To Keep In Mind

In case you’ve forgotten, let me tell you again that I often lose things and go crazy trying to find them.

In the most recent case, I was searching for my BonTon charge card and going through every single purse in my purse bin, and every single wallet I found within those purses. Out of one wallet I pulled a fortune from a fortune cookie that I found years ago:

Keep in mind your most cherished dreams of the future. 

Sometimes if I like a fortune I’ll save it, but it often ends up in the trash a few days or weeks later. This one obviously was worthy enough to keep with me and to stick in a “wallet window” so that I would always see it. Honestly, when I put that wallet away for the season, which turned out to be over a year, I completely forgot about the fortune that was in it. When I found it again, I couldn’t help thinking of how important those words are. This of course got me wondering – what are my most cherished dreams of the future? Are they dreams that I’ve had since I was small, or dreams that I’ve developed recently? What designates a dream as “cherished”?

To me, that’s the most interesting aspect of the fortune – how do I know if this is a cherished dream or not? Maybe something that I consider a cherished dream today will be nothing to me a few months from now. When I was a little girl, my most cherished dream was to be a cowgirl and to have a horse. Obviously that didn’t last long, because here I am a teacher with no horse to call my own. One dream that has stuck with me is to live in a house where I can have plenty of pets. Sounds silly, but I’m happiest when I’m around animals. As a kid, I knew I wanted to work with animals and I’m realizing more and more that I still do. Is this one of my most cherished dreams? How did I forget it as I went to college and chose a major?

Maybe I made the wrong choice and am in the wrong profession. Trust me, that thought went through my head as it became clear to me that I was going to lose my teaching job, and only nagged more once I did lose the job and suddenly had time on my hands to go back to school. But school districts work in frustrating ways, and just as I set my mind to accept the fact that I did not have to go back to school in September, I could take a class or two in biology and see how I felt about an animal-related major, I got a call to substitute for an entire semester. Unemployment or a steady job? The choice was easy (hopefully it’s easy to you too!), and marine mammal biology sits and waits.

As I think back on that tiny but incredibly wise fortune-cookie-fortune, I realize that I do have trouble remembering what’s important and what to work for. So many times we get so caught up in the daily grind and the petty drama of everyday relationships, that we forget what it is we really want for ourselves. But even when we do remember our goals and dreams, we are sometimes presented with extremely hard choices in order to reach them. Do I stay in Pennsylvania, stay in my hometown with my family and always wonder what if? Or do I take a brave step and move to a place where I can study to become a marine mammal scientist or a marine mammal vet? What if it’s a huge mistake, and I can’t even make it as a scientist or vet?

All this questioning, but I haven’t answered the most important yet – what are my most cherished dreams of the future?

Find my Bronze Horseman (this is a story in its own, but I probably don’t have to explain to my two readers)
Live at the beach (with my Bronze Horseman)
Discover my meant-to-be career
Keep my friends and family close
Stay true to myself

There’s my list – where’s yours?

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