Let’s talk about dreams! Y’all got dreams? I’m a pisces so I’m essentially always dreaming: coming up with random life dreams, day dreaming, actually dreaming. But after one of my most recent dreams, I had a revelation and said some seriously profound shit:
“Sometimes our dreams help us appreciate our reality.”
And as much as that’s true, I’ve also come to see that sometimes our realities hold us back from our dreams.
(Go back and read both of those again, I really need you to appreciate my wisdom.)
Now, I know you’re wondering, “Jacklyn, where in the world did you receive this great worldly insight?” Well I’ll tell you.
I read a book.
That book was “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and I recommend you, also, read it. And listen, it’s been a while since I read a book in its entirety so I promise it isn’t too long and it’s worth every second you spend with it.
The story (for those of you who aren’t going to read it 👀) follows a boy who has a literal dream about finding treasure. So he goes in search for his treasure and this search –– guided by omens –– becomes his Personal Legend.
The book is full of great Instagram captions and enough wisdom to call you out without making you feel terrible about yourself. But what struck me most about it was its timing in my own life.
As I’ve nearly reached the ripe old age of 22, I’ve come to realize that sometimes our dreams seem so far away that they’re hard to conceptualize. Sometimes we grow up and we forget our dreams because life gets in the way.
That’s where I’ve been, I’ve been feeling stuck. Like I’m so used to living day-to-day that I forgot to go after my dreams and it made me sad, it made me feel like I was wasting time, wasting my life, my youth.
But then one night, I had a nightmare and it woke me up from my dead sleep and from my stagnant life. My terrible dream made me appreciate the life I woke up to.
Then, I came across the book on accident in a small bookstore after asking the owner for something to inspire me. And just before I started reading it, I had finally decided to start this blog (after months of ignoring omens of my own… my ownmens…).
The first passage that really hit different was when the boy was robbed. He decided his old life was better than pursuing his treasure, and he considered giving up.
“I’m going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me. I’m going to hate those who have found their treasure because I never found mine. And I’m going to hold on to what little I have, because I’m too insignificant to conquer the world.”
Now ain’t that the heckin’ truth?!
I read that section, set the book down, looked around the (empty) room to make sure no one else heard Paulo Coelho directly @ me in his book. But honestly, if that doesn’t resonate with you, you’re lying to yourself. Because it’s real. Sometimes life drags you around by your wig and it is so easy to become angry, to shut yourself off from the world because all the world ever gave you back was disappointment and rejection.
And if you read my previous post (if you haven’t you should, 10/10 recommend) you know that I judge people and push away those who have more than me, who’ve conquered their goals, who make me feel insecure and insignificant. So that passage slapped me right across the face and told me to sit up straighter, take my makeup off before bed and do better.
If that wasn’t motivating enough, the boy pursues his dream and ends up working at a crystal shop where he helps the owner grow his profits. But the owner tells the boy he is wary of the positive changes.
“The shop is going to expand. And then I’ll have to change my way of life.”
“Well, isn’t that good?”
“I’m already used to the way things are.”
This is one of the biggest inhibitors of change in my own life, because the concept of a better life is so appealing but realizing that it requires action and actual change is terrifying to me. What if I change and I don’t like who I become? What if I make a wrong decision along the way? What if I outgrow my old self and, in turn, outgrow my friends or my current way of life?
This, my friends, is what I meant about our realities holding us back from our dreams. Because you can never chase your dreams without being willing to change. And if you’re never willing to change, you’ll always stay the same and that’s just no fun. Plus, you can never anticipate the ways that changing yourself can help others. This, according to the boy, is what alchemists do.
“They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
But “The Alchemist” offers another perspective, as well, and that is to live neither in the past nor the future, but to exist in today.
“If you can concentrate on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”
And isn’t that refreshing?
Maybe we don’t have to live in the past or always be dreaming of the future. Maybe we can have our dreams and be here, too.
So if you’ve been looking for an omen to follow your dreams, consider this, that. And I guess the moral of this post is to remember your dreams, actively choose to pursue them, but never lose sight of the greatness that exists in your daily life. Because …
“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to realize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
Oh, and read “The Alchemist” because it will make you feel wise and better connected with yourself which is why we’re here in the first place.
With love and positive omens,