Dreams are just that – dreams. They are ethereal, wispy and hard to grasp. Ironically, dreams of the nocturnal variety seem so real. When we are free of the bondage of reality, anything can happen in our nighttime dreams. In our supposedly awakened daytime state, they have a wholly different quality and sometimes seem unobtainable. Think of how we use the word.
“only in my dreams”
“woman/man of my dreams”
The list is endless. Do dreams excite you or do they depress you because the very word is a synonym for “not gonna happen?” Dreams are often the spark of creation but to will them into reality takes effort, planning, faith, hope, grit, and yes, good old blood, sweat, and tears, often in that order.
And, then, sometimes they still don’t happen or they take a lot longer and much more effort than we ever “dreamed” they would. So why do some dreams take so long or, in many cases, never happen, despite someone’s best effort? I believe two things can be at play. One – God/Universe is trying to protect you from something and has something better in store, if you are but open to it and are patient. Or, two, the dreamer started “doing” and got tired of all the doing and not seeing any results. You might call it “dream fatigue.”
In my professional life, I have experienced both dreams deferred and dreams denied. I once had a “dream job” for three years only to have it taken away from me. There was nothing evil or nefarious about the way it came about. Simply put, I was a “substitute” member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for three seasons as one of their trumpet players. When the long-delayed “official” audition for the job was held, I was beaten fair and square by a young, up and coming musician. (In fact, he was so “up and coming,” he has since “come and gone” as is now the Principal Trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic!) As I swallowed that bitter pill, I tried to convince myself things would be “OK” and I knew that was true on some level, but just being “OK” was a depressing proposition at the time.
It was after that extreme disappointment that a new dream took hold. It was a dream so outlandish, so completely out of my area of expertise and yet so perfect for me, that I had to chase it. Soon after that audition, one of my old students told me how he treated a lip injury from a marching band accident with an herb called Arnica. A random conversation changed my life forever. I was so taken by his story that I set out to create the best lip balm ever made, using arnica as one of the main ingredients. And that dream has pushed, prodded and poked me mercilessly for over a decade now. And yes, my “dream” has taken just too damn long at times. But after chasing my new dream for so long and considering giving up on an almost daily basis, a major breakthrough has occurred, one that could only come true with more grit, hustle, prayer, determination and hard work than I could have ever imagined necessary before I started out. In just a few short weeks from now, ChopSaver Lip Care, after many years of limited, niche distribution, will be sold in every CVS drug store in the country – over 7,000 stores. I know this adventure will take on new twists and turns, but this is a major leap, indeed.
At times my dream seemed to have turned into a nightmare and my “dark nights of the soul” were too numerous to remember. But there is a reason we grab onto clichés at times like that. For it truly was one of those “When God closes a door, he opens a window” moments. Actually, I have a different version of that one. Mine says, “When God closes a door, stop staring at the door because there may be a whole new world behind you…and not just a tiny window.”
So when a dream is long in coming or otherwise denied completely, you might want to choose another dream – or let it choose you.
Dan Gosling – professional trumpet player. Also known as The ChopSaver Guy.