When I was ten, I wanted to be a professional barrel racer. When I was sixteen, I wanted to be a professional dancer. Then I got married and I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to work for myself, move somewhere green, and build a dream home where my kids will grow up and bring their own someday.
What have you dreamed of being or doing?
As kids, we all start life with big dreams and big ambitions. We dream of being astronauts, or ballerinas, or doctors. As kids, we are told to shoot for the stars. So when did we let this idea of “reality” take control? When and where does the re-wiring of our brains come into play? Why have we as adults forgotten that life without dreams is no life at all?
Growing up my childhood was about structure, realistic plans, and goals for the future. It was about safety, having a plan to fall back on in case of life and the unexpectedness it brings. My mother was left as a sudden widow to raise my sisters and I so you can see where this type of planning and thought process comes from. She went back to school full time while working full time to eventually become a CPA. She has been blessed with benefits and an extremely healthy income which you can imagine brought comfort and stability. Both very valuable things after going through what she went through as a young mother of three.
And while I will always be grateful for my mother and the love and stability I had in childhood, it didn’t come without its struggles. Being the creative and dreamer I was I often felt very different, like I didn’t fit in, especially when talks of the future ever came up. The idea that there is only one way to do things and it’s through this proverbial blueprint of life that everyone needs to follow in order to find success. It grated on me. It felt like added weight. It was a square hole way of thinking and I was a round peg wondering where I had gone wrong. Why couldn’t I connect the dots?
I wasn’t able to answer this question until years down the road through a lot of self-discovery and you know what I found out? It was never about connecting the dots. It was about creating them. It was about plotting my own course. One that inspired me throughout the journey, whether it be during the ups or downs, one that was my very own. Perhaps it’s the rebel part of my personality. Or perhaps it’s the creative. Either way, it took me years to first realize that being a dreamer is not a bad thing in the least. Second, planning your entire life around having a solid fall-back plan is kind of like making sure you have a horse in case the car stops working (thanks for the inspiration, Gary Vee). And third, getting a chance to reconnect with those youthful dreams as an adult? Absolutely thrilling in every sense of the word, and I have only yet scratched the surface.
And now here I am, five kids of my own. Do I have ideas of what I think would be a great life for them? Absolutely. Do I have things I want to protect them from that I have learned along the way? Plenty. But you know what the reality is? The reality is that I have this beautiful opportunity to believe in their dreams right alongside them. To watch them create those dots, to plot their own course, and to watch them grow through the ups and downs of making their own blueprint. And to do my very best to keep their dreams alive, even in the times that they don’t think it’s possible. Because dreams are for the taking, age need not apply. The only limitations are the ones that exist in our minds. Perhaps adulthood could be just as beautiful as childhood if we started remembering that.
So, let them dream. And let them dream big. Because in that faith and belief in them? We help them fly.