On Friday, I wrote about the American dream, and how there are some Americans who are not being invited to participate in it. Tonight, I’d like to continue this discussion about dreams, but not for other people- for me… or for you. The next couple of minutes are going to be fully dedicated to you, the reader, and your dreams.
I don’t know what your dreams are, but I want to. I want to know what makes you excited when you get up in the morning. What makes you know that tomorrow will be worth it because down the road you will have achieved what it is you have set your heart on? I love talking to people about there passions, and what makes them excited. I love hearing that glimmer of hope in their voice and the twinkle in their eye when they talk about something they truly love. I’m going to tell you what mine is, but I want to know yours too, so please, if you care to, please leave a comment telling me what it is your heart lights up for.
To some of you, mine will be no surprise. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know I’m an avid fan, and frequent visitor of New York City. I’m actually sitting in my friend’s spare bedroom in Queens as I type this. When I was growing up, New York City seemed so unattainable to me. Maybe that’s because I grew up in small Minnesota town where not many people left after high school. Maybe it’s because I had a pretty rocky childhood. Who knows what the reason was, but the first time I met someone from New York, I felt like I was talking to a martian. Having the idea of a city so large it took at least two hours on a train to get from one side to the other (which I’ve learned in the last few days), and that was flooded with people who made more money than I’d seen in a lifetime, or even better, FAMOUS people, I convinced myself that New York would always be this fictional wonderland I kept in the back of my mind.
That all ended after I met my friend Floryn. I met her the summer before my senior year in high school when she directed a play I was in. She, at the ripe age of 23, and I, a measly 17, had nothing in common and nothing should have clicked between us- she was Jewish, I was (at the time) an out of control Jesus freak. She was an actress, I was clueless. She had more world experience than I even knew was possible. But something was there– and now I’m sitting in her guest room.
I remember asking her silly questions like, “Do you have grocery stores?” “Where do you go to watch movies?” The idea of New York had been such a fantasy, but now I had someone who lived it and knew it– that’s when I realized I wanted to live it and know it too. Having never been there, I knew I had to go there…. and someday even live there.
It’s now 2012, and I’ve known Floryn for over 9 years. I’ve visited New York multiple times. Every time I get here, it’s that feeling I get when I walk into my parents’ house on Thanksgiving– and little dread, but a lot of love. And now, I’m looking forward to moving here in January. Most people ask me, “Do you have a job?” “Do you have a plan?” Well, I can tell you, right now, no. I don’t have a job. And my plan is scary at best. Being the planner and bit of a control freak that I am, having a “scary” plan is…. scary. But I’ve come to terms with it because if I don’t allow myself to have this dream and do whatever it takes to make it come true, I will regret it. And as cliche as it is, I want to be able to go to sleep at the end of the day knowing I did everything I could to make today as great as possible, with no regrets.
What is it that makes your heart skip a beat? It could be moving someplace fantastic, or even just visitng there. It could be a certain job or a career dream of some kind. It could be to have a family, and spending your life building a home. It could be finding a cure for a disease, or bringing attention to a social issue somewhere in the world. Whatever it is, a dream is a dream, and it is our God given right as humans to be able to use our creativity and the passion in our souls to pursue that (everyone has passion- see my post on how passion is a catalyst of great things. Our passion is what drives us, and shapes our dreams.
I truly and honestly believe that we owe it to ourselves to follow our dreams. What good is a dream worth having if nothing ever comes from it? Don’t ever let anyone tell you your dreams are too big or a waste of time. Your dreams are yours. They are significant to who you are.
One of my favorite movies is Pretty Woman. At the beginning and end of the movie, there is a man in the street yelling, “Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream?” This is a great question- it opens up the possibility and opportunity to create something rich and beautiful. So, like I said before, feel free to leave a comment below, or think about it on your own. What is it that makes your eyes sparkle and your soul shine? What is one thing you want because that’s what you’ve been created to do or be? Tell me, WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?