Thursday, November 25, 2010

Living the Dream

“Are you living the dream?” This was the somewhat perplexing question that a co-worker (Bob) asked me one day. It’s been a while, but I believe my first reaction to this question (which he asks frequently) was, “are you?” He said yes. This was surprising to me because who would ever guess that his job as a Walmart cashier would be anyone’s dream come true?! I laughed because even though working in the jewelry department at Walmart is nice, it’s not truly what I would define as “living the dream”. I do love the fact that I work in a department where I’m surrounded by things that glitter and sparkle (what girl wouldn’t?!) but it’s not the dream I thought I would be living. Oh, it’s a “dream” alright, but not my ideal (and more often than not, it’s more like a nightmare). However, just to clarify, I mean my life in general and not namely or specifically my new job. I have had so many life-altering changes thrust at me all at once. It’s been overwhelming to say the least!! Even as predictable as my certain future started becoming, it was still beyond any measure of preparation. Foreseeable and pending as something may be, it’s still hard to prepare for those mysterious certainties; even when they are foreshadowed. Warning bells serve their purpose; but there truly is no “ready.” It’s hard to weather a hurricane; even if you have withstood severe storms. Forces of nature are a lot heavier than every-day downpours!

Divorce and single-parenthood is my new reality; one that still hasn’t fully sunken in yet. My world is a pile of shattered dreams right now. Everything I ever wanted (and had) has been stripped away and replaced with something totally foreign. I had thought that I was living in a dream come true, but time began revealing that there would be no happy ending. Well, at least not for THAT dream! As an old classmate of mine pointed out, the dream isn’t dead; it just changed (thanks, Chris!). Things are different. There can be a new dream (and a better dream!). The one good thing about rebuilding is that you can restore and improve upon that which was shattered and make it grander than before!

Therefore, my goal is to have the kind of attitude Bob has. He views his job as a blessing and in doing so, he truly does “live the dream.” He mentioned the fact that there are lots out there that would love to live our dream right now. He said that there were hundreds of people filling out applications in order to live the dream of having a job. It reminds me to be thankful (especially because I’m full-time - which is not something you find at Walmart very often!). That, my friends, is what you would call a silver lining to the dark clouds of life!

Metaphorically speaking, things aren’t always ideal. Life is a series of dreams. No one has good dreams all the time. Some of them are strange, unpleasant, and even terrifying. All are different types having different effects. Some we remember, and others we dismiss and/or forget as quickly as they came. The one thing that is certain is that no “dream” lasts forever. They cycle and change (and so do we). As pitifully low as my faith has been, I know that it always rebounds. Therefore, I say with a budding resurge of confidence that Romans 8:28 remains true because God keeps His promises. So, I look forward to the fact that everything will work out for good because He has a plan and purpose for me and will use every element (both good and bad) of my life to develop my character and rebuild and restore me as He did Joseph, Job, and so many others. My faith in that promise will grow as my trust in that truth deepens and solidifies more securely in my heart. It may be difficult and horrible for a while (as several of my fellow sufferers have told me) but it will get better….someday. None of us know when (and sometimes we have to wait longer than we would like) but we all have hope.

As I think about all I have to hope for, I am reminded of a few stellar moments from the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” (which my dear friend, Adam, recommended that I watch) in which the character vents her “what ifs”. She wonders if there will ever be someone to cook for in her kitchen, live in the bedrooms, or if there will ever be a wedding in her beautiful yard. A guy tells her there was a train track that was built nearby before a train was even able to run on it. Yet, it was a statement of faith that someday, there would be (and there was). And, in the end, their were people she cooked for, a friend and her baby to live in her home, and a wedding she had in her yard for a couple who were like family to her. Her wishes all came true; even if not in the way she originally thought. She was also blessed with a new love of her life. A friend had told her it would happen when she wasn’t looking; kind of like how she, herself, would wake up covered in ladybugs after exhausting herself for hours looking for them when she was younger.

That movie spoke of faith, patience, and being content where you’re at while you believe for better days to come; even if, like the character, I can hardly see beyond the pain of my divorce. I really related with how she said that the surprising fact is, divorce doesn’t kill you. One thinks that it would (and it should) because it’s so sudden and painful like that of a head on collision or a shot to the heart. However, you don’t die; you survive. It almost seems like torture, but you learn to live again. That is all I can hope for. And, like Scarlett O’Hara, I won’t let anything lick me! I will survive and overcome!

My aim now is to just keep “living the dream” each day; and be grateful for where I am at as I wait for better dreams to come true. There is lots to be thankful for; including the fact that I got to spend my favorite holiday with my family today (and drama-free this year!). This truly has been a blessed day! I have been blissfully happy as I relished each and every moment (and morsel lol) today with my loving family! I am truly thankful and blessed to have my kids, my family, and all my true blue friends and co-workers that have helped me go on living! Praise God for all of you!!

Grace and peace to all of you as you live your dreams!! God bless you all and God bless this awesome country of ours that we are fortunate enough to live in!