I had the pleasure of going to the Fauquier County Fair in Virginia this week. My middle daughter has been raising chickens for two years and entered a few in the competition as well as some art work. My other daughters also entered handmade items in the fine arts exhibit. They all won a few place awards, and they are all perfectly happy bringing home ribbons and smiles and memories of fair fun.
Plus, they didn’t have to pay for squat, and they are perfectly happy about that, too. Mom and Dad are out three-hundred bucks.
Meanwhile, in Emily’s head is a mass confusion of mixed emotions. My brain is like the Freak Out ride, rising up, falling down, twisting and lingering on the edge of turning 360 degrees.
Up to the sky for a second . . .
I absolutely loved the bull-riding rodeo, the women’s barrel racing on horses, the freestyle motorcyclists, the ATV rodeo, the hypnotist show, and the escape artist show. It was such a wonderful time for people with talent to show off, to have people cheering, to take risks. The bull riders were awesome, I don’t care who your are, and the energizing music gave them instant superstar status, even if they were tossed to the ground right out of the bull pen. (The cowboy hats did it for me, too. I think my husband needs to be a cowboy next Halloween ;))
But, even the ATV rodeo, which was mostly young adults, but also a few middle aged adults who probably had day jobs, they got a chance to ride around, kick up some dirt, and have a blast in front of a crowd. The fair is a time for kids to dream of what they could do someday if they really wanted to. The announcer for the freestyle motorcycles said: This is what we wanted to do since we were kids—get paid to ride bikes, and that’s what we do. So motivational! These people are living the dream—doing what they want to do with their lives. And they all work hard at it because it’s what they love.
And now we are coming down (and twisting) . . .
I know people can swap dreams midlife, the sky’s the limit, you can teach an old dog new tricks, yada yada. But in so many ways, I worry that it’s too late for me to tap out and try something else, something bigger even though a tiny voice inside of me is screaming that I want something more. Growing up, I was also not a great dreamer—I would talk myself out of dreams before they could even ignite. I am pessimistic, rational, logical, right-brained, and safe. I was always that way, getting good grades to get in a decent college, get a secure job, save for retirement, now invest time and money into the kids so they can dream. I don’t even dress wild, even with a part of me wanting to take risks with hair color and biker boots. But, overall, it feels unfulfilling. I also learned that God’s in charge, and He designed us all to do things according to His will, not ours. But I often ask Him—why do I feel so small? When is my breakthrough? Who gets to have their dreams come true? And are my dreams just my human brain coming up with stuff or are my dreams from You, and You are waiting for me to make them happen?
And I don’t get answers. Or maybe I’m getting them, and I don’t want to see them.
I suppose the 19 agent rejections is an answer. I did get that.
I keep getting asked to be charge nurse, but I keep turning it down. I do get that. (Yuck)
And up again . . .
I see the people who have made their dreams happen, and, in my eyes, they are the cool kids. They are the ones we all aspired to be. They are the sweaty cowboys walking by after a bull ride, thinking about the next chance they get to do it again. Someday I just want to pour my heart into something I plain, fat love to do, and I don’t care if I end up sweaty or bleeding, I just want to know that I made my dream happen. And I wouldn’t mind a cheering crowd; that would be a great answer.
Dear God, please make me one someday–a cool kid, not a bull rider.