in 2004, my then best friend – carrie d. – gave me a birthday card that quoted Hana Rose Zadra: ‘Reach for Your Dreams and They Will Reach for You.’
i loved these words.
they came to me as gentle white lowercase letters on a simple sky-metallic blue, heavy-papered card. inside she wrote a lovely note with good wishes for my next year, and a continued promise of loyalty and friendship, even as times were changing. i thought about how appropriate her choice since i was about make a cross county move to what felt like the other side of the world to start my second career. i had so much hope and alot of dreams for this next chapter… i want to say that i was blind to expectation because of all the unknowns, but i don’t remember if i truly expected certain things to happen.
sidebar: carrie doesn’t know that i’ve carried this card with me through the 6 moves i’ve experienced since then (1 hotel room, 3 apartments and 2 houses), posting it to each refrigerator and reading it almost every day since. still love the words.
this morning i read the card again and i started thinking about the idea of hope vs. expectation. in life, it’s so easy to get bogged down by the expectations we set for ourselves. we set these giant goals and then days (or moments) later, we get overwhelmed by the enormity of this big desire; so much so that the steps to get there seem too big to do. then the anxiety sets in and our bodies shut down. hello again, emotional stagnation. then hello to all the ways our bodies like to express this upset.
i think about what happens at my clinic … when trying to conceive, the desire to have a baby is so strong that we get caught up in lab reports and vitamins and doctor’s plans and we hold fiercely to the plans we set for ourselves when we were 8. (i think our 8-year old dreams wreak havoc in many aspects of our lives actually. i still remember being concerned at 25 when i realized i wouldn’t be married that year as i had originally planned. ) trying to have a baby can sometimes blind us to our true fertility. we are all born with seeds of our own fertility – literally, of course, but also figuratively. if we had no ability to be fertile, we wouldn’t grow in any capacity. i think we often forget about what we innately have within us and instead rely mostly on what others define as fertility. we start to see only those aspects we can measure with a stick. we focus only on the end of the road – the baby – and we don’t look inside to see the individual paths we’re really on.
to hope for something to happen at a journey’s end feels different than the expectation of what will be there at the end. hope brings us an opening, where an expectation often closes us off to only that one wish.
expecting this one thing fails us by cutting off the rest of our visibility. with hope, we can reach out for our dreams, for what we want our life to be, for a better life, for stronger bodies and minds, for emotional balance, for fertile lives. we can hope with our hearts and eyes open to what life has to offer. hope can calm us and help us feel good about where and who we are.
when we reach out for our dreams and goals with hope instead of expectation, i believe our dreams will reach back for us.