mama, you taught me to do the right things, so now you have to let your baby fly.

The first time I heard this song, Mama’s Song by Carrie Underwood, I got the chills.  How does she do it?  How do her songs always find a way of hitting the nail on the head, with respect to my life circumstances?  For all you non-country music fans (or pop-country, whichever you see it as), you can roll your eyes but I’m just speaking the truth.  Yesterday I watched her new video for the song and the chills now turned to tears.  I teared up.   And I’m not what the real reason was…

…and I just watched it again and still not certain.  Let’s try a multiple choice question here, okay?  (Like you have a choice.) 

A) “As you watch me walk down to my future, I hope tears of joy are in your eyes”- I miss my mom. I miss my dad.  I miss my brother.  I miss home.             B) “And he is good, so good”- Makes me think of a certain guy that I held onto for a long time.  Can I officially move on?            C) “He makes promises he keeps, no he’s never go to leave.  So don’t worry about me.”– Makes me wonder, with hope, if that’s ever going to happen to me…and when.             D) “And when I watch my baby grow up, I’ll only want what’s best for her and I hope she’ll find the answer to my prayers.”– Will I ever be a mom?             E) All of the above.

(I called my mom.  No answer, and I decided not to leave a rambling message nor trying reaching her on her cell.)

It’s been a long day so please bear with me.  Last night I had one of those frustrating nights when you have to wake up really early and you cannot fall asleep.  My alarm went off at 4 today…yes 4 AM…on a Saturday and I trekked off to the suburbs via the lovely trains & buses of Chicago.  About two hours after leaving my apartment I arrived at my destination: The Brookfield Zoo for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Stride & Ride (as a Make-A-Wish volunteer).  Another great event that I was fortunate to be a part of.  The kids & families are amazing and inspirational to me., reminding me how important this field of work is to me.  Secondly, the Brookfield Zoo is gorgeous!  I cannot wait to go back and spend an entire day there.  *If you’re ever in Chicago, definitely take a trip there (via the Metra) as well as the Lincoln Park Zoo.  (Note: The LPZ is free admission.)

Every time I attend an event like this I am overwhelmed with emotions, similar to the ones that the Carrie Underwood song brings on.  Questions run around my mind:  Why do I feel so alive in this environment?  Why does it come so naturally to me?  Will I ever find a job that lets me do this all the time?  Is this what I’m ‘meant to be’?  How adorable are these kids!!?  Will I ever have kids?  Will I ever get married?  Will I ever find someone to love me?  Will I ever let someone?   Will I ever truly love myself?

Here’s the thing about dreamers:  There is always a dream to be dreamt.  Disappointment may decrease the scale of some dreams, but dreamers will never stop dreaming.  I cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t dreaming.  Ever since I was a little girl, my imagination was always running wild.  Sure those dreams begin with Cinderella stories and impractical fantasies, but soon your mind begins envisioning (more) achievable possibilities.  Before you know it, you’re gaining independence by saying goodbye to your parents (until holiday break) and adventuring off into the world of the unknown.  From that point on, life will never been the same again. 

Dreamers cannot ignore their dreams- trust me, I’ve tried.  I’ll be honest here and say that I wish I didn’t dream so much.  I wish I really could just move back to Pittsburgh- be closer to my family- and be happy.  When I think about it, really thinking about it, I know I’d just be giving up and I wouldn’t be happy.  So I keep dreaming.  Dreaming of the happiness that I’ve been told exists and staying as optimistic as possible in a world of haters and cynics.  A world that can crush our childhood dreams in a matter of seconds over something as meaningless as an email.  Knowing that could easily destroy a dreamer, make her stop dreaming…but a dreamer will still dream.  We dream because our mothers taught us to believe in our dreams.  To fight for we believe in.  To believe that anything is possible if we dream it. 

I’ve watched that video three times now and each time I think- Carrie Underwood’s mother must be so proud of her.  Not because she’s successful for her music & celebrity, but for the grace and beauty she possesses.  For taking changes and going after her dreams.  All a mother wants is for her daughter to be happy and  the daughter wants to make her mom proud.  So to my mom and all the mothers out there, as we explore the world and chase after our dreams, please remember that we carry you with us everywhere we go.  It is because of your love, encouragement, and support that we have dreams to go after in the first place.

Don’t Forget to Remember Me- Carrie Underwood

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