Whose dream is it anyway?

So I’m doing a course and as part of a workbook exercise, I had to answer this question:

What Dreams Have You Let Go Of?

The immediate answer that came to mind (though I seldom think of it) was this:

Becoming a mother

As I said, I rarely think of this. It’s not a part of my day, or my life, to be honest. I’ve known for a long time that this was not my path, so it’s been a non-issue. Even now, staring at those words through tears, I can’t say I would change anything. I’m happy to be child-free and couldn’t imagine my life with kids in it. If I’m honest it gives me palpitations!

BUT. But. I feel the absence of that experience I’ll never get to have. The experience of me being a mother. Of getting to meet a little person with all my mixed-up genes and inconvenient family traits, transmuted into something completely new and unique. The wonder of finding out who that little person will be and how I can support them and teach them, without fucking them up (too much). Cos that’s what parents do, I think. Their best, whilst knowing somewhere deep down that it will probably fall short. Most likely, that’s when you construct a bridge of hope that your child will somehow figure it out anyway. Find their own way despite your instinctive need to guide them even when they don’t want or need you anymore. Christ. I think I might have been a good mom, as they say. Good enough. I hope I would have been playful and receptive (but probably tired and stressed!) I’ll never know and it’s a big thing to not know.

The follow-up question was, what was your reason for letting go of the dream? That’s when I realised that I’d probably gone too deep! Maybe they were looking for an easier answer because I didn’t let go on purpose. I just ran out of time. But when I dig a little deeper, I realise that I did let go of something. I no longer believed it was possible to find the kind of partner I would want to have a family with. Beliefs are the engines for your dreams, but I didn’t know it then. And I never thought about going it alone (which is really unlike me because I have such an independent spirit!)

But now I look at the question again and realise I’ve glossed over the most important word… ‘Dream.’ It was never really my dream to have a child or to become a mother. It felt more like an inevitability! It’s just something that is taken for granted in our society, assumed. Of course, everyone wants to be a mother, right? So often we prioritise other people’s dreams above our own because that’s how life works a lot of the time. We never really get to ask ourselves the question until it’s too late. Is this what you really wanted? Maybe, maybe not. so perhaps it’s not a dream I have let go of, but a potentiality; a sliding doors version of my life that may or may not have been as happy and fulfilling as the one I’m living now. If we subconsciously choose our reality, then I have chosen to prioritise a different part of me and I’m going to honour that inner intuitiveness by letting go of the dreams that are not mine and embracing the ones that are. All in.