I don’t really look at dreams like others do…I don’t view dreams as something to wish for but something to work for. The funny thing about dreams is they change. I used to dream of this life where I loved my job, had a family who loved and supported me, and that I was truly happy.
My dreams haven’t changed much but I realize now that you can not force things. My family is not really a family anymore. I’m still working for the same law firm but it’s not something I love. Am I happy? I’ve learned to be happy with life but I’ve noticed that I’ve changed the way I’m happy.
The changes I’ve made (some good and some not so good) has become a personal project of mine. I started surrounding myself with people who make me smile (good), buying stuff I don’t need (not so good), cleaning out and donating things I don’t use (good), trying to be remember what is important (really really good), learning how to be an overall good person (good), and sometimes failing (bad).
One major change I’ve made is I’ve stopped drinking except for once in a while. Now, I wasn’t what I would classify as someone who drank a lot — I’d have two maybe three beers a night, but something happened that changed my view on drinking.
Before I get in to what happened, I should say my family is divided into two types: the drinkers and the non-drinkers. The non-drinkers are my brothers and their wives. One brother won’t touch a drop of alcohol and the other doesn’t drink but one in a while (maybe once a year). The drinkers are my dad (who is closer to an alcoholic than not), my sister (active drinker — closer to me most days but can sometimes act like my dad), and me (before this incident).
My sister drank too much at my dad’s wedding and nearly killed herself. Three things that changed me: 1. We were sharing a room and I saved her life 2. She said very hurtful things to me that night that I know she didn’t mean but some of it is true 3. She acts like nothing happened. My sister is doing well and living her life as if nothing ever happened. However the course of the night forever changed the way I saw my family and the two sides.
I’ve stopped drinking outside of when I hang out with friends which is once a week and I’ve limited it to one — two with food. As you probably could guess, this has changed the family dynamic quite a bit. My brothers finally see the dad I’ve come to know with her in his life. My sister is no longer who I thought she was — she has decided to pretend it didn’t happen and basically is acting like she didn’t hurt anyone.
It scared me – I had been drinking all day (with water and food). It could have been me. I know my sister is an adult and she is old enough to make her own choices. For me, I don’t ever want to be in that position again. So, I’m trying to learn how to be this person without being judgmental — it is hard and it is a struggle I face every day.
So, I’ve changed my dreams a bit – I want to be happy, but no at the cost of others. If I have the love and support of people who care about me, family or not, I’ll be okay.