When I moved into my new apartment, one of my girlfriends was excited to learn it was a loft. “Girl, you are living the dream,” she said as she swiped through photos on my iPhone.
Soon after, another girlfriend confided that she had always dreamed of living in a loft when she was younger. So had I—but it was a part of the dream I had forgotten.
I remembered about a year ago during a stroll with my mother along the river of her small city. She pointed out a building that looked like an old warehouse converted into an apartment building with huge windows. It reminded me of something I would expect to see in New York City. It looked unique, modern, edgy. It seemed like the kind of place that was probably home to a few artists, writers, and musicians.
As a teenager, I often dreamt of how my 20s would be. I imagined myself a black Carrie Bradshaw traipsing around New York City. There would be fashion, romance, and writing. Or maybe I’d be more of a Maxine Shaw – successful attorney dressed in boss suits and unwavering confidence. Regardless of whether my life resembled Sex and the City or Living Single, a big, open loft seemed like the type of place I would call home.
But does life ever unfold the way we envisioned it as a child? In reality, D.C. was plenty urban for me. And it was easy to settle into the stability of a government career and the modesty of suburban living. As the years passed by, I completely forgot about my childhood dream.
When I remembered on that random winter walk, I didn’t expect anything to come of it. Yet months later, I had an opportunity to do something about it. I needed to move and wasn’t ready to commit to home ownership again—but I also knew that if I had to move into yet another apartment, I didn’t want it to be the same cookie-cutter style place of my 20s. So, I went back to the dream I once had for that time period; I simply typed “loft” into the Google search bar.
A couple of decades behind schedule and a few states south of the Big Apple, I’m settled into my loft. It’s unique, it’s artsy, it’s giving ‘city’ in the middle of suburbia, and it has the skylight I always dreamt of but never thought I would have. It’s also, surprisingly, the perfect fit for my current life. If everything had gone to plan, this floor plan would not have worked; where would I put a husband and children in this big space without walls?
I’m thankful to see this forgotten dream come to pass. Obviously I’d be fine living anywhere, but this space is a needed reminder that it’s never too late. There are things I imagined for my life long before practicality settled in like achy knees. Those things may now feel out of reach or may have slipped my mind altogether. But that doesn’t mean that they are no longer possible.
Maybe on a seemingly random day, any one of my forgotten dreams will flash across my mind like a classic movie worth revisiting. Maybe I’ll abandon my preconceived notions of how life should have gone and when certain things should have happened. Maybe I’ll seize the opportunity as life presents it and gratefully remind myself, “Girl, you are living the dream.”
What abandoned dreams still cross your mind on occasion? What’s stopping you from revisiting them? Have you considered there’s still time to live the dream?