What happened to them? Where did those once youthful and exuberant conduits taking us beyond the monotony of the present disappear to? When did we allow for “practicality” and “being real”, of “growing up” and “becoming responsible” to usurp the dreams of our youth? Did we misjudge, misunderstand and misapply the principles first taught, and confuse the two concepts – of having a “realistic viewpoint” and abandoning all dreams and hopeful fantasies?
The two are not mutually exclusive; one can still work upon one’s dreams, yet go about the work-a-day world to make a living and pursue a career. Ah, but then, life intervenes and interrupts, doesn’t it? Is that why children are delayed, trips are cancelled and i-phones are kept in sacrosanct altars beneath the altered photographs of our imagined pasts? Is the procrastination invited, the delayed life intruded upon and the project-time of 5-year plans extended, precisely because if we keep pushing beyond and giving ourselves excuses for inaction, there will one day come a time when we will admit that it is too late?
Usurping dreams is the insidious encroachment of cynicism shadowing our once promising beginnings, and the pendulum that allows for the heavy turn when clocks no longer run, thoughts become stale and creativity is suddenly disposed of, then the stench of human decay begins to set in, and we slowly die a death we once mourned in the youthful hope of our former times.
Usurping dreams is like the virus that gnaws away at the flesh of joy; usurping dreams is like the broken cane that once held the weight of an old man’s hand and allowed for ambulation, and no matter how many time you tape it together or glue the fissure, the weakest point of the break never quite heals; and usurping dreams is like the Book of Plans once gathered, then put aside into the cellar of one’s forgotten memories, only to remain in haunting whispers, always calling, never being heard but in the darkness where fears are touched and enlivened by the sunlight never quite seen for want of bringing back those youthful memories of exuberant smiles and unselfish shouts of pure happiness.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, the question is: Did the career do it; did the medical condition do it; or is there still hope beyond the medical condition and the career?
Preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, has now become a necessity. The only real question remaining is whether the same pause which allowed for usurping of dreams those many years ago is the identical weakness of groundless fears that prevents you from taking that next step into a still-hopeful future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire