Letting Go of Superman
I’m about to commit a cardinal sin of personal development blogs: I’m going to tell you that sometimes you have to let go of your dreams.
Yep. That’s right. I said it. Sometimes you have to let that stuff go. It came up today when I was talking with an old friend who I’ve not spoken to in a while. She was telling me about how her goals and ideals had changed over the years in terms of what she wanted out of life.
Thing was, they had not become any more or less realistic – they had just changed. Frankly, they seemed eminently realistic, completely achievable, and even quite likely.
Then she asked me about my “dreams”.
Writer, blog thyself!
I teach a class about getting what you want out of your hobbies/career/life (soon to come to an e-course near you) which is quite popular within some circles. Inevitably someone asks me “So, this must be what you want to be doing, eh?” The embarrassing answer is that no, this is not what I’d like to be doing. What I’d like to be doing is studying commedia dell arte in Venice right now. Well, that and a few other rather unrealistic expectations.
The thing is, while I know I could go to Venice, while I know I could do a lot of things…the fact is that I am pretty convinced that the dreams that I hold tight to don’t really have a realistic output. I told this to my friend, using the analogy of Superman.
You can have a desire to fly like Superman. You can dream of it, plan for it, and even practice it. Jumping off of buildings, though, can get kind of damaging. Both to yourself, and to the people you land on. So after a while, you might just need to let go of that desire, and enjoy things that evoke that feeling – the occasional plane flight, hang gliding, maybe scuba diving.
But it’s never going to be flying like Superman, and so at some point you have to accept that particular dream as remaining unfulfilled, and enjoy the things that you can have.
It’s hard, letting go. I never claim otherwise. I’m not even sure you can, completely. But if you’re holding fast to a dream amidst chaos and rubble in your life…perhaps it’s worth looking into how much that dream is contributing to the hard times. Perhaps a new dream, a more realistic dream, can make the hard times a bit happier.