Prince Charming and Happy-ish Ever After

Once Upon A Time, Prince Charming, Love, Fairy Tales, Dreams

I used to think, when I was a little girl, that some Prince Charming type (he, of course, loved football, Jesus, and politics) would stride into my life, sweep me off my feet, and then? We would live happy-ish forever, with our house full of kids, somewhere near Washington, D.C. (my dreams are very specific).

Life’s not perfect so while I believed in the proverbial fairy tale, I wasn’t completely out of touch. My head was in the clouds only part of the time. After my childhood, I knew that life had its challenges and pain came along with the beauty. But I was convinced that our love would be like a fairy tale. How could it not? There weren’t any other options.

There’s something incredibly beautiful about the way kids look at the world. They’re full of faith and a dogged, bright hope. They don’t really ever consider any other outcome than the one they dream. A kid wants to be an astronaut when she grows up? Why not? What could possibly keep her from being an astronaut? As far as she’s concerned . . . nothing.

Children are resilient. I was resilient. I am resilient. Every time I turn around, the logical, adult side of my heart, that has long since met and been acquainted with disappointment, sadness, and life kicking you in the teeth from time to time, wants me to give up the dream.

Prince Charming? Happy-ish ever after? Give up. Face reality. A house full of kids? Prepare for the worst, Elaina. I had dinner with a couple of other over 35-ish folks, while I was in California. The conversation was familiar but eventually turned startling and depressing. I love being able to talk to other single people who understand how frustrating dating is in today’s society. There is so much to laugh at and commiserate over. It’s all the same story on repeat – different friends, different places, personalities, and backgrounds but the story about dating is the same.

But the conversation shifted and left me with a sense of hopelessness. I couldn’t kick it for days. I was frustrated, mad, and just generally in a bad mood. I’m sure my grief over losing Grandma didn’t help. Nonetheless, all I could think about was a few sentences spoken into the cool Orange County air that centered around the increasing improbability of having a family the older we get.

In spite of the hopelessness expressed that night and my frustration in the couple of days that followed, the truth is, I am simply unwilling to give up hope. Unwill-ing.

I don’t want a backup plan. I don’t want to prepare for the worst. I’m not willing to give up hope that the dream is just that – a dream. We so often spend our lives living for some moment in the future. I don’t want that either. But I won’t spend my days living with a sense of defeat and hopelessness.

Sometimes I think I lack faith. But then I remember how convinced, beyond physical appearances sometimes, that what I have always wanted is still out there. The faith remains, the hope remains. Why? Because even in my weakness, even when I’m tired and over the waiting, I believe a God who does crazy, improbable things in the lives of His loved ones.

I don’t know where my “Prince Charming” is (probably hating football & politics and living in Alaska), but I do know that this dream doesn’t die. More importantly, I’m convinced to my core it was placed there for a reason. So here’s my challenge to you single folks out there . . . resist the urge to be negative about dating, singlehood, waiting, etc.

It’s not easy. But I know for certain that how we think impacts our actions. Try it with me . . . think differently. Live with some hope. Don’t be afraid to dream. If your desires haven’t changed, press forward. Keep dreaming. Continue to hope.

What do you have to lose?

Me? I have nothing to lose.

Chasing Dreams

Chasing Dreams, Walt Disney, Dreams, Dreaming, Hope

Chasing dreams. I am chasing dreams.

I’ve always been a dreamer. Even as a tiny girl I was dreaming of what could be, might be, or what I hoped would be. The three dreams that have stayed with me, have remained largely unchanged. Time has moved on. My life is nothing like I imagined it would at this point. But these three hang on.

I’m a 39-year-old single woman that has spent recent years working too much. I have been almost entirely focused on everyone, but me. It goes with the job. But, as time has moved forward, I’ve become more aware that what we do {or don’t do} each day builds upon the next. The moments build until one day, we’re looking back at years stacked upon years.

If you’re smart, you figured this out when you were young. If you’re smart, but spent more time focused on a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter, or lost yourself somewhere along the way {like me}, then you probably have time to make up for.

I’m not very good with New Years resolutions. But for quite a few years now I’ve had a “word” for each year. I pray about the word a little. And somehow, at the start of each new year, a word pops up. This year’s word is “intentional.” It fit. It still fits.

I’ve not been intentional in the sense that I want to be. And now, five years after starting a new career, I see that though I was intentional about work, I failed to see the ways in which the little moments would stack up to years, in my personal life.

My dreams aren’t crazy, pie in the sky kind of dreams. They’re actually pretty simple. This, of course, leads me to wonder how it is that I’m 39, single, without a family, and not consistently writing. While, in a sense, I can’t control all aspects of being single, I do know that I control the factors that keep me tied to my home, afraid to step out, or too tired from work to do so. I do control those factors which lead to fatigue and an over-focus on my career, which means I feel less able to write consistently.

I’ve known that a new phase of life was knocking at my door. Being intentional with my time, dreams, and ultimately my calling is part of that new phase. Though I’ve been blogging since 2004, I knew the old blogging space needed a change, too. So here I am. Chasing Dreams. 

For a girl with a thirsty heart, messy, wild hair, big dreams, hope and never ending passion, it’s not always evident in my own life. I’m certain I’m not alone in that. In fact, I know that’s a common theme for many that are successful in their careers, yet unfulfilled.

So here’s to the start of a new journey. I hope if you saw yourself in any of this post, you’ll join me!

~ Elaina