I was talking with a friend the other day about dreams. Not sleepy dreams, but hopes, desires, etc. It is her desire, her dream, to someday write something, show something in the commonality and humanity of people's wishes for themselves. A worthy and interesting idea, I thought, and we talked further about how that might play out, how you would take that information and make broader connections from it beyond the plainly personal.

Because I am tangential like a mental Mexican Jumping Bean, I got to thinking about how people are always thinking ahead about to things they want, things they want to accomplish or survive or change. What always comes into the equation of hope is the reality of Settling. Obviously, nobody gets everything they want, and nobody should. I say that not because I necessarily can justify that statement completely. Maybe there is someone who should get absolutely everything they want because they are deserving and not a huge bag of waste products. I say it because I think I should say it, that it is common sense to think that having everything you desire makes you lazy and spoiled, complacent and entitled. Probably. But what if you are some kind of unknown Catholic saint and all you hope for is world peace, blankets for the poor, and a Snickers bar? Hmm? If the saint got everything, would he or she become a jerk? Would that person all of sudden want a fancy and unusually-flavored cheesecake from some precious bakery in Manhattan? Or just maybe want to start a soup kitchen for eyeless orphans? I don't know.

See what I mean about the Mexican Jumping Bean thing?

Settling. Making do. Dealing with what ya got. For whatever reason, those words irritate me somehow. They should not. Settling and dealing is just the way things are; sometimes this is the only option, at least for awhile. I guess I just think that settling, the whole idea of taking less than you wanted, is a soul-sucking way of life, and in so many cases is done way too quickly and for all the wrong reasons. People stop listening to their gut, they go for whatever they think the world expects of them, and they stop looking for their dreams. This is tragic to me, truly tragic. I cannot imagine going through life without at least a few of your dreams becoming reality.

Of course, there is that reality line for everyone. If you are the pallid and jiggly 35-year-old Bruno Basement playing Halo3 and pwning 11-year-olds on the internet all night after work, your idea that you will leave the basement for no less than Heidi Klum because that is your standard, well, get a mini-fridge in the basement, I say. Bruno ain't getting Heidi, but even for him, if he tidied up and was able to have an outdoor conversation that was not completely peppered with warfare terms, he might find a very acceptable woman to hang out with. She may not be a supermodel -- well, ok, she WILL NOT be one -- but she might have the prettiest eyes and a decent butt and would think gaming is way cool and could make killer nachos.

Bruno misses out. Stupid, stupid Bruno.

It is a tough time to think about career and monetary dreams. For now, many people will have to settle, hang in there with what they have until other kinds of opportunities can arise from this economic sinkhole. But it is important to still be thinking about what you would like, and how you want to get there, whether it is more schooling, an entire change of career, maybe even finding a way to drink coffee all day and write words. Heh. I am just so damn passionate about people trying to live up to what they can do, what is in them, the best of what they bring to the planet. Imagine if more people decided that settling was maybe not their bag, and they began to find better fits for themselves in the world. Everything would change. It is quite a powerful thing.

It is a difficult line to walk, between doing what you have to do and doing what you want to do, not to mention the idea of doing what you need to do. Do most people even know themselves well enough to know what they need, and what they can do?

DO NOT SETTLE until you know in your heart you have found the right place. Be honest. Be brave. Go forth and stuff. Keep trying. I will cheerlead for you all the way.