Flights of Fancy

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? When we’re small, adults entertain our fanciful notions of being a professional athlete, celebrity, president of the world, or a majestic unicorn. You can be anything you want to be when you grow up, we’re told.

At some point those same well-meaning adults start suggesting you be more pragmatic in your thinking. You don’t really want to be “brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous,” do you? How will you pay your bills as a majestic unicorn?

To be fair, some of those when-I-grow-up dreams start to lose a bit of their luster as part of natural maturation process as we age. But some dreams stick, but we listen to the realistic advice of our elders and take those safer paths. We save those dreams for “someday” when we’re done with school, save enough money, or the children are grown. We settle. It is then the tragic contraction begins. It happens so  slowly that we don’t even notice until decades pass.

Unicorns transform into to ordinary horses that will be ridden on the open plains for months on end, living wild and free. Those same horses on open prairies fade into short rides at the closest stables. Before long the rides transition into car rides that pass the stable. If we slowly accept reality’s constraints, we lose the ability to dream.

What if no one ever steered you away from those childhood flights of fancy?

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