In highschool, right at the end, I became obsessed with a very cheesy pop song. We've all been there, I'm sure; our old favorites are just slightly embarrassing (another song I found on the old burnt CD is Freaky Girl by Shaggy, case in point...).
The song I loved was California, by the ever-cool duo, Wave. If you're curious as to how many people liked the song: the official music video on youtube has a whopping 4,161 views (well... 4,162. I just watched it). I should point out, my visions of California were much cooler than the ones in the video. Also, please pay no attention to the subject matter of the lyrics of both those songs. Tequila? Players? No no. Youth group and Bible Study. I digress.
And yet, I am happier for staying. My California dreams were fulfilled by things unexpected: Saskatchewan winters, dingy basement suites and rusted cars. I traded a bikini body I'd never have for experience in the arts, I let go of beach side parties for quiet nights at home. My social skills developed slowly, and I still can't flirt for the life of me (though thankfully, my boyfriend thinks I'm cute), but in the end and through it all, I learned who I was. In hindsight, California, or the idea I had of it, would not have been for me. Oh what grace is it that I didn't get what I wanted.
This is the tricky part of dreaming: it is vital, but we must remain open handed in the dream's revelation. How can we let go of our imagination's forming, and still progress? Good question. While I haven't totally figured out the balance, I do know one thing. What causes us to dream will be satisfied, if only with time, work, and patience. What I wanted out of my imagined life, I got, but not by living the life I imagined.