As a young boy in Joypahar, I had two very special dreams; ride a yellow bus to school, and own a “Noddy” car.
I am certain, both dreams were connected with seeking some form of independence of being my own person and being on my own.
In the early 70s Bangladesh, yellow school bus service was not available; once, in the United States, I did ride a school bus and found it to be a jarring experience; uncomfortable seats and bullying kids were much more than any form of independence than I had bargained.
(The Classic Noddy Car: Enid Blyton Series)
The Noddy Car dream is more obvious. He was my favorite childhood character idol, who did good deeds and saved the world. Just after turning 40, I did buy a convertible, that looked very much like an adult version of the Noddy open hood car. And I loved every moment of owning and driving my Noddy Car around.
Consciously or not, we are shaped by our dreams, going new places, accomplishing things, and eventually, becoming who we are.
Dreams don’t have to be spectacular, world-changing or expensive, they just have to be dreams; something you desire, or think is worthy of pursuit.
I watch friends climb the K2 or run marathons, start businesses or bands, buy island properties, give all their best to a cause they believe in; all of this, pursuing a passion, changing the world or not.
Not all dreams are perfect, nor do they need to come true.
At a very young age, I dreamed of being like my Dad; wanted to wear a tie, and a suit to go to work – and to cocktail parties in the evenings. I did accomplish that dream – but soon thereafter, found ties and dress shirts to be “choking”, and prefer to go to work in jeans and a polo.
After traveling the world, having three “dream jobs”, living in “dream homes”, and owning “dream cars”, I ask someone recently, if I have the right to dream more. One may wonder, whether one has used up their dream quotient. But if one doesn’t have dreams, how do we move forward, if you have nothing that you crave for or look forward to?
Since my mother’s passing last year, I feel like I have become unanchored from my by birth land. I speak the language and look like them – but I don’t relate to the aspirations of my contemporaries. Except for a handful of childhood friends, and a few close family members, I don’t have the urge to assimilate to Dhaka. When I land back in the US and the immigration official says, “Welcome home, Mr. Mahmood” – I get chills.
Stepping into my fifties, I have started dreaming of anchoring again. Earlier, I have written about Anchoring in An Uncertain Sea. This Anchoring has a different feel to it.
Interesting, that the young boy, who once craved independence in a school bus or a convertible, now seeks his own tether.
Today, I crave that opportunity to launch a kayak for lunch towards that café down river, and to live close to loved ones, who accept me as family, and are there when dark clouds of difficulty surround me.
Being part of a bigger whole, seems to make more sense now.
(My future kayak launch: photo courtesy Toby Blades)
Recently, I have also been gifted the opportunity to write, what I want my Chapter Three to be. The children are grown up, and I am still healthy, and in an emotionally open place to carve out what I want to do for the third quarter of my life.
Some say, start your own business, or do something truly philanthropic, or get into CEO coaching (because your’e so good at it!)
I know whatever I step into, the most important thing is that, I will have fun along the way.
I thrive in collaboration, versus confrontation. I am most present, when there is creativity and “puzzle-problem-solving” involved. I have twenty-five years of experience in a variety of environments that are worth sharing to do something meaningful. I know, that new opportunity/dream will emerge when the time is right. Dreams are neither pushed, nor pulled.
I don’t want to ride a school bus, I want to get my (mental) convertible back.
In the meantime, the kayak awaits, the water beckons; let me feel the gentle breeze on my face, the sun on my back, the sound of the water slurping all around me.
This is good, for now.