Monday, July 30, 2007

When Dreams Come True

I am a dreamer, I admit it. I spent more than a small portion of my youth daydreaming about all the places I hoped to go, all the people I wanted to meet, who I hoped to grow up to be.

Most every child can tell you what they want to be when they grow up. My first dream , when I was about five years old, was to have a family. My step-father, Ray Hise, built me a playhouse for Christmas one year. It was beautiful, but icy cold in the winter months. That didn't deter me. I spent every waking hour in that playhouse, pretending to have a husband and children I was cooking for. It was never a popular dream when I was growing up in the late years of women liberation, the sixties and early seventies when modern woman embraced her right to be single and work. As I grew up I understood the equality issues, and womens rights issues, but I never stopped seeing being part of a family of my own as something to be embraced.

By the time I was eight I was considering jobs, and my new dream was to be a veterinarian. I have always loved animals, and I saw this as a way to be near my closest friends. I wasn't considering money, I was too young to think about income those days. I never really pursued this line of work, but I dreamed about it for years.

As a teen my interests moved toward art. I had discovered painting, sketching, and pottery. I had a wonderful teacher at Lumberton High School in North Carolina named Betty McKiethan. She took a hobby of mine and turned it into passion that consumed most of my waking hours. She encouraged me and a few other of her students to make art our living. I didn't have a lot of confidence however, and I joined the Navy instead, hoping to see a little bit of the world and find out a little more about myself.

During those years and the years following, my dreams kind of buried themselves. I gave myself up to the idea that I would waitress, or work as a cashier for the rest of my life. By the time I was 21 I had experienced a failed marriage and so much heartache that I wasn't sure I had too many dreams left.

Life has a funny way of surprising you.

I turned 42 this year, and recently I realized that in some sense most of my dreams have come true. I have a beautiful family, and more love than I could have ever hoped for. Though I have never become a veterinarian, I have many animals that I cherish and care for, and I have plans to volunteer for a wild animals rescue in the near future. And as far as art, it is still who I am.

I am a full time photographer these days, incorporating my artistic creativity into every apsect of the shoots, and I am due to have my first public gallery show in a few weeks here in Albuquerque. My family will be there, and one of my pets is in the show. :)

If that isn't a dream come true, what is?