Friday, January 07, 2005

Dreaming The Big Dream

Have you ever dreamed the big dream? No, not a dream you have while you're sleeping. THE DREAM, the dream that, in many ways, defines THE ULTIMATE GOAL. The thing that you want for yourself, but don't always know how to go get it. Maybe it's more like a fantasy, where you put together in your mind the thing that you want to be, how you want to live.

When you're a kid, that dream might be something totally crazy, like, you want to be Superman and get the bad guys, push the meteor away before it strikes earth, rescue Lois Lane. Maybe you wanted to be Hans Solo and save the Universe from the Evil Empire. Or, like me, I wanted to be Wonder Woman, then the Bionic Woman and, later, Sabrina (Kate Jackson) from Charlie's Angels. The smart one that always figured everything out. When you are a kid, no dream is too big, too far out of reach.

As you get older, you realize that Superman was a movie and Hans Solo's X wing fighter was a model about one foot long. Poof goes that dream. But, there is always another to take it's place. Slightly more earth based, but THE BIG DREAM. As a teenager, I remember that I wanted to be a lawyer. Not just any lawyer, a BIG LAWYER. The LAWYER that knew all the laws and was sought after by every big corporations in the world. Or, at least the United States. I'd jet around on airplanes, make witty conversation at parties, have a huge ante-bellum house on hundreds of acres with a stone wall and big wrought iron gates that you had to know a pass code to get through. Not because I thought I needed to keep anyone out, but because it was cool to push the button and watch them swing open to the house.

Well, I'm not a lawyer. University didn't figure in the picture for me. And, no, I'm not dreaming of being a lawyer anymore. I haven't dreamed that in a long time.

Still, you get older and your dreams change a little more. Maybe they are scaled down a little bit as you've learned what the real world is like, got a little more experience, had your world view changed or just got weighed down a bit by the reality of responsibilities. But, you still have THE BIG DREAM. It might have gone through a few modifications and the ultimate goal or vehicle to get there has changed, but it's still there.

You might be sitting at your desk at the office and your mind wonders away a bit. Your dream appears in your mind. You re-arrange the parts. Maybe it's not a big ante-bellum house anymore with a wrought iron fence. Maybe you see yourself in a big timber or log cabin somewhere, still acres of land surrounding you and giant windows on one side of the house that faces out to a spectacular view of a wooded area below you or the mountains in the distance.

You re-arrange the furniture a bit in your mind. No, no, not slate floors. Hard wood floors. That chair you saw in a catalogue would go right there by the fire place. The big fire place made out of river rock. The leather couch goes there, off to the side so you could lay on it in the evenings with a book you take out of your personal library with a fire blazing, you can feel the warmth on your face as you recline with a Navajo blanket thrown over your legs. Maybe there's music or maybe it's quiet except the crackling of the fire.

You could get up and go work in your office upstairs in the loft area, under the eaves of the A frame roof. That's cool because what you do for a living can be done at your own desk, at your own leisure. You could go up there and live your BIG DREAM.

Everybody has THE BIG DREAM, right? What's your BIG DREAM? I am dreaming one day that I will write THE NEXT BEST SELLER. It will be a stealth BEST SELLER because nobody will have heard of me before and, out of the blue, it soars to the top ten list in the country, maybe in the world.

I will make the rounds, signing books and having my picture taken with notables and just plain folks who read the book and are touched by it. Kids who want to grow up and be writers or are inspired to read more. I don't know all the details. It's BIG though.

Everyone has probably noticed that I've changed the theme of this blog a bit. I was debunking conspiracy theories in the beginning, researching and analyzing information. I still enjoy that quite a bit. I like a good debate or at least to push people's minds towards considering different points. Probably why, somewhere long ago, I dreamed of being a lawyer. I've written a few times, what seems to me when I read them, apologies for changing the point of this blog. Mostly because I've met some incredible people through this medium and I did not want to lose touch with people because I was no longer presenting what they were looking for.

But, what has been so great is that, even though I've changed my theme a bit, most of my blog friends have stuck around to read what I had to say and commented. I must say, I am more than gratified by everyone's continued support. Not just gratified, but grateful to have met such wonderful people on the internet. People from all over the world and all over the United States.

Even soldiers in Iraq and a guy from Egypt. Now, how cool is that?

Part of my dream that changed was the thought of flying around and attending parties with people I barely know and sipping wine while having witty conversation. That part has changed to something like small intimate gatherings with close friends and others who are interesting to me and we all stand around and chat like old friends do and laugh about the last time we were together, or vacation stories, or whatever floats to the top of the list of things to chat about.

What is amazing is, that dream has become a virtual reality. Here we are in our virtual living rooms and dens, chatting about topics from world events to music to relationships to cars, politics, books, movies, you name it, we get to do it. All with people we might never have met had it not been for this blogosphere.

It's so much better even than the old chat rooms. I know some people are into those still, but those always seemed free for alls to me where anybody could just barge in and the next thing you know, there's name calling or propositions.

Okay, I know we have some of that here, but it is more controlled and we kick people out for crashing the party. Or, even if they are flame throwers, we might let them stay because they generate debate, get the mind thinking, make us work a bit. Even that can be enjoyable.

Sometimes, they are like crazy people and set themselves on fire before running through our virtual dens, screaming unintelligible things before running out the back door and jumping in our virtual swimming pools.

"411, what's your emergency?"

"Yes, this is Kat at the Middle Ground. We just had another one. Could you send somebody over with a dose of reality and a fire extinguisher? And, please tell them to hurry. The crazy one just climbed out of the pool. Looks like they've got a can of gasoline and a case of matches. Damn. They have an accomplice. It's a tag team effort."

"I'll get somebody dispatched immediately. Can you give me a description of the suspects?"

"Well, I didn't get a good look at them. Looks like they're wearing balaclavas with green headbands and they're screaming something about eeeevviilll jooooz, zionist plots to take over the world and one of them sounds like they're going to break into chants of "Allahu Akbar" any minute now."

"Thank you. Sounds like the two escapees from the Arab Parallel Universe that escaped last week. We'll contact Bloggers Central and get them to dispatch the Egyptian team out of Cairo. They should be there just..About...Now."

"Wow. I love this traveling at the speed of light. Hey guys, glad you could make it."

"I'm agent Sandmonkey and this is my partner, GM from the Land of Pharoahs. Where's the escapees?"

"Out back, by the pool. Watch out for the one on the left. He/she thinks he's Patrick Henry and keeps saying, "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death". Something about, Patrick would have done it this way. He's strapping on a suicide vest. You'd better get out there."

"No problem, we're on the job. Agent GM, we're going to need the extra strength dose of reality for this job. Ready?"


"Hey, guys. When you're done, stop back and have a drink with us. By the way, nice black suits and sun glasses. Are those standard issue?"

"Sorry, ma'am. That's classified information."

Isn't it great to have these guys on the job? That's the problem with these new fangled virtual homes. Even the escapees from the APU can crash your party. Oh well, makes for an interesting night.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Talking about THE BIG DREAM. You know, I still wonder in and out of the other parties going on and I see some really interesting stuff I want to write a blog post on all the time. But, I've kind of set myself a goal. All my other BIG DREAMS sort of went the way of the Do-Do bird because I didn't give them my full attention and see them to completion. So, my goal is to keep writing, for at least the next thirty days, this book about being single. I don't know if it's THE book that's going to set the world on fire, but I wanted to finish something this time. To actually take a step towards that goal. Because, even if it never makes it to a publishing house, I will have fulfilled a big part of the BIG DREAM and that's to have written a full length manuscript to completion.

I realized over the New Years holiday that I was having writers block because I wanted to change course again and write about something else that I had read. Of course, this is the blog world so I can do whatever I want. The second realization though was that, if I didn't stick with this and make myself write it to the end, I might never finish it.

I guess what I'm telling my blog friends is that you are going to keep seeing "Why Am I Single?" for a while longer. And, I believe this will be the last time I post a self induced apology on the subject.

No one should apologize for chasing their dream.

Do you have a BIG DREAM? What's your BIG DREAM? Are you chasing it or are you still playing with it in your mind while you're working that OTHER job you do for a paycheck?

I've shared my dream. Now tell your blog friends about yours.


The G-man said...

Bionic Woman and, later, Sabrina (Kate Jackson) from Charlie's Angels...

Careful there Kat, you're dating yourself... Oh wait, if I know that mentioning those shows places a date on someone, I guess that dates me as well... crap!

I too have the log house dream, working from home doing things I enjoy doing rather than the utilitarian things I do now. Aw heck it's a living, I suppose. It pays the bills, but it just robs the joy from my existence... Make sense? It's like telling someone you'd be interested in pursuing the lapidary arts and having them lead you to a quarry stone crusher...

Mike H. said...

How 'bout getting the snowblower to work and stay up. What a dream. Did I leave something that looked like a life laying around here?

Francis W. Porretto said...

Big Dreams...Big Dreams...I've had 'em. Sometimes it feels as if I've had 'em all. Maybe I should have been more thorough about my vaccinations.

My earliest Big Dream was to become an astronaut. Of course, back when that was my current Big Dream, I was about six years old. Later on it developed that there were quite a few things one had to do before one could become an astronaut, and I lost interest.

The next Big Dream was to become a pro baseball player. In that case, I came pretty close. I was a star in high school, and probably could have wangled a minor-league tryout, but other priorities intervened.

The next Big Dream was to rise to the heights of the sciences, specifically in physics. I took the first few steps, even got my doctorate, but then I encountered a troubling fact: academics don't get rich. To get rich was always a tacit condition of every Big Dream, so immuring myself in academia was right out.

The next Big Dream was to achieve fortune and glory in computerdom, where I, like so many emigres from the sciences, landed occupationally. And I got there. I was a Big Noise in the real-time engineering field for about four years...during which overwork and hubris cost me my wife, most of what I'd earned, and my health. After all of that I wasn't really Big Dream material any more.

I've tried my hand at a few things that had big potential since then, but without any illusions about the odds -- or the costs. Fiction. Publishing. Political organizing. All came to little or nothing, but far less reavingly than their predecessor Big Dreams. Today, as I wander through the antechamber to the Years of Irrelevant Coothood, I think I've finally absorbed the central lesson about Big Dreams, once delivered in fictional form by the great Gregory Benford:

"It can be very pleasant to dream...but be sure to wake up."

peterC said...

LOL Now I see the plot: infaming the sandmonkey posters to get story content!
And the posts themselves a laugh, esp the 7 Rules of the APU!

Kat said... glad you enjoyed it. Some folks won't be influenced by reality, so it is just as fun to poke at them and watch them explode.

Kat said...

Mike...a life? You want a life? get real..LOL

However, a snow blower. That would be nice. Sometimes the simple things can be so fulfilling.

Francis and G-Man...on the big dream, I've been living what I thought was the "Big Dream" number three for a bit. Traveling around the country to different states and reviewing and talking and telling people what to do and generally doing the "corporate seagull" schtick (ie, fly in, crap all over something and then leave).

It was getting a little old, but I am still working the "real job" while I persue this little thing. I think that's why I like to say that, if it comes to naught, I would have at least done something about it and tried it. Nothing wrong with that, heh?

But, as saying to Michael, the simple things are nice too.

but, what's the use of always scaling down your dreams? Reality does it to you on it's own, gotta keep the big dream or we never go anywhere, heh? Who would have thought over 225 years ago that a bunch of men would have dreamed the big dream and wrote the declaration of independence?

Big dreams have their place.

gecko said...

I hope that last comment wasn't meant as closure to this post, otherwise I'll slip in my two cents.

My BIG DREAM is similar to yours; I want to be able to slip away to a secluded location and make money entertaining people with my words. Like that Sci-Fi author....Arther C. Clark, I think.

I seem to be working it backwards, however; I have the secluded spot in a tropical location but, alas need to hone my pen skills for enthralling the masses!

You always write so well; did you attend any courses for it?

Kat said...

No, that was not an end to the post, per se. The comment "big dreams have their place", means we need them. If we didn't dream, didn't strive, what would we be? why live?

As for the writing, I didn't take any courses (though I have thought about auditing a local college course on composition, I need to improve my sentence structures).
I think most of my ability has come from a) reading extensively, I love to read; b) required writing for my job (though not as entertaining, more along the lines of the research I've posted here).

You have a good grasp of words. You could probably do it, you just need to pick a subject and go for it.

Probably the best part about blogging this is the instand feedback. YOu get an idea about what works with people and what doesn't in terms of content and style.

Robert said...

Kat, if you want to write buy The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Slim, succinct, invaluable: every writer must have it. (Maybe you already do!)

Oh and Kat, I've finally changed blogs! Just check my blog for details.

gecko said...

Kat, you give me inspiration! I had that book somewhere; I wish I could get a hold of this paper tiger that is my den!

Kat said...

No, I don't have that book, but I plan to get it on your recommendation, Robert. I have dropped by your other site, by the way and can't wait to see it rockin' and rollin'.

Gecko...hope to see you telling us some incredible stories. I'm sure there must be some you are hiding in your lovely tropical paradise. Glad to inspire.