to do with it. I lived my middle years just concentrating on today. What was the job at hand? I simply didn’t allow myself to look for other possibilities. The draw of a constant paycheck kept me in place. So, for the most part I had unfulfilled dreams.
Now as I look back on my life, I regret not dreaming enough and not especially not acting on the ones I had. I look at my life and realize that it could have been quite different if I had allowed my dreams even a small level of realization. I know that the fault of this is totally my own. No one pushed those dreams from my head.
All this is not to say that I had an unhappy life. Except for my pre-college years I never wanted material things that I couldn’t have. I have a wife who I probably don’t deserve and some valuable friends along the way. It is just that my life could have been better if I had had the courage to dream a little more.