they battle

January 13, 2012

I am a dreamer stuck in a realist’s body and sometimes I’m a realist stuck in a dreamer’s body. It just depends on the day. Either side gets really enormous and frustrates the other side. My dreamer self is lately crushed under the weight of the real life daily grind. My realist self is fine with it, content even, and then the dreamer swims to the surface and begs for adventure while she also knows that adventure is right here, every day. I mean, life is never dull.

When I hear of people on Grand Adventures, selling off everything they own and traveling with their family in an RV, or moving to Haiti to help or moving across country or adopting, taking a risk, I come alive inside. The dreamer starts banging on my chest.

Then the realist grabs the dreamer’s fists and holds them to stop and shakes her head and says things like, are you kidding me? what about the dog or going to the doctor or what if the house won’t sell? And then she wags her realistic finger and asks the dreamer why she’s not just content already, resolved to stay in one place, at peace.

The dreamer goes hush okay fine hush but she never goes away and I know why. She’s not supposed to because we’re all made with adventure and desire strung from one side of our hearts to the other and the more we stifle it the more it says okay fine hush fine hush until we forget it’s there.

I don’t want to forget. I am happiest when my dreamer is pounding fists on my chest.

And anyway, Great Adventure with Great Responsibility may be crazy but so is a mortgage or a car payment or even a fence, you know? If you really stop to think about it, which of course, I do.

The dreamer is confusing because she changes her mind a lot and lately I realize she’s doing that to keep my attention. Just let me out one way or the other, lady. And the realist shakes her head again while hardly being able to put one foot in front of the other with the up all night fatigue and the exhaustion from the spinning of the days with small children. She laughs and says there’s always later and then the dreamer stomps and says, maybe not?!

The other day all three of us (ha) were looking at Pinterest.


We found this:

Then the realist put her head in her hands and started with BUT
and the dreamer said YES
and I agreed most with her.


{The realist would like you to know that I was interrupted 294 times while trying to type this as fast as I could. She’s laughing. She’s all, and how will you have time for dreams, silly lady? I’m trying to ignore her. Happy Friday.}


nicole January 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

I think this is a very hopeful post, overall. I like the idea of a dreamer and a realist inside and acknowledging that there is a time to listen to both voices. I hope your weekend is better than your week has been.
nicole recently posted..Just Write: What I Don’t Write

@maggiedammit January 13, 2012 at 9:19 am

Mortgages are highly overrated.

I often think about this, the way we just accept how life is supposed to go (school, marriage, house, dog, babies, retirement) without thinking, not unlike arriving home from work and not remembering the drive at all. On the other hand, the more I leave, the more I love my nest.

Always I like to remember that it’s not that I have no choices, it’s that I have a thousand.

Love you.

Sarah January 13, 2012 at 9:58 am

Very true, your words: The more I leave, the more I love my nest. I’m trying to find the balance between both places that brings me the most happiness.
Sarah recently posted..Please, Beyoncé, Let Us Help You!

Heather January 13, 2012 at 10:49 am

And my favorite thing about having a thousand choices is that Grace is on the other side of every single one.

I love coming back to my nest and I realize more and more that I love coming home to the birdies. I don’t really know that I mind at all which tree the nest is in. So to speak.


Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities January 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

Happy Friday to you, my friend. I love this post. Oh, and I can relate. More than you know. xox

Kelly @ Love Well January 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

My personality has two distinct sides too, so I totally relate to the concept of oneself interrupting and even arguing with oneself. Other people think I’m being funny or theoretical. Ummmm. OK. I’ll let them think that. (But I’m not just being funny or theoretical.)

That said, I’ve come to live at peace with my two sides always warring. In some seasons, it’s right for my adventurer to come out. I need to risk and to love large and to NOT worry about the laundry sometimes. But other times, I need to let the stable, responsible Kelly take over, because gosh dang it, I do need to worry about the laundry.

Get you, babe. Totally get you. (And the crazy side of me would like to come over and give you a big bear hug.)
Kelly @ Love Well recently posted..Where Have All the Men Gone?

Heather January 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

I’ll pretend all of us hugged. You and all your yous and me and all my mes :)

I don’t know that I’m at peace with the warring. Maybe I pay it too much mind. My brain is SO LOUD. I’m at peace (mostly) with the not always knowing what to do thing, though. To just stay in the day and roll along with what it holds. And when all “signs” seem to point to adventure, I just want to pay attention…to not shrink back in the realist’s fears.



Amanda January 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

My realist and dreamer are always fighting, too! I loved this post. I cling to the idea that we’ll have more time for dreams when our babies get bigger and don’t need so much of us, the realist. Someday they’ll be able to take care of lots of the real things like eating and pooping and we can dream a few more dreams. :)
Amanda recently posted..Too late for happiness…

Heather January 13, 2012 at 11:39 am

Yes. It’s so true. And I’m cool with some of my writing dreams, etc waiting…
Lately I’ve been thinking more about the adventures we can live while they’re still small because I believe we can live them together. It’s terrifying and a logistical nightmare in so many cases, but my ideas are still there, begging dreamer dreams :)

Cathy January 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm

You got me thinking. Often we think of the dreamer as the risk taker but you make a good point whether you intended to or not. Is it any less of an adventure, any less of a risk, to commit, to have responsibilities, to have obligations, to have these little creatures that and 100% dependent on you?
Cathy recently posted..growth

Sarah January 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I totally get this. I think these words could be mine most days.
But that quote from Pinterest? It’s perfect, I think.
Sarah recently posted..Hello, Monday

adriana willey January 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm

um, you just spoke my soul. i am starting as a counselor tomorrow morning which started as a dream before i had children and now that i have children and it’s here – really here – my realist side is screaming WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?! and then i read this. no, it doesn’t change how much i have to get done in a day or how many people are depending on me, but it does give me courage.

“she took a leap and built her wings on the way down”. may it be – for you and me both.
adriana willey recently posted..the calm before the next

Galit Breen January 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Oh my, yes.

That quote, that tug and pull, I know both so very well.
Galit Breen recently posted..Dinner Conversations

Kim January 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Oh yes, yes, yes. I SO know that battle. We have it often. And that quote? Um, yeah. THat is gold.
Kim recently posted..Gotta be Flexible.

Jessica January 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm

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Michelle January 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Oh, am I ever a dreamer. I have had this dream to sell everything and travel across Mexico, in an RV with my family – since, um forever.

This dream is so alive, so beautiful that every time I allow myself to see it, I can feel my wings sprouting from deep within my soul.

But my husband is the realist. So I stuff my dreams. :(

I keep working on him!

Lisa @ Heaven Sent January 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I love this, and I totally get it. My heart and head often do not agree. Most of the time, they get along, but their priorities are definitely different.
Lisa @ Heaven Sent recently posted..About Face

suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} January 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

this is sweet, and sister, i know. although, i think for me, it’s not so much the realism as lack of follow through, but YES, let dream and do and build wings on the way down. love that:)
suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} recently posted..homosexuality is(n’t) a sin | half-truths, hurt & the limits of language

Laura January 14, 2012 at 5:51 am

Do something different! You can build a nest ANYWHERE. This world is meant to be explored!!!

Laura January 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

Hi Heather. I’m an email subscriber/lurker, and I’m unlurking just to let you know that I completely, 100% identify with this post. Thank you so much for putting into words what I have never taken the time to try and put into words. Well said!

Tricia January 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Yes, yes, yes. Those battles happen in me all day long. Each needs to win a little and lose a little, I’m learning that is life. But I love the moments when I agree most with the dreamer – that is when I feel most alive.

Elizabeth January 14, 2012 at 10:10 pm

love this one, heather.
Elizabeth recently posted..Detour

Adventures In Babywearing January 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

We are so many pieces, so many all at once. There’s a print downstairs that I will have to come back and post here (too lazy to get up and go look at it right now!) but it goes with this quite nicely.


moosh in indy. January 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I have a very exciting dream in my heart and a way to make it happen, I just need to find the bridge between the two.
moosh in indy. recently posted..the second seven days.

tracy@sellabitmum January 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

The pull. Perfectly said.
tracy@sellabitmum recently posted..I Did Not Poop Alone Today….

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