Back when I was a teen, twenty-five seemed a loooong way off and to me, it represented the peak of adulthood. Twenty-five was the time that I would have accomplished all my dreams, twenty-five was the time that I would be at the peak of my career, with multiple awards and world-wide acclaim. It makes me smile to remember that girl, lost in dreams and fancies, full of trust and naivety.
I have grown so much since that time, and that girl seems like an old friendly but blurred reflection in the mirror, fading with time, retreating into the distance. With each passing year, I gain a better sense and grip on who I am, what I represent, and my core nature is strengthened. The past two years have been momentous and life-changing.
From a singular being I grew into three, and my dreams became scattered and lost, struggling to find and reaffirm each other. For a long time I wandered, and in despair tried to chase after the scattered dreams, flinging myself this way and that, and collapsing in a defeated heap, because it was an impossible task. I had changed, and was not that singular person anymore.
Do not be afraid of being vulnerable. Do not be afraid to give, to trust. To love.
In hindsight, I find it a lot of time and energy wasted in trying to cling to the old, when new open doors beckoned to me. I am all too human; it is easier to cling to the familiar and to stay within my comfort zone.
Dreams change. I know they say never give up on your dreams, but what happens when the dreams change? What if those first dreams were never really yours in the first place, but absorbed from your environment – TV, magazines, your parents, society?
Are your dreams your own?
I used to want fame, fortune, accolades, what I had been told I was supposed to strive for; but now I want entirely different things. I want warm little hands in my hands, firm gentle caresses on my face, a kiss on the nose, that sweet little voice saying “Mama, I love you”. I want those firm shoulders that invite vulnerability, and those seasoned feet that are ready and eager for adventures. I pursue new horizons, I pursue growth, I pursue contribution, I pursue my life purpose.
Do give up on your dreams. Why bang on the closed door when a new more beautiful one lies open before you? Why pursue dreams that were never really yours in the first place? Do give up on those dreams.
You know those ones. The ones that don’t excite you, that make you feel like you are wasting your life away. The ones that suck away at your energy. That ladder that you abandon all else to climb, only to realize you had that ladder of success leaning against the wrong wall, and you are left alone and empty at the top.
Life changes. You grow older, and you get to know yourself better. Your dreams may change to reflect that better more mature person you grow into.
I remind myself daily, do not be afraid of change. It doesn’t matter how much the world swirls in change around you as long as your core, your inner person with its unique principles and values, remains constant. Stay connected with that core and with God, and you will be fine.
Do not be afraid of change. Do not be afraid to question. Do not be afraid to live your own life. Do not be afraid to forge a brand new trail for yourself, a path never before explored.
More than just dreaming, work hard on those dreams. Work hard, work smart. I used to have huge grandiose dreams and goals, and while it was nice to dream them, it was harder to realize them. Better break down those dreams into goals, projects, weekly tasks, daily tiny steps. I don’t just dream of travelling around the world and photographing its beauty anymore, now I work on developing my writing and photography skills (yes, I used to love being in front of the camera, but now I love being behind the camera), and also importantly, on building a sustainable business that I can take along with me anywhere. I’m even more frugal with my spending now, though I’ve always been conscious with my spending, with my biggest expense on books, which was not too bad.
Soon my second little one will be here, and things will be an entirely different ball game. It’s going to be a lot more work, and less time for me probably. We’ll see. But I still look forward to his coming. I can’t wait to show them the beauty of the world and to teach them to live freely and fully in a spirit of exploration, and the best way to teach them that is by example.
Exciting times are here!
And twenty-five? It will be just one more year in my life journey, certainly not the peak of adulthood. There is no rush to accomplish all my dreams by a certain date. There will also always be new dreams, new goals, new heights. As long as God permits and I have life, I shall keep dreaming, keep working, keep exploring, keep living!