(with apologies to Langston Hughes for stealing and altering his famous title)
Dreams can change throughout your lifetime. Some dreams from earlier days are no longer appealing and wouldn’t serve you to hold onto. (I once told my aunt that I wanted to be the first female president of the United States—hardly a position I would consider today) I’m interested in the dreams that continue to burn in your heart. The ones you know you could go for if you just let yourself be a bit courageous.
What are your dreams for today and for the future? Which ones have you forgotten?
For me, I’ve been passionate about going to Africa for as long as I can remember. I so badly wanted to see Kenya—to meet the people face to face, to be surrounded by that culture and to help out in their overwhelming circumstances in whatever way I could. Fast forward to today: I have visited Kenya twice and then lived there for six months. That dream for me is not finished—I still long to return. And I will.
Another dream I had from even earlier was to be published. I vividly recall getting wrapped up in the stories of Little House on the Prairie and other children’s books. I wanted to be able to tell stories like that, to publish something that might move another to a state of joy or sadness, ultimately to a state of connection that a reader feels with a well-written character. This dream too will soon become a reality.
The people I know who live to pursue their dreams are those that are most alive.
I know a woman who sews quilts by hand. It had been her dream to learn how to do this. For her, it was a link to her ancestors who created gorgeous family treasures, and passed them down through the centuries.
I know a man who recently signed up for improv classes. He is 68 and told me, “I don’t know why I waited this long.” He had been pushing aside his dream to be on stage for decades. Now he’s chosen to make the time to follow the calling he had always ignored.
What are your dreams? Which ones have been left on the backburner for too long now?
A dream deferred is one yet pursued. Take time today to think about what your dreams are. Which ones have changed and are not important anymore? Which ones still ignite a spark within? Make a list, write them down as a proclamation to the universe. “This is what I want!” What next step can you take in the pursuit of that dream?