I Have A Dream by Valerie J. Patterson

When you were a little kid, what did you dream you would be when you finally grew up?  Every child has big dreams.  Fireman.  Astronaut.  Beauty Queen.  Doctor.  Race car driver.  Super hero.  As we grow and our world widens and our interests change and expand, our dreams also change and expand, and then become more realistic as we approach high school and then university.

For me, I had three dreams that stayed with me my entire childhood.  I wanted to be an actress, a writer, and I wanted to be an ace reporter for my local newspaper, The Daily News.  For as long as I can remember, these dreams were with me.

My grandma’s back yard was my very first stage.  She had this amazing copse of Blue Spruce pine trees at the rear of her property.  I used to slip between the branches and enter the inner circle.  It was beautiful inside that circle of pine.  The floor was blanketed with pine needles and the huge, aged boughs shielded me from view and provided what I thought was an incredible background.  That inner circle was also a great acoustical environment (or so I thought).  I loved to sing while I was inside those Blue Spruce boughs.  I would host my very own variety show right there in the inner circle.

I was in the school plays and musicals.  In college, I was part of the drama fraternity, and an actress with the college players.  After getting married, I joined the local theatre troupe and for several years people bought tickets to see me perform on stage.  People.  Not just family, but strangers, too.  What a rush!  It was enough for me.  I didn’t have to hitch a ride to Hollywood and wait tables until my big break came along.

One dream realized.

Still, every once in a while I want to stand atop a table in a restaurant and break out in song, but the fear of food being chucked at me prevents this from happening!

I am a writer.  I love to create characters, settings, and write dialogue.  I enjoy the task of constructing a tightly woven mystery for my heroine to solve.  I love sinking my teeth into research for a new book.  I thrive on reviews of my work.  I greatly enjoy being invited to be a guest speaker and the opportunity to tell others about my work and how I got to the place where I am in my writing career.  And, I admit, I really enjoy the pleasure I feel when someone asks me to autograph a book for them.  It’s even better when it’s my book they ask me to autograph!  (sorry, couldn’t resist that wee little joke)

Two dreams realized.

After getting married, I relocated to another part of the state of Pennsylvania and left behind the biggest of my three dreams.  That dream of being an ace reporter for the Daily News.  I used to daydream about pounding the pavement to get a quote for a story.  Hunting down the underdog for a feel-good feature.  Doing tons of research for that big story that would crack a case wide open in an award-winning investigative piece.  Meeting deadlines.  Editing my work to fit a column width.  Flashing my credentials to get into places.  Being a valued member of The Press!

Why I never pursued a career with any other newspaper is beyond me.  I guess life moved forward and I moved with it.  I began a career in finance that took over my life for eleven years and, by the time I left it, it seemed too late to go back to my dream.  I was long past the day of my college graduation.  I was no longer a freshly scrubbed face seeking her first job.  I pursued other avenues.  But the dream never left me.  It never changed.  It just remained unfulfilled.

There’s a new reality TV show called The Moment where people are given the chance of a lifetime to capture the biggest moment in their lives by fulfilling their dream career that life interrupted.  I am not a fan of reality TV.  However, the premise is an interesting one, isn’t it?

If someone came to you and handed you the opportunity to make your one big dream come true, would you take it?  I would.  I would want to know if I had what it took to be that reporter or if the diverted path I chose was my dream life after all.

But then…I think, maybe I don’t want to know.  Maybe it’s best left a dream unrealized instead of a dream shattered.

What about you?  What’s your dream?  Don’t be shy…share!

Until next time…

13 responses to “I Have A Dream by Valerie J. Patterson

  1. My father was a dreamer extraordinaire. He didn’t have much of a formal education but he was brilliant. One of the things I’ve attributed it to is that he was well read. So yes I dream dreams and come by it naturally. Some are way out there and a lot I have managed to live. One, I wanted to open my own business, this ranged from a fabric shop, to a craft shop to a book store. I did the book store. What an education!!! I wanted to build a house, yep did that and while I’d do it again, my husband barely got through the first time. Write a book, Nine published.

    Some people count sheep to fall asleep, I dream a little. Great post and one that made me reflect.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Thank you for sharing your dreams, Lavada, and I am glad you are a dreamer like your father. In my book, this is a great trait to have inherited! 😛

      Congratulations on living a few of your dreams, too. I think it’s important to realize you’ve realized your dreams.

  2. Wow. I’m actually having trouble coming up with a dream. I’ve always leaned toward the more practical, so it was always geared toward what I needed to do at that time and for forward momentum. But I do have a bucket list. Does that count. One of the big items on my bucket list was seeing the northern lights. And I’ve always wanted to write, which I am doing now. When I was in high school, I wanted to sing. However, I’ve always relegated that to the shower and the car and my kids, in their youth, validated that was a good idea. 🙂 I did tell one of them once that I’d love to try karaoke and she got very quiet. SO some “dreams” are better left buried, I think. LOL a bunch.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      LOL. Thank you for sharing your singing dream…and your family’s thoughts (though unspoken) on the matter. 😛

      It’s good to have a bucket list, too. Speaking of the Northern lights, one day last week we were supposed to be able to see them from my neck of the woods. I and several of my friends kept a watchful eye on the sky, but none of us ever saw them. I hope you get to cross them off your list before too long, Laurie!

  3. I always dreamed of being a movie director and would make my cousins re-enact movies in our living room. They still remember those times and I don’t think they’ve ever quite forgiven me 🙂 While I never directed anything on the big screen, I suppose being an author is a kind of directing. The scripts in my head have been transferred to the page, so maybe I did achieve that dream after all.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Tricia, what an awesome dream! You could direct the movies I star in!! LOL 😛

      And yes, you do direct your manuscripts. When you write you take on the roles of casting director, wardrobe, set director, prop master, and director. Whew! That’s a big undertaking, eh? 😛

  4. Dreams and ambitions for me changed over time. As a teenager I wanted to be a pop star, but seeing as I couldn’t sing a note, that dream was shattered. I’d always wanted to be an author, and that dream has come true in part. I would have loved to have been a movie star, but my shyness held me back and my voice cracks up when I speak in public, so out the window when that dream. So, if offered the change of making a dream come true, what would I choose? It would have to be the singing. For now, I’ll stick to singing in the car when I’m on my own. Great post. Certainly got me thinking. 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Sorry, Kit. I hit the wrong button last evening. My reply to your post is below, but should be attached to your reply. 😛

  5. Valerie J. Patterson

    Thank you for sharing your dreams, Kit. I sincerely enjoyed reading your comments. And I *love* that if given the chance you would sing. I wish I could give you the chance at that dream. You never know what you could achieve with a voice coach. Maybe the next winner of that Got Talent show! 😛

  6. Love your comment about signing your own book! LOL!

    Yep, My dreams have evolved over the years but I still wish I’d been graceful enough to be a ballerina. I took lessons for 13 years but I always had “jazz” hands instead of lovely ballet hands.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      What a lovely aspiration…to be a graceful ballerina. I understand it is a very tough row to hoe. You gave 13 years to your dream, and I suspect you were more graceful than you realize. Bet your parents have some fantastic photos of you from recitals! Thank you for sharing, Jillian! 😛

  7. Valerie J. Patterson

    Ah, yes, the dream lives on! I have cooking shows going on in my head! Sometimes mystery shows, too. 😛 It’s not like anyone else knows, right….well, maybe they know NOW. 😛

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