Since I was a little girl I have always been somewhat of a dreamer. Some would say I had a vivid imagination while others might say I had faith and was a believer. I would imagine scenarios in my mind -- from"seeing" myself singing a solo on stage, making drill team then the cheerleading squad, being a teacher, lawyer, or photographer, or simply being a mother. I dreamed of making a difference in this world; making the world a little better for the generations to follow. I dreamed of falling in love with a wonderful man and riding off into the sunset together. I could always "see" it clearly in my mind. Some of these "visions" came true, while sadly, others did not.
As I got older I would let my mind wonder, but stopped allowing myself to dream as much. I would still visualize things like getting my badge, making detective, etc, but those "visions" became fewer and farther between. Perhaps it was the disappointment of the real world or maye it was really the fear of actually getting all I ever wanted. For a period of time I stopped allowing myself to dream...as much. I focused on work and only briefly stopped to dream. A part of me stopped believing, dreaming, hoping - having faith- in a lot of things.
About six months ago I moved to the beautiful place I now call home. Even before I moved I made a committment to reprioritize my life here. I made a committment to find a church to raise my son in where he could learn about the God that has always carried me through and I could work on reconnecting with God. I made a committment to focus on having a life outside of work - to enjoy and cultivate hobbies, friendships, and maybe even find love. I made a committment to create a life in which my son could play sports, engage in after-school activities, have sleepovers, and have a "normal" life.
It has been a little over six months and I have learned a lot - about myself, my family, and friendships. I have learned that life goes on when you leave and in some cases it goes on without you in it - and that is ok. I have learned that to some distance means everything and to others it means nothing. I have learned that family is everything and no matter what the distance is, family is only a heartbeat away. I have learned that writing a letter, sending an email or text, or sending a photo can make someone's day, but in the absence of words a hug can heal the heart.
In six months I have lost a cousin, a grandmother, and a man that was like a grandfather to me. I have watched my sister from another mister as she cherishes every second with her mother who fights for her life while a new friend bid a teary fairwell to her father. I have watched from afar as my daughter has began forging her own way and watched while my son has blossomed and grown in his new environment. I have watched from afar as my mother and stepmother deal with their respective grief and struggles with grace, fortitude, and in some instances humor.
In six months I have met a lot of amazing people, but only made a few friends - something that will increase with time as I continue with reprioritizing my life and cultivating outside interests. I have picked up my camera and allowed my creative mind to come alive again drive it's actions and am preparing to take classes to enhance my skills. I have picked up a pen and tapped the keys on the computer and begun to write for pleasure here and there and write daily for my job. I have begun the work of reconnecting with my God by being in church and while I hike in the beautiful mountains and walk by the powerful sea where I am reminded of His presence.
And in the last six months I have begun to allow myself to dream. I am allowing myself to dream of being a teacher, an author, a photographer, and a person who makes a difference in this world. And little by little I am allowing myself to dream of love - the all-consuming, can't catch my breath, heart stopping, toe curling kind of love I know is out there because deep down (really deep down) I have never given up and have to believe it exists and will find me here under the Carolina blue skies I call home.