Sentimental Dreams

Sentimental: expressive of tender emotions and feelings, such as love, pity, or nostalgia.

I’ve always understood this word to mean a person who values memories more than most and so does many things to capture and keep them. To remember all experiences, good and bad, in as much detail as possible to capture. I am a sentimental person.

Up until recently, this has been inexplicitly linked with my fear of letting go and forgetting. In a way it’s been about being able to easily transport myself to another happier time-a form of escapism? I don’t know.

But it hit me hard in an unusual way that time is constantly moving forward. And we never go back.

It hit me hard that people are quite temporary in our lives and only the ones who were really meant to be there will fight to remain.  That life won’t remain as sweet and fruitful as it is now in our abundance of youthful vigour, energy and focus. That every experience should be remembered and valued but at the same time we move on with the flow of time and relationships in our lives.

In realising how short life is, I was suddenly shocked into realising that the things that mattered to us the most now like people’s approval and perfect grades and the right outfit really don’t matter much in the big picture. I’ve been branded with the recurring image of me at the last months of my life looking back. When I am 90 I want to look back and not wish that I’d done more with my life because I did everything I wanted to do without regret or fear. I don’t want to hold back. I want to live a life where I showed my friends my appreciation and gratitude whilst they were alive so that when they die I can cry in celebration of their life and not regret. To be able to smile at all my blunders and give wisdom from a place of experience. To not be bitter, sour or envious of anyone’s youth or life because I lived mine to the fullest.

We are trailed into living this sensible acceptable life when in actuality (unless you believe wholeheartedly in a religion that teaches otherwise) it can become a constraint on ourselves to the point where we suddenly wake up 40 and wonder where the years have gone and what happened to your teenage dreams. What is the point in living a “pure” and adequate life if you do not do so happily? If you believe there is a God that will weigh your life and actions which is why you continue to refrain from, may I ask these questions? Would a God of absolute love appreciate your authentic happiness or shallow purity? Is it better to live a little off the mark of a good person and have joy or follow the straight and narrow only just satisfied? If there was no God or a judgement day, how would your life differ? What if God was not anything as how humans perceive him and was okay with however you lived your life? Compare the type of life you would live with the one you are living/planning to live. We are not all able to live the life set up in the Holy Books and dying trying to doesn’t appeal to much to me anymore especially in the wake of these questions.

I understand that the advice given is to prevent heartache and devastating permanent consequences on life. I understand that following the essence of this article could easily lead to a really fruitless, pleasure-seeking dangerous life-style. But our pursuit of happiness must be balanced with self-control, a bit of reason and foresight. Obviously, we must consider the need to be practical and realistic with life. Half of living your dream is working towards it. Like I said, we need tools and the knowledge to use them. But don’t let yourself be dragged into using them to build someone else’s dream. Life is about finding a balance between self-control and indulgence that leads to continual fulfilling joy.

I think there is an actual reason why we dream the most as kids. Not only does society allow our imagination to run wild, but it can literally set us up for life. Don’t you ever feel so happy when you’re doing something completely childish and spontaneous in a way that parallels a happy childhood memory? Using the tools we gain in adulthood we are meant to (for the most part) combine them with our childhood dreams and make a life so full of joy and rich with experience that it is literally like being a child only better. Our infantile daydreams can serve a purpose; to pull us like a magnet through a bleak world of uncertainty and sorrow towards something very pure and beautiful.  This is the way to live forever; let your soul be young and free.

With this in my mind I said to myself, to hell with other people’s disapproving looks and snickers of snobbish disbelief. To hell with being called eccentric, outlandish, foolish, childish and naïve. To hell with the friends who are too scared to be crazy with you. We have one life and I am determined to lift my head high and live it. 

You only live once after all.


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