Today I’ve been reading a lot about taking chances and following your dreams. Both of which, I fully support. But, as I was sitting here trying to think of what my dreams are, and what they have been, I realized something. Dreams, or callings, or whatever you want to name them, are not as single sided as they sound. They change, evolve and sometimes pop up out of nowhere. Sometimes your heart can be dreaming about something for years before your head gets caught up with the program. Then, when an opportunity comes along, it’s like, “WHAM!”
Sometimes, dreams smack us in the face.
My current prognosis for my life is that I knew myself better as a 10 year old than I do now. Why? Because when I was 10 I didn’t care what other people thought of me. I tried new things because I wanted to, and pursued them because that’s what felt right. I climbed trees and pondered life, wrote poetry, made forts and conducted random science experiments, because that’s what I wanted to do with my time. I was completely free of the restrictions of having to think whether climbing a tree was beneficial to my 401K, or if blowing things up in the kitchen would yield higher profit margins.
But, as adults, how often do we get that option? In college you take classes because, if you don’t, you’re not going to graduate (not because you can’t live without Molecular Biology). In the career world you work places because they offer you medical benefits and vacation time. Rarely is it because it’s some place you’ve wanted to work your whole life (although, of course, there are exceptions). And when you have kids, you get up at 5am every morning to get them ready for school, not because you want to, but because it’s your responsibility to as a parent.
With all these responsibilities floating around, it can easily feel like there isn’t room for dreams. When do those fit in? Between 3-5am? On the first and third Wednesday of every month?
But here’s a challenge that I give myself. When I have a rare moment of silence, no kids running around screaming at the top of their lungs, or responsibilities piling up by the second. I sit there and I ask God to remind me of the dreams he has fulfilled.
What were the things that I thought I’d never be able to do, and then did anyway?
When I look back, it reminds me of all the times I stood, shaking my head, thinking, “That’s impossible.” All the times I tried crunching numbers that seemed impossible to come out even, but then did. Never, for one moment, have I lacked the guiding hand of my Father, and the comforting whisper to try. And always, without fail, when I start to walk forward, the pieces come together seamlessly.
My favorite part about following your dreams and ambitions is that it starts what I like to call, Dream Dominoes. People inspire people. Stories inspire stories. When we step out of our comfort zones we empower others to do the same.
It always blows my mind when I take a step into an unknown place I feel called to and, all of the sudden, others start telling me about how they’ve decided to pursue things in their own lives as a result. It makes you wonder, what if changing the world is as simple as taking a chance on the things your heart beats for?
We never know the impact our own lives can have, until we step away from the comfortable and start paving our own paths. To stay safe may feel comfortable, but that doesn’t guarantee that the comfortable is safe.
My challenge for you, today, is to grab a notebook and write down three things you dream about having happen in your future. But, FIRST, write down three things that have happened in your past. Dreams that you never thought could turn into realities, but then did. It doesn’t matter if they turned out like you thought they would, or went according to plan, just that they happened.
Here are mine:
P A S T:
- I travelled farther than anyone else in my family. When I went to India I had no idea how I would scrape together $2,500 for the trip but, in the end, I had the exact amount of money I needed in my bank account.
- I wanted to intern with Krochet Kids International more than anything in the world. For two years I hoped and prayed that I would get an opportunity to work for such an awesome organization, and then I got chosen as a summer intern. I couldn’t believe it! I had wanted it for so long that I
almostcried when I found out I would be working there.
- I went to college. Financially it seemed improbable that I would get there, let alone graduate. But I did – with honors. And everyone who ever told me I couldn’t because of my age, race, social standing or gender had to sit there and watch me succeed.
F U T U R E:
- I want to work somewhere that allows me to combine what I’m passionate about with my talents. I want to help people. I want to inspire hope in women who have been lied to about their worth and their place in this world. I want to write and explore and wake up every morning knowing that what I’ll do that day will change lives.
- I want to write a book. I don’t know what about or how on earth this is going to happen, but I want to write a book and have it published, even if there’s only one copy and it’s sitting on my bookshelf.
- I want to adopt. Probably not for a long time, obviously, but adoption is something that’s really close to my heart. I don’t have specific plans… actually I think it’s kind of weird when people pick a favorite country, or custom order what kind of kid they want, but this is something that has been on my heart for a wh-ile.
And that’s me! What are your guys’ dreams?