Little girl dreams | Moment's Notice

By Maria Montalvo | Apr 15, 2017

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a veterinarian and have a house full of rescued dogs and cats. When I was a little bigger, I dreamed of being like Laura Ingalls Wilder – a writer who wrote books about the lessons she learned from each experience, significant events and passing moments.

When I was no longer little, I wanted to be a firefighter and then an academic. None of these dreams came to be, but pieces are part of my day-to-day existence. I spend quite a bit of time with our dog, Lulu.

I write about the things around me, like Ms. Wilder in the “Little House on the Prairie” series. I sometimes choose to do things that might be construed as dangerous but reinforce the value of life, and I still love to read The Economist and as many books as I have time for.

Most people do not get a chance to fulfill their dreams, or even take a shot at them. I often say that certain people won the “demographic lottery” based on where they were born. Half of the world’s population live on less than $2.50 per day, and a large portion of those are children who have little chance even to go to school.

As we grow up, our access to those dreams differs greatly. In the U.S., we have access to opportunities, freedom for the “pursuit of happiness,” but even in America, the ability to pursue our dreams is impacted by poverty, hunger and lack of good education.

The word “dream” captures our visions for potential, both positive and negative: a series of thoughts, images and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep; a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal; and an unrealistic or self-deluding fantasy.

The ancient Greeks and Egyptians thought dreams to be warnings or prophesies for our lives. Descartes said we can never know if we are awake or dreaming, since there are so many similarities between our experiences in the two states. Freud limited our dreams to a means to satisfy unconscious wishes.

I prefer Jung’s interpretation of dreams as a mechanism to resolve emotional or universal challenges, a way for our brain to allow us to work through things without letting our conscious mind get in the way.

Maybe even to weigh our ambitions or ideals and determine if they are realistic or a fantasy?

Dreams are studied, judged and are often seen as a measure of our lives, if we are able to fulfill our dreams or even pursue them. I was lucky enough to be born to dedicated parents, lived in a diverse community committed to raising children of all backgrounds together, attended innovative schools, and graduated during an economic cycle that benefited my career.

I was also encouraged not to limit my thinking and to put capacity behind my dreams – to be ready when opportunity presents itself.

Most of my dreams came and come from the things I love. When I was 9, my dad saved an emaciated dog that was being chased away from a supermarket. We kept her and named her Lucky, and over 10 years later, my mom brought home a hyper dachshund that she named Garabato (scribble in Spanish).

I still might end up with a house full of rescue dogs and cats, perhaps with the chickens and donkeys my husband says he wants. Maybe when we live somewhere like a prairie. I could write a book about it.

 

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