The Thoughts That Keep You Awake.
“What if I chased my dreams?” he whispers in the night. Half hoping she is asleep and he won’t deal with the question. The other half hoping that she is awake and will challenge him to go after them.
The silence mocks him for daring to state that idea out loud.
Her hand trails up his chest. Her breathing is calm and slow so he knows she is still asleep. Even unconscious, her little act bolsters his courage to delve deeper in his secret.
"What if I quit living up to people's expectations and did a little living for myself? Did all those things I was so sure I would do when I thought I was limitless and I was encouraged to dream as large as I could. Did my dreams get too large for me? Am I now a little lost inside them?"
She turns to face away from him. As though to tell him that he needs more detail than wishful thinking if he is to share his plan out loud.
"I know," he sighs, "There are more potholes and bumps than there are smooth roads. I’d have to leave the job I hate. And you should know...I hate it. I feel suffocated whenever I put on that tie. Like it’s choking me. Risk financial instability for a while. I’d have to bear with society’s judgemental eyes till I make it. That’s provided I make it. And what if I don’t make? Can I ever recover from that? But I know I can’t live without finding out." he laughs coldly, "I mean of course I can. I have lived most of my life pushing them into the background. I guess...I just don't want to. Anymore that is..."
The words start to pour out, now that he has a silent audience and now that he has opened the dams. "I could start with lessons." he smiles ruefully, "I've been out of practise for so long so of course I need the lessons, probably find a mentor too. See how they do things. Maybe it takes more from me before I can see any tangible rewards. Of course it does, everything worth doing always does. But I think I'm ready to make those sacrifices. This is not about the fame that is always so enticing. I could work in obscurity as long as my mind was at peace. There may not be any upturns for years too. We could consider it an investment. A long term investment."
She turns to face him again, now that the plan is coming together. She bumps her very pregnant belly against him.
“I know it’s a gamble that you didn’t sign up for." He cradles her bulging tummy. "Or maybe you did. You said for better or worse. And I know that’s a little guilt tripping, to hold you to something I’m intentionally going to put you through. Is it selfish of me to want to find a place I feel was handcrafted for me?"
She lets out a groan in her sleep. Is she sleeping comfortably, he wonders fleetingly. Or is she unhappy with this train of thought that seems to be going round in circles? Is she trying to look out for him, warning him that chasing after dreams is to deal only in heartbreaks?
“Yes I know, I’ll get hurt. In more ways than I could imagine because my heart will be on the line. It's definitely a lot to think about and we need more time to explore all of it. But I’ve been hurt settling for mediocrity, doing everything that seems appropriate to the world. Working hard to keep up with the rat race and losing myself in the mix."
He frames her beautiful face with his hand and whispers with so much conviction, "And what if...what if, Babe, what if I don't get hurt and my dreams reward my diligence by coming true?"
The alarm goes off and he quickly turns it off before it can wake her. "I know," he speaks to the world now as he gets out of bed, "It's just a crazy idea."
He dresses up in his work suit and strangles his dreams with a black tie. He kisses his wife and walks out.