I’m not one to speak on my dreams, out loud for others to hear, to weigh in on and I guess shoot down. I have a very real fear of being laughed at for the things I want to accomplish, because I live in a world that doesn’t favour dreams.
I live in a world where dreams are currency; traded away for comfort and survival.
I live in a world where dreams don’t survive; they don’t see the light of day and are most likely to haunt you than inspire you.
So for the longest time, I remained silent.
I allowed my dreams to stew, bake and bubble and to some extent ferment.
I was afraid.
If nobody knew what I wanted, what I dreamed of, then nobody could recognise my failures. To speak it is to give it power; power to inspire you or power to break you, I wasn’t going to be broken. I’ve stood by and watched family members use dreams to crush someone’s spirit, and I was never going to become one of those people.
So I remained silent.
I allowed my secret dreams to be my own, I didn’t share them with a soul (maybe one or two), but I spoke very little of them.
I remained afraid.
But that’s not entirely true; I revealed them to hundreds, paraded them before gatekeepers and prayed they were enough, that I was enough.
Time and again I was proven right; my dreams were broken, battered, shot down, ignored and thrown aside, but I kept them. Sometimes I feel like they’re a delusion, an insistent poison that won’t stop until I’ve broken.
Sometimes I feel like there’s more to them. For them to have survived so long, to have grown and strengthened can only mean they’re worth something.
So I’ll keep them, I’ll commit them to flesh and have them dance in the light in the hope that someone will favour them and honour them.
I won’t be afraid anymore.
I can be naïve, the voices in my head would argue “insufferably so”, but I make no attempt at denying it. In my head, I have this idea that the world is a utopia where men respect women, children sing in the streets, sexy anaemic looking vampires will bite you to make you sexy too, and neighbours greet one another merrily without judgment or sass.
This I understand is a little too idealistic, but at the very least I expect to live in a world where a sweet smile isn’t such a tall ask or offer. But the world isn’t at all like that, and therein lies my dilemma and the reason behind my latest adventure.
I was duped into walking into a darkroom. Before imaginations run wild, yes I was aware that I was in a sex shop, no, I didn’t participate in anything sexual, and yes, had I known that the big yellow door led to a very seedy darkroom, I would have clicked my heels three times and made a run for it (there are things that should remain mysteries to me).
I feel like a disclaimer is in order: I’m a damn good friend, judge me not for the decisions I make, but for the fears I entertained. Beside my better judgement, I accompanied a seemingly nervous friend into a sex toy and video shop, because he was in desperate need of lube. He was planning on having a special night with his lady friend, I was there for moral support (great friend).
So we walk into the store and if you’ve ever been in one of those, you’ll understand when I say the penis to vagina ratio is way off. I will admit to being impressed by the variety and lifelike-ness of the toys, but wow, so many penises (and some were even moving on their own, what a trick). I was uncomfortable; I’m no prude, I’ve seen porn, but I don’t actively look for it (I have a very awkward relationship with sexy things, this will need to be unpacked at a later date).
So we walk in, he buys the lube and I’m basically caving in on myself because I’m terrified someone will recognise me or there are cameras somewhere capturing my foray into the dark side. He then turns to me (I should have known something was amiss, he had that look in his eyes) and suggested we look for the “industrial stuff”. I had no idea what on earth he meant (I’m no lube connoisseur), so I shrugged and followed him past the big yellow door.