We got lost in our dreams
Our impossible dreams
It is the usual story
And when we woke at last
We found our day had passed
Our little time gone by
La Bohème is one of my most favourite songs of all time1, which is rather odd considering it has been released in 1965, the year my father was born.
I usually listen to it while driving with my girlfriend or being at home alone, enjoying the calm and loneliness. It is then that I daydream:
I am not much older than I am now. I have spent the last couple of years reinventing myself over and over again. I had a lot of different jobs, did a lot of different things, experienced a lot of different places. I learned a lot.
I worked as a barista learning how to prepare the perfect espresso and how to roast coffee beans.
I worked for a magazine publisher learning what paper to choose, how to set type and what it feels like to create something physical.
I worked as a cook learning the true meaning of food and how to combine ingredients.
I traveled to different countries learning the languages and discovering different cultures.
I did a lot of different things, but never settled for one place. I never stayed a the same place for more than half a year. There were just too many things to do. And of course I wrote about everything.
After a while I wake up again. The song has ended, so did my dream. I am back in reality. I am still a struggling writer, still trying to make a living, still discovering who I am.
The English version of La Bohème is somehow darker than the French version: In this version we wake up and realize that we wasted our time chasing “impossible dreams”. Time had gone by and our days are passed; a rather depressing thought.
I understand it differently though. We only waste our time by getting lost in our dreams if that is all we do. It is not enough to just dream, we should work hard to make them happen. If we don’t, the dreams will stay impossible. We will miss our chance and regret it later on.
I know that I won’t. I will work hard to reach this vision of mine. I will fight and struggle and start over again and fight and struggle and start over again. Until the dream isn’t impossible anymore.
To end this, I’d like to quote Shonda Rhimes:
Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams — fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them — it’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change. So… ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.
Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just do.