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That Space between Dreams and Reality

There’s a space between dreams and reality. As a kid, you were taught to dream. Into adolescence you were told to aim for those dreams – everything is possible. Only when you took the first tentative steps into adulthood did you realize that the optimism of the lessons of youth aren’t met with a like reception at the threshold of Real Life.

You met the fork called First Resistance: it is here that many choose a detour as a temporary off-ramp. The dream is still there, but we have to take a moment and accept that wide road called Reality. Years later we are parked at reality. It’s safe. It pays the bills. It’s the responsible thing to do. We long ago discarded our passion like a diamond from a lifeboat: the grasp of beauty is a luxury when it takes two hands to row.

Some of us actually ventured into the space between dreams and reality in our youth. It’s allowed then. You can play a little. As long as you head back to reality in time to grow up. And it’s always a bittersweet thing: good to be safe, sad to be tied to the shoreline of someone else’s dream. What we are going is good. Even very good. But we sacrificed Great.

Rare are the ones, like you, who move into adulthood while persisting in the space. The ones who know their heart and their talent and their pure gift of God so well that dispensing of the dream is not an option. Oh, it sounds noble to say it. It’s the kind of thing that is romanticized and put in quotes on the success side of the dream.

But in that space between reality and the dream it’s hard work. It’s lonely. It’s sacrificial. There are no guarantees. It’s watching your friends move ahead and wondering if the dream is costing you your future. It’s hearing the voices around you confirm your gift while the voice in your head wonders if the gift has too high a price. It is rolling the dice weighted toward failure because there is a slight possibility of a tip to greatness. It’s the tenacity to believe in your dreams when no one else seems to. It is the courage not to give a damn whether they do or not.

I see you, my son. I know where you live – in that space. I believe in you to beat the odds. That day is coming when your dream IS your reality. When the dream pays the bills; the space is a place with a forwarding address. So very rare it is to live a life in the zone, doing what you were created to do; making those around better in the doing it.

Don’t give up. Don’t settle for reality, or the space. You’re one year closer. And you will do it. Happy Birthday.

For Jordan Chiero on his 27th birthday, January 23, 2017

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