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I had a massive revelation yesterday and it’s all thanks to Rapunzel.  Disney’s Rapunzel, that is.. or the movie Tangled to be absolutely correct.  I’m doing an exhibition late next year and was looking for some inspiration so decided to watch some of the (very) few Disney cartoons I haven’t yet seen. It just happened that as I was thinking of playing catch up with these movies,  Big W had all of them on sale, so I bought Tangled and wandered home to watch it.

It didn’t disappoint.  Disney never does.  Well never me anyway.  I’m a Disney tragic.  Anyway, I sat down to watch the movie and laughed in all the right places and maybe even a few of the wrong ones.  It was brilliant as expected.  But one part in it caused one of those blinding light bulb moments.  And all thanks to a simple cartoon.

You see, without doing any spoiler alerts (though I’m sure you’ve all seen it and it’s only me who’s a million years behind) Rapunzel has had a dream all her life and thanks to Flynn (the hero who isn’t a Prince) she gets to see her dream up close and personal.  Just before it’s about to take place she starts to get all emotional.  Flynn asks her what is wrong, this is her dream and he thought she’d be happy.  Her response brought me to tears. Her response? “I’ve been looking out a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what it might feel like when those lights rise in the sky.  What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?”  Talk about a smack in the face.

You see, that’s how I’ve lived my life.  Having the most incredible dreams but being afraid to see them come to life in case the reality doesn’t live up to the dream. So when the dream looks like it may come true, I find a way to sabotage it and then I can blame fate or destiny or a universe that hates me instead of my own fear.  So anyway, in the movie, Flynn says to her question about it not being everything she dreamed it would be, “It will be”.  And Rapunzel answers that with “And what if it is, then what will I do?”  The very rakish but clever Flynn says “Well that’s the good part I guess.  You get to find a new dream.”  Well, Duh!  How easy was that? And why didn’t I think of it?

As you’ll all know, one of my biggest dreams was to go to Ireland and I finally achieved it a few years ago.  I can remember feeling exactly like Rapunzel at that time.  I was on the ferry from Scotland to Ireland and I suddenly thought, Oh my God.  I’ve dreamed of this all of my life.  What if it’s not all I thought it would be.  What then?

Well if I’m honest, it wasn’t everything I thought it would be, but it was perfect.  It couldn’t possibly have lived up to the romance I had dreamed up in this sometimes over the top brain of mine.  In my head I was going to get there and everyone would know it was me from some past life experience.  I would somehow find my grandmother, reincarnated but the same and we’d fall into each others arms.   No that didn’t happen, but I felt at home and I felt welcome.  I saw the things I wanted to see and I walked the paths my grandmother had walked before me.  And that was enough.

It was only when I heard Rapunzel ask the same question I’ve been asking all my life that I recognised it.  I didn’t know I’d been asking it. I’ve had amazing dreams, incredible ideas, fantastic plans throughout my lifetime.  But every time I look like bringing something good into fruition, I manage to doubt my dream and I stuff up.  And it wasn’t until Rapunzel put it into words for me that I realised that’s what I was doing. I was allowing doubt and fear to creep in and make me run away from my dreams.  Yes doubt and fear are normal feelings but when they stop you from achieving the things you know are right for you, then they become disabling and have to be shut down.

I do believe in happily ever after.  I love fairy tales,happy endings and miracles.  I honestly believe in my heart that they can happen to everyone.  And having recognised a big part of myself in Rapunzel, I realised that my life can be every bit as wonderful as my dreams if I can let go of the fear.  I used to think it was fear of failure I ran from, then I thought maybe it was fear of success.  Now I know it’s just fear of reality not being exactly like the dream and that fear I think I can face. I have prior experience  and know that reality can be perfect while not being exactly like the dream.

I can’t tone the dreams down and nor would I want to.  I’ve finally started to embrace the way my brain works.  My dreams are visionary and not everyone is as blessed as I am to have them.  It’s turning them into reality that I have to learn to embrace now and I think I’ve turned a corner.  Watch this space… Oh and if you haven’t seen Tangled, it’s worth it!

Happy Dreaming…Livvy xxx

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