At some point in the “grief process” (I still hate that term) I have to believe it’s normal (or maybe a better word is common) to reassess what you are doing with your life. I know after Mom died in December I did a lot of that, and now again, after Maddie’s death I find myself here again. I wrote a poem today…”Mistral Wind”. It speaks about so many dreams I lost over the years. Did you know that my college plans were to major in French and minor in music? I love everything French. I took four years in high school along with a token year of Spanish. I wanted to attend Heidelberg College in Tiffin. At the time they had an excellent music program. The problem was that I didn’t know I could. National Honor Society – and I didn’t know I could. I was never told what I could do. I only knew what I thought I couldn’t do.
I’m not going to spend this time playing the blame game because the truth is…it just doesn’t matter. We all do the best we know how. What I do want to talk about though are second chances. We have a second chance every single day. We just have to grab it. I know that at 55 years of age, I am not going to teach French the way I dreamed I would when I was young. I also know that it’s too late to be a good singer or musician. But I still have a second chance. Maybe not at those specific dreams, but I can reshape them into dreams that have validity and potential. Dreams that can be fulfilling to me now. I want to stress though, that you never let anyone else decide if your dream needs to be reshaped..that is for you alone to determine.
So how did I reshape these dreams? Well…one thing I do know about myself is that I never want to quit learning. I’ve always known that about myself, and that’s partly why I read so much, even though it’s been hard to focus since Mom died. But the music and the French? Well…I’ve been fortunate and went to Paris and Bordeaux a couple of times, so I have been able to experience a small amount of France. But…I love the language. I’ve decided that this fall I am enrolling in the Alliance Francaise de Toledo to brush up on the conversational language. It’s better than studying it through CDs or books because you are actually experiencing conversation with others…human contact!
As far as the music goes…I have been rekindling my love of the piano. I am self taught so there is much to be desired technically, but, for many years I didn’t play. I allowed other things to take over in life that were not musical. Then in the mid to late 90s I started writing songs. They were very cathartic. I recorded them and still listen to them at times when I need a boost. They are not professional…they are not technically good…but they’re me in all of my imperfection…and that’s okay. I do know that a lot of my family and friends have been comforted by some of the songs and that’s the most I could ask for. They cover issues ranging from faith to abuse to death to healing and more. And besides…how many people can say they’ve written songs and recorded them? Now there’s a dream! 😉
After this “era” 😉 came another lapse. Life can get in the way sometimes, but I’m in a position now to take the bull by the horns so that’s exactly what I’m doing! I’ve been spending a lot of time at the piano again…trying to regain some of what I lost and learn some of what I never knew. This is strictly for my own enjoyment because I’ve decided I’m worth it! I also started taking violin lessons a few weeks ago…another dream I’d had. Again…I’ll never be a virtuoso but I can still enjoy for myself and I’m having a blast.
So I guess my tidbit of wisdom tonight would be never stop believing in dreams and especially in yourself. It’s never too late to start believing in yourself. I truly believe that no matter where you are in life, no matter what age you are, your dreams are valid and you can reach them with a little faith in YOU!

Ciao Amici!