I woke up this morning in a hotel room, next to a pool, with a sunrise, on an island, overlooking the ocean in Indonesia. I have been traveling on these islands for about a week and a half now, and while it has been rather enjoyable soaking up some serious Vitamin D and sitting in nicely blue-tiled pools until my body looks like a giant prune, I can’t help but ignore the thoughts that have been running through this little brain of mine. I wasn’t planning on writing anything during this trip. Instead, I made plenty of notes in my iPhone of topics and experiences I was going to expand on when I was back home recovering from jetlag. But then I realized how quiet my tiny Internet writing corner has been because I haven’t been able to produce anything “worth saying” lately. But then I thought, I need to spend today investing in this, even though it may not come out as articulately as I would have wanted. So here we are.
My favorite thing about meeting new people is getting to know their story. But then sometimes, I meet people and they are so intriguing that I tend to want to know everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you already know I’m extremely terrible with small talk. So when those situations happen, I am, in no way eloquent or subtle in my question asking.
We were sitting poolside at the hotel restaurant when I just blurted out, “So are you happy here?” And then I proceeded to ask him about his dreams—like, if there were no boundaries and all options were possible and the resources were limitless… where would he want to go, and what he would want to do with his life and his time? What were his ultimate and biggest life goals?
He looked at me blankly, and almost in shock, like I had maybe said something inappropriate and then responded with. “Wait, are you asking me to dream?”
Yes, I’m asking you to dream.
And not the kind of sweet dreams you have at night about stuffing your face with cupcakes while laying on could nine, filled with rainbows and unicorns dancing in circles around you (although those are awesome) but the real kind of dreaming like when people asked you in grade school what you wanted to be when you grew up.
I think the reality of life has a way of keeping us from dreaming. And then soon enough, we ignore the dreaming and succumb to the mundane. We choose obligation and comfort over growth. We think whatever crazy things we want to do with our lives are “impossible” so the idea of doing something bigger and chasing that dream or pursuing that passion just seems so far out of reach.
Or maybe, it isn’t even life holding you back from what you’re capable of. Maybe it’s yourself. Maybe it’s the fears and the lies whispering into your ears saying, “this is it, and there’s nothing more for you.”
Thing truth is: There is incredibly more for you.
And they are there waiting beyond the fears, past the obligations, not as out of reach as you may think.
It’s your journey, and it doesn’t belong to anyone else.
So do it. Dream. Then do the damn thing. Maybe it won’t be as successful as you hoped. Maybe it won’t even turn out the way you imagine. And sometimes, dreams change or evolve and that is okay too. But taking steps towards the dream somehow makes you feel alive. Otherwise, you’re just digging your own grave. You are the only one preparing yourself for grief, and your own funeral.
Because people won’t miss the life you were meant to live. People don’t grieve over the things you were supposed to do, or had the potential to accomplish.
I think dreaming is essential to human life. It’s part of the process, and allows us to understand who we are. It allows us to see what we have and what we are capable of, and dreaming tells us that we believe 100% in what we are doing. As a result of dreaming, we are able to live more freely and be more alive because it means ourselves are in full effect, and we are pursuing things we were meant to.
He told me that he didn’t dream much. He would put dreams on the back burner because they just seemed too big to tackle. He would hesitate about dreaming because, what if he found himself dreaming about something too big?
Maybe it’s not that your dreams are “too big” but maybe it’s actually your belief in yourself and what you were placed on this earth to do is actually too small.
You can get there, because you’re not meant to stay where you are.
Whether it’s a physical, or emotional, or mental place. YOU WERE NOT MEANT TO STAY THERE.
I heard a friend say once that you should not just chase dreams. You should reach, and grab, and hold, and hug them. Invest in them, nurture them, grow them, and then watch them bloom. Watch those dreams make something brilliantly wonderful and supernaturally beautiful out of you, as you make sometime beautiful out of them.