Let Me Tell You What I Wish I’d Known

When I was young and dreamed of glory …

Or before Hamilton lyrics took over my life and made it impossible for me to sleep at night because they insist on running through my head. Even Les Mis lyrics never did that to me.

But I did dream of glory. I dreamed of fame and fortune, of book deals, of houses in the country filled with libraries and large dogs. I guess one out of four isn’t bad (it’s the house in the country.)

But as I sit in an office environment that feels increasingly alien to me (I really have issues with Activity Based Seating), I think about what I would tell my younger self if I could talk to her.

“Hey, you. Or is that hey me?

You’re living somewhere you never would have imagined. Mainly because it was run-down industrial area when you were … what’s the word? Around? Can’t be alive because you’re still alive. You’re me. Let’s go with around.

You’re doing a job you never could have imagined because it didn’t exist when you were around. Neither did office spaces like these. Lucky you.

And you’re a single mother. Ha! Bet you never saw that one coming. But he can sing Les Mis with you and when he was a baby you sang Miss Saigon to him. He’s the most precious thing in your world and you won’t believe how much you will love him. You’re imagining your future in some Parisian garret where you write by candlelight and are involved in some dramatically tragic love affair. How are you going to pay for that garret? Or all those candles?

Yeah. You’ve got the dream, but not the drive.

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You’re exhausted. I know. You’ve been working hard in school for years and you want time to do what you love. Of course. But if all you do is dream of it, you’ll never get there.

You’ve got to work for it. Because if you don’t, it will all be up to me.

If you fight for your dream now, you can rewrite history.

But then … oh, what will you lose? Will you – will I – have that amazing son who makes everything that’s happened worth while? Probably not. So, you know what, forget the whole thing. You go your way. It’s fine if it’s all up to me. Because he’s the one thing in life I’d never change.”

When all is said and all is done (there go those damn lyrics again), regrets will get you only so far. Namely to a place where you huddle up with your lost dreams and weep like an emo teenager.

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Don’t waste your time on regrets. There’s no reason why where you are right now can’t be the perfect stepping stone for the rest of your life. The life that follows those dreams.

Be the person who has the dreams and the drive.

Start right now.

Do not throw away your shot.

Oh damn.

 

Author: Eva O'Reilly

Writer, avid reader, large dog lover, cake baker and Francophile. Living in hope of finding either a literary agent or a large audience on Amazon.

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