Privilege has been on my mind a lot lately. Right now, I am sitting in my car, taking a driving break on my road trip from Massachusetts to California. This road trip is taking place because I landed a dream job. I will be the newest member of a team of music therapists working with children that have autism in San Diego. So much of that still seems like a dream to me. A dream that I didn’t have until recently.
Growing up we always focused on the basics: milk in the fridge, enough sets of clothes to get through a week of school, completing our chores and contributions to the household, and making sure we got enough fresh air while playing outside after homework. That was it. My dreams then consisted of making it to the first chair of my High School Band (which I did BTW). I used the practice rooms at school, playing scales on my rent-to-buy flute every day while I let my imagination go as far as it could. It had never occurred to me, even in adulthood, that moving to a place most people go to for vacation and using music to help children communicate was even a possibility, never mind a possibility for me. It just didn’t compute.
Between the two of us, my partner is the dreamer. He dreams BIG, telling me about our future life where I’m running my own business and we are making lots of money while living in Hawaii. I have no idea where he gets these ideas from. Dreaming for me takes practice. It takes clearing my mind and sitting in front of the blank canvas, until my heart opens, and images begin to appear. This is when he mentioned dreaming privilege. His mind isn’t clouded with whether his career will bring him enough income, whether he is good enough to beat out his competitors, or whether he is competent enough to maintain a killer career.
This is all space that is freed in his dreaming mind, so it can go wild with possibility. His privilege comes from the life those before him set up so that he can live in comfort, giving him plenty of room to dream.
For me, my dreaming comes most easily from looking at what I have already accomplished. I have earned four degrees, so sure; I can see myself earning a PhD. I have negotiated my highest salary to date, so yes; I can see myself making more one day. I’m still working on the living in Hawaii dream, but I’m not far off now that I’m headed to San Diego. Now it’s time to exercise my earned privilege and take it a step further, like dreaming about an angel investor that wants to fund my healing arts center. How about finding a dream home or building a dream home! This is the kind of practice I’m talking about. Now I’m curious. What do you dream about?