A Girl Can Dream, Can't She?
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and it got me thinking about the man with a dream. Imagine a world without such people -- a world filled with people who are either too cynical, fearful, tired, busy, or just plain shallow to dream. Unfortunately, I think those people are the majority. My dad had lots of dreams -- he talked about them all the time. He wanted to live in (or even just travel to) Oregon, Montana, or Wyoming. Every few years the location moved a little to the west or east. But for some reason (usually financial) he just laughed when asked about actually pursuing his dreams. Dreams, he seemed to think, were for dreamers, and he was a realist. He had a wife and four kids to feed, a home to maintain, and sometimes three jobs to accomplish all that. Dreams? Bah, humbug!
Maybe there's a stigma behind the word itself. It seems to imply a fantasy -- something foolish or impossible that's not meant to be taken seriously. You know what they say --there are the dreamers and then there are the doers -- as if you can only be one or the other. But the greatest doers had to start with a dream. Harriet Tubman said: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
For the sake of semantics and the realists out there, let's change the word to "vision." Do you have a vision for your life? Do you have a vision for the world, and what is your role in that vision? What are you doing to achieve it? I've got so many visions, I don't know where to start! I wish I had a committee -- maybe someday I will. I have to be honest though -- people don't make it easy for me to have a vision. They seem to try their best to deflate my dream balloon rather than using that energy to inflate their own.
I'm graduating college at the age of 51 this May. It's a vision I've had for a long time and one that I didn't begin until four years ago at an unconventional age. At that time most people were supportive. Now that graduation is imminent, I've decided to continue on to grad school. Several people in the past week have asked me why on earth I am pursuing all this education. "What do you plan to do with it? Why are you spending all that money? Why does your husband tolerate you (yes someone asked that!)? Are you going to start a career at age 60? Why would you start working at an age when most people are retiring?" Let me set the record straight right now -- I want to change the world, and I personally do not feel that I can accomplish that without being properly educated! Harriet Tubman told me it's okay!! Now can we move on and be productive?
The world is not an easy place, but I can guarantee you that it improves greatly with each person who sets on a path to pursue a great dream. Move in the direction of something good, something beautiful, or something inspirational. Take some time to listen to that inner voice, and then follow your heart. Stick with people who are going to support you. If you don't know where to start, drop me a note and I'll help you figure it out! Because I truly believe with all my heart that anything is possible. You just have to begin. So begin right now.
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