I’ve been thinking a lot about how minimized my dreams are lately. Don’t aim too high. Don’t think too far ahead. Don’t stick your neck out and risk being judged or falling flat on your face or looking stupid. And for god’s sake… don’t even put yourself in a position to fall in love! Safe dreams. Small dreams. Gray blah blah dreams.

I was raised to be “realistic” and “sensible,” but for many years that sure didn’t get in the way of me stepping off the edge – many times – just to see where I landed. Sometimes it was good. Sometimes it sucked. But man life was an adventure!

Now so many things I once would have wanted and would have set my sights on seem totally out of reach. Even silly. I could say it’s because I’m getting older, but who isn’t? There was recently a great story about a 75 year old cancer survivor named Barbara Hillary who reached the North Pole. Just because I have some aches and pains doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of cool adventures still out there for me. So what is it? What’s holding back my dreams?

Long ago I was told dreams are risky. By family. By society. Even by some friends. And then after my mom died last year, I heard the echo of those voices reminding me. And I kept listening. Stay safe. Safely gray. “Blah blah blah” say the voices.

But I’m also hearing my own voice – just a whisper at the moment – and it’s beginning to talk back to the other voices. It’s beginning to say “I want” and “I need” and “damn it I deserve.” And I like the sound of my own voice a lot better than the others. And I like the feeling of starting to have dreams again. Just a gentle whisper for now, but I can already see splashes of color.

Who told me not to have dreams? I don’t care. Voices from the past. But it sure won’t be my voice any more.