It was 5am this morning, dark except for the light from a huge moon. I was driving north for work, gripping the wheel in fear from the blowing snow and thoughts of black ice. Despite the fact that I was intently scanning the road for the dreaded ice, I couldn't help but see a flash of light pass by the windshield. A shooting star on this cold December morning.
My first thought was to make a wish. My second was to realize I didn't have one.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not without goals or even some wants here and there. But wishes? I was out.
I thought about this the rest of the 2 1/2 hour drive. Why didn't I have a wish? When I was a kid I always had one. For every shooting star. For every birthday candle. For every 11:11. This morning, when the time came, I didn't have one.
What was the matter with me? Was I hopeless? Or was I just really happy where I am? How could I not have wishes? Have I gotten so old and grouchy I don't dream anymore?
That's what did it. The dreams. I realized that. for me at least, wishes are different than dreams. When I think of a wish, I think of this thing I would hope for because I couldn't attain it on my own. A toy I couldn't afford. A boy who would never like me. In wishes I see no power. But dreams? That's a whole different story.
I'll admit I'm a bit of a dreamer. I always have the next goal, the next thing I'm working for, if not 10 at once. But that's just it, I'm working for them, putting them into action. None of this sitting around wishing stuff.
It dawned on me as I drove that this was one of the great parts of growing older- being able to see this difference between wishing for something and working for it. Somehow I grew into it, along with the ability to be completely happy where I am while still constantly striving for new things. No wishes needed. Just a lot of hard work and the rewards that come with it.
While I was contemplating all this, another star shot by, even brighter than the first. Still no wish, but this time I knew I didn't need one. My dreams will do.
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