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Small Towns, Big Dreams

I am listening to "Life Happened" by Tammy Cochran. The song has had a big impact on me.

You see, I have a habit of living in my head...

I think I am bad at being pragmatic and from my experience people who are pragmatic do lead happier lives. Satisfying yourself with small victories and setting realistic goals is a part of getting by in this world I guess.

Lots of times though I still want to chase my dreams and I keep thinking that everyday I put it off is one more day that I concede defeat. There has to be a better way to think of it, but I haven't found it yet.

This song is very upbeat about it all, but sometimes I find it hard to be. I am currently young enough to try my hand at something else, but I am a fraidy cat and now I have a husband and a house and a bunch of things I wouldn't want to give up for a shot at something that probably wouldn't work out anyway.

Does anyone else ever feel like this? Am I living in my head too much? Am I just being whiny and unrealistic? What if I really have talent that is going to waste?

I think it is a function of growing up in a small town... While I was never popular or athletic I was the drama queen in high school and everyone knew me because of drama class and the plays. I was smart, but most people knew me because I was the lead in just about everything (Juliet, Lady MacBeth, Madame Popov, etc.). I always wanted to try, well, you know acting (among other things).

I have a friend whose husband is the same way. He started out as a theatre major and when he decided to become a history major instead his parents refused to pay for school, they were convinced he could be a star. Now he has friends who have moved to the West Coast to try their luck and other friends who have traveled abroad etc. People who, in short, aren't afraid to chase their dreams. Andy and I constantly lament our own fate when we hear their stories, while my friend chides us both for not doing something more proactive about our dreams.

Here are the lyrics if you're interested:

From the time she was thirteen
Julie Thompson had a dream
That someday she would see her name in lights
And after every high school play
The grown-ups all would say
That Julie's future sure was looking bright

Well I saw her selling videos
At a store in Eastland Mall
I said why aren't you in Hollywood
Taking casting calls
She handed me my change
And started laughing

And said...Life Happened
Me and Bobby Chaplain fell in love
Daddy passed away and the babies came
And drama school was just too much
Now there's Little League and mouths to feed
And I direct the kindergarden christmas pageant
Life happened

Curtis had an old Chevelle
The cops knew that car well
He never lost a race on Windy Hollow road
By the time he turned eighteen
He was a Georgia dirt track king
Proudly sponsored by the local Texaco
I bumped into him at Murphy's bar
And he ordered us a round
I said why aren't you in Rockingham
Chasing Gordon down
He killed his drink
And tore the corners off his napkin

And said...Life happened
I was driving home from Athens
Late one night
A trucker fell asleep and swamped paint with me
Said I rolled that 'velle at least five times
Now I thank my stars and I sell used cars
And I teach drivers education at St. Catherine's
Yeah life happened

I saw the rest of my old friends
At our reunion at the Holiday Inn
And it seemed like it was only yesterday
Standing in the gym in our cap and gown
Full of wonderlust and glory bound
We set out to chase our dreams on wings of passion
But somewhere along the way we got distracted

Life happened
Our clothes went out of fashion with our songs
We started families and bought SUV's
Became stepdads and soccer moms
I finally realized we turned alright
And we spent the night just catching up and dancing
And life happened



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2004 11:07 pm (UTC)
First of all, I hate you for getting to see the Valentine's fic before the rest of us poor schmoes.

Second, however, I completely understand where you are coming from. It sounds like we were eerily similar in High School. I feel, a lot of times, like I sort of let life go by on inertia, choosing the "safest" path- the path that I KNOW will work out, rather than taking a risk with higher potential payoffs. That is DEFINITELY how I ended up in law school, and probably why I married my husband too. While I don't think that it is my only problem (I also have a hell of a Madame Bovary complex), I think that I live too much in the future (and yes, I DO here Yoda talking to Luke every time I think things like that :P).

A line from a movie that really struck me was in "You've Got Mail" where Meg Ryan's character says "So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? "


-Goes to listen to Enya and feel even older.
Feb. 14th, 2004 11:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you sweetie!

That is just what I needed -- someone to tell me I am not the only one who ever feels this way.

About the husband thing, me too! (and I totally love my husband don't get me wrong, but sometimes I wonder if I didn't settle even just a little, because I have a tendency to do that,not because of my husband).

Anyway, thanks for letting me know I am not alone...

Oh and NA NANNY BOO BOO, I get to see the Valentines fic before you do! (just kidding! I might send you snippets if you are on AIM, and by the way what are you doing up at this hour? damn I am old!)
Feb. 15th, 2004 08:15 am (UTC)
I feel that I live in my head alot, which is similar.

I guess as a Ph. D. student I am chasing some dreams,but they come at the risk of letting other ones go. If you look at your life, you will probably see things other than a theater career that you had wanted in life, and somewhere along the way, you choose those things?
Feb. 15th, 2004 04:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah and I realize that. There are lots of things I have accomplished in my life, but so much more I want to do!!! Classic overacheiver... oh well. I really do need to learn to be more satisified with myself.
Feb. 15th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm right there with you. In my Senior yearbook for what do you want to do in life, I said 'Be a Best Selling Author'~ Well here I am almost 34 been married 13 years and I look at people's feet all day. I do love my family and really enjoy my job, but IT will always be out there. What I could have done or been.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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