I had been brought up to dream big and do something significant. Not by my family so much as my earlier faith communities and society at large with all its inspirational quotes and ideals. Like we have to make our lives count. And there is of course something to be said for that.
But all this significance can be a bit overwhelming and what if you find yourself in a place where your dreams are appear tiny or simple from the outside but seem insurmountable to you?
Like imagine you have been living on a mental health ward for months and not spoken to anyone. At. All. For over three weeks. Because every sound makes you anxious and jumpy and all you can do is cry. And then finally you voice that all you want is to go home, live in your home with your partner and go back to work in the coffee shop with your friends. What if this was the only dream that mattered? Or for others where their big dream is a life where their son doesn’t hear voices that tell him to take his own life. Slow Moving Millie wrote a song called ‘Please please’.
‘Haven’t had a dream in a long time, see the life I’ve had, could make a good man turn bad. So for once in my life…Please, please let me get what I want – Lord, knows it would be the first time’.
Perhaps this sounds melodramatic to you. For most people it would be a very melodramatic thing to sing with any integrity. But for the person in their mid-thirties, who has only known abuse and has no one in their life who loves them outside of the institution of people who are paid to care for them in their crushed mental state, it is the only thing they could say. It is the only dream they could dream.