Looking for a dream?
I’ve learned to keep one close.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
At four or five, I probably told you I wanted to play the piano. I had never heard the word pianist.
Somewhere around middle school, I wanted to be a doctor. Until my baby sister fell when I was left babysitting my younger siblings. Crimson blood gushed out of her mouth. She only bit her lip. I grabbed ice and a cloth and handled the situation with lots of hugs and comfort.
However, I fell apart when my mother walked through the door. I would not become a pediatrician.
What do I want to be when I grow up?
I’m still answering this question. Not because I’m uncertain or wandering through life. Instead, I learned the best life comes from constantly growing, and expanding our view of ourselves and the world. I keep dreaming of what is possible.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Langston Hughes’ words keep me dreaming.
The New Year seems to inspire reflection and dreams for the future. In the past week, I’ve read several articles with prompts and questions to consider as you dream, but my favorite came from Suleika Jaouad who suggests making five lists.
1. What in the last year are you proud of?
2. What did this year leave you yearning for?
3. What’s causing you anxiety?
4. What resources, skills, and practices can you rely on in the coming year?
5. What are your wildest, most harebrained ideas and dreams?
Dreams remain only that, a whisper, a dust mote floating in the air if we don’t take the next step. If you are like me and most people, how to get to that dream becomes the challenge.
Out of all the books I’ve read, webinars I’ve watched, and classes I’ve taken, one piece of advice stands out. Take the next step, do that.
If I want to write more, my next step might be simply to open my journal or a Word doc. That step leads me to another step. Write the first word, the first sentence, the first paragraph.
Thinking about each step opens the door to action. Writing them down creates a road map.
Dream. Take the next step—marvel at the possibilities.
Now—catch the fleeting seconds. They are like shadows—only here a slender moment of time, gone forever.
Charlie Parker poses the question, “What should I do with my life?” He notes the difference between how children and adults respond to “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old,
they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
— Gabriel García Márquez
What are your dreams? I have resolved to renew my commitment to what brings me the most joy. Not everything I do will change the world. But can I make a difference to one?
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