Seems so cliché, follow your dreams. What exactly does that mean? Follow my dreams of no laundry, bills or worries? Those are my daily dreams and I would love for someone to point to the path those are on. Sometimes I make myself laugh, but really, a short time ago, the heaviness of that question sat with me as I reflected about my own dreams, and now, the meaning behind the cliché runs so much deeper.
I remember when I was a little girl I aspired to be a lawyer, I even did my 6th grade speech on it and practically read right out of the encyclopedia to explain what being a lawyer meant. Yep, we had (and still do have) an entire set of the white, gold lettered, navy blue binding Encyclopedia Britannica. When I stood up in front of the class that day, even though my voice cracked, and my knees shook, I was confident because I truly believed that one day that explanation I plagiarized from Book “L” would be me. I would be a lawyer, and I could see myself arguing a side, fighting the good fight and making an impact on someone’s life, hopefully for the better. Funny how dreams evolve.
I never did become the lawyer I dreamt about in 6th grade. This was for many reasons, mainly because I didn’t want to do the work, and when it didn’t just effortlessly fall at my feet, the idea of trying felt like too much. Unfortunately, after that dream died, I never again dreamt about what I wanted to do with my life or had a fire inside like I did that day in Mrs. Matovina’s class. From then on, I quit acknowledging that original dream, or any dream for that matter, and I never again attempted to figure out or identify my purpose or my passion. I lived my life as I thought I should, and everyone else was, going through the motions, doing what I felt was my best. Not to say that life has not brought me amazing moments, I’ve had incredible moments, and hard ones too, but even in those amazing moments, as glorious as they were, I never felt whole.
I look back on this now with a much clearer idea of life, and I realize my dream in 6th grade was scratching the surface of my actual purpose. I understand that although I was given clues throughout my life, that purpose had not quite shown itself to me yet. I had to learn from the struggles, be grateful for the amazing, and open my heart and my mind to what my inner voice was whispering to me for a long time.
Since I was able to read, quotes, poems and books have meant everything to me, and if I could find something that could stir up emotions, I was hooked, and I would either tape it all over my wall or read to the final chapter within hours. I never thought of this as anything other than a hobby or a quirk, but it was something that stayed with me always. I still have the very first quote I ever cut out “One day at a time, this is enough; do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled by the future, for it has not yet come; live in the present and make is so beautiful that it will be worth remembering”. Powerful. I was 12 when it hit me like a brick, but it was 25 years later when my reaction to it finally made sense.
The moment I was ready to listen, is the moment the words came out and something inside of me lit up. The day I realized that writing came incredibly natural to me and when I put the pen to paper, or typed the thoughts from my heart, my dream and my purpose started to build, and once those wheels were in motion there was no shutting that voice up. It was as if once I acknowledged that I was graced with this ability to form sentences that not just made sense, but came out so easily, the passion to inspire, motivate and help people through words ignited. My dream began to show itself with great detail and I’m more confident than ever that is has to do with inspiring, motivating and supporting people with words just like the words posted all over my walls that stayed with me for decades.
I truly feel the seed of my true dream or purpose was in me all my life, but it had to grow and evolve until I was able to hear clearly what it was and have the ability to follow it. I’ve attempted this path several times in the past, and each time was different but with the end resulting in my quitting, mostly from fear. This time however, my life has evolved due to change of perspective, forgiveness, clarity and honesty, allowing me to pursue this dream without regret. Will I ever be a bestselling author, or inspire millions, thousands, hundreds, or even a few, I truly don’t know, but now that I’ve acknowledged that that’s where my path is headed, that door has swung wide open, and I’m sure going to have fun trying.
Not everyone wants to change the world, but everyone was blessed with a gift and has a purpose in this life no matter what your definition of it may be. Reflect on who you are, quiet the negative thoughts, light the fire, and listen and trust that inner voice, whispering or screaming at you, and run through that door and don’t look back. Anything is possible, why question it.