Did I ever tell you what my dreams were?
I wanted to be an artist. Of any kind. I wanted to draw. To create. To design. To do something that wasn't along the lines of a young urban professional. That was my first and foremost dream.
When I was young, I was a state sponsored Honolulu Academy of Arts student. I went to weekly art classes, free of charge. I guess my teachers saw something special in me in terms of creativity. I was working toward my dreams.
One day, I drew something of which I was really proud. The average artist is rarely satisfied with their own work -- so to say that I was proud of it is to say quite a bit. I showed it to a particular member of my family.
And they said it sucked. They asked me why I was even drawing. It would never amount to anything. It wouldn't pay my bills.
That day, I threw away every piece of art I had ever done. I put away my crayons, pencils, and cray-paas. And I have never done a serious piece of work since then. Doodles don't count.
And I moved on.
I picked up music. I was a percussionist in band. And at my peak, I was considered the 3rd best mallet player (xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, etc.) in the state. Playing music was wonderful. It moved me. I imagined continuing to take music through college and eventually play for the symphony or ... broadway shows... or something.
I was told that I have to quit band. Quit playing music. Why? Because my brothers wanted to play baseball and soccer. And I needed to take care of them. I needed to go to every practice. Every game. It doesnt matter that no one in my family came to my practices, games, concerts. My brothers needed me, or so I was told.
So I quit band. I put away my mallets for good. Never to touch them again. And I threw myself into my brothers' lives. I joined the PTA so that I could take a more active role in what their school was doing for them. But because I was young, my opinion wasn't taken seriously. And eventually, my brothers quit soccer. Quit baseball. And I was left with not much, in terms of dreams.
Then I started dating Yoshi. And I dreamed of being with him forever. And marrying him. And making a life with him. Four years later, we were broken up. I was laying on the floor each night, sobbing my heart out. I'd lost my final dream.
And now we're together again. But I'm not dreaming anymore.
And I don't think I want to dream anymore.
It's not worth the piece of yourself that you lose when you give up on that dream.