It seems like some dreams you were born with. Others you may have discovered as a child. Some dreams remain hidden, and those dreams may take a lifetime of experiences to unveil.
From wanting to be a mom and a veterinarian as a small child to a fashion designer or ballerina, my dreams had no limits. Anything I wanted to be I thought I could be. And one day I didn’t want to choose, so I decided to be them all: the ballerina who designed her clothes and helped animals.
My dreams and ideas as a child weren’t bad. They were actually pretty cool. My imagination and ideas grew, and every day I worked toward those goals. I helped any hurt animal I found, drew pictures of clothes for my next runway show, and danced everywhere I went. When it came to my dreams, nothing ever brought me down, and I never let anybody tell me what I could or couldn’t do.
But by the time I was 17, I couldn’t even think of one thing I wanted to be.
So What Changed?
And why did it change?
I thought that at least one of my childhood dreams would follow me into adulthood, but so far none of them have. I’ve asked myself why, and I’ve found three possible reasons.
- My Interests Changed- As I grew up, some of my interests changed and because of that, so did my dreams.
- Logic Got The Best of Me- I began to think that some of my dreams weren’t as reachable or as easy as I had imagined.
- I Listened to Too Many Voices- I listened to those I thought knew what was best, and I grew discouraged thinking that those people knew me better than I knew myself.
When my interests changed, I failed to replace them with new ones. When logic got the best of me, I failed to believe in myself. When I listened to too many voices, I thought I had to settle for what others thought I should.
The Same Passions
Even though I may have allowed these things to change my dreams, my passions always remained the same.
I wanted to be a mom because my passion is helping and taking care of others. I wanted to be a veterinarian because my passion is caring for animals. I wanted to be a ballerina because my passion has been dancing for as long as I can remember.
These things I’m passionate about shapes my character. They make me who I am. And even though I didn’t have the same dreams, I had what mattered most: who I am.
Dreaming New Dreams
These passions have led me to pursue other things. I’ve dreamed some new dreams. One dream I have as an adult is to travel. I never even thought of traveling as a child. I am also a writer because my passion for helping others has led me to use my writings as a way of encouraging other people. I never stopped pursuing what I was passionate about. But some dreams I gave up on, and some I took a different approach. I don’t believe happiness is found when you reach your perfect dream. Perfection doesn’t exist. I believe happiness comes from doing what you are passionate about, even if it’s imperfect.
Following your dreams is okay.
Dreaming new dreams is okay.
Either way, your passions remain the same. Your passions are who you are, and it’s not the dreams you achieve that define you.
It’s okay if you give up on a dream. But it’s not okay to give up on what you're passionate about. You are passionate about things for a reason. Use them.