I think about my existence often- how I orbit, as an empowered woman with agency, between, around, within and amongst the compartments of my microsystem. Even more often, I think about the greater ecosystem and if my orbit will forever oscillate between the circles that have become so familiar or if I will impact more people and change the world as I perceive it.
When we talk about dreams, it’s often in the context of something we’ve placed in a box on a shelf far beyond our reach. We may have placed it there long ago and it sits, collecting dust and debris, waiting to be opened and actualized. We talk about dreams with a timestamp, citing ourselves on the formidable “deathbed” as the time in which our deliverables should have been achieved. We talk about dreams in dichotomies- it is, or it isn’t; we’ve lived our dreams, or we haven’t.
Thinking in dichotomies leaves no room for error and limits our ability to actualize our dreams to any degree when we categorize our achievements as either successes or failures. Allowing ourselves to acknowledge that the cocoon may not materialize into a butterfly lets us accept the caterpillar which, not for nothing, may not be half bad. If we dismiss all our perceived failures as such, how will we ever be happy with what we have done?
Over the past few months, I have learned to be patient with my dreams. When I first started to write, I was anxious to do everything immediately- break every story, interview every powerful woman I could, pitch to any platform that would listen to me. Besides burning out, I also wasn’t able to sit back and enjoy my accomplishments because I didn’t think they weren’t important enough. But there is no enough- there just is. The accomplishments exist in their own greatness, untouched by my perception of them. If I accept them as they are, I can feel better about what I have done and excited about what I will do.
In the past 6 months, some of my dreams have materialized and some I believe still exist, awaiting my orbit. I have dreams to be on MSNBC as a guest on The Ed Show and Rachel Maddow. I have a dream to work for NARAL Pro-Choice America and use my energy fighting for women’s reproductive freedom. I have dreams to write for Bitch and RH Reality Check. I have dreams to move to Texas and work on Wendy Davis’ gubernatorial campaign. I have dreams to become a governor, too.
I have dreams for the sisterhood- that all women will be empowered and that the patriarchy and systemic oppression will be dismantled. I have dreams that we will see complete equality in our lifetime and that power and resources will be accessible to everyone.
These are not shelf dreams, nor can they judged in dichotomies. Each step towards equality, every moment the humanist collective restores consciousness in the majority, should be recognized as an accomplishment and together, we can all actualize our dreams and make them a reality.