From a young age, we are told that we can be anything we want to be. We read the motivational posters in our elementary school classrooms telling us to reach for the stars and bypass the moon, that the possibilities are endless, that we can go the distance. We’re force-fed the idea that we can do anything we set our minds to.
So we dream of being astronauts and actors, fire fighters and veterinarians, painters and politicians. Until the day when someone introduces us to the word “practical.” When they lug the Merriam-Webster’s off of the shelf and point to the definition that preaches “ordinary.” Suddenly they tell us those dreams are simply too grandiose. They chip away at our confidence by mentioning “being realistic” and “having a back-up plan.”
And then our dreams collapse in a downward spiral. We take the coveted career we had in mind and turn it into a side hobby. We attend safety schools and settle for the first job that’ll pay the bills. We get caught up in the normalities and simplicities, in the “supposed to” and the “should.” The words daring and fearless leave our vocabularies, and our elusive dreams get pushed off to the side, packed tightly into a box that’s stored on the highest shelf, locked away where no one can reach.
If I could, I would climb a ladder and dig through that abandoned shelf. I would shake the collected dust off of that faded box and wrap it in polka dotted paper. I would tie a white ribbon around its edges and place it gently in your hands and tell you simply, “Your dreams are a gift. You are worthy of receiving them.”
There has been a dreamcatcher hanging above my bed for years, in hopes that any impending nightmares will be caught in its webbed trap and will disappear at the first sight of morning sunbeams. But what if some of my wildest hopes and dreams are stuck among its threads, waiting to be plucked from their hiding spots and put into action? What if I just needed to wake up one day and realize that they got sidetracked?
No one will hold your hand while you’re trying to reach accomplishments. No one will feed you the answers to life’s hardest tests. There isn’t anyone else who can make the tough decisions for you. No one else knows your dreams through and through like you do; they can’t chase them the way that you can. Pluck those wild and crazy dreams from the tangled web of practical and normal. Weave them into the most beautiful artwork of your life.