I've always been a dreamer. Even as an adult I frequently make up excuses to go to the kitchen to stare aimlessly out the window at the trees like I'd imagine a squirrel would do if trapped inside a glass cage. My waistline doesn't appreciate it, but it's the kind of mental escape I need to make it through the day. As a kid I was the absolute worst; while some children were content to have one imaginary friend, I had to go big or go home. I had an entire imaginary family (that I'm pretty sure my mom is still jealous of), and whenever I didn't like something my family did (or tried to feed me), I went to my blue house with my blue family. I thought of this way before Avatar, by the way.
But I've noticed a trend in my attitude about dreams lately. They're smaller and more practical and come with a heaping side of "well it probably won't happen anyway so I won't get my hopes up." The burning passion I felt for everything as a teenager and even through college - boys, music, writing, life - has now petered into smoldering coals. You might singe your hand if you stick it directly in the middle of the coals, but it's not setting anything on fire.
As adults, life teaches us to temper expectations. Despite what we tell our children, very few adults reach for the stars. Instead we keep our heads down and get the safe degree so we can get the safe job and live our safe lives. Maybe it's because we've suffered one too many heartbreaks, one too many letdowns, and we're scared to dream anymore. If you ask most adults they'll tell you they don't have the time/money/energy to pursue what they really want in life, yours truly included.
But today, when the sun is shining and good books still exist and there are still songs that can move me to tears, I'm giving myself the permission to dream. To hope, pine for what I want, pour my heart and soul into something even if I'm the only one who ever sees it in the light of day.
If you need it, I give you permission, too. Go play in the sandbox, fly a kite, write the next great American novel.
My snarky self will be back shortly.