I have always been a dreamer. At the age of 6, I decided that a writer was the best profession that I could go into because I truly believed that they were one of the few people that didn't let their imagination go to waste, and instead flourished and relished in possibilities and still retain the passion of childhood. I remember the exact time too, because I had been looking out my window in my home in Germany, out to the forest in which I believed fairies, gnomes and swan princesses lived in. It's the only way, I remember thinking, of still dreaming.
I remember reading through National Geographic, LIFE magazine and wondering, 'Someday, I will go there. I will travel, capture the injustices of the world, write to make the change for the better good. I will discover places far, far away and write stories about my visits.'
I remember my early childhood being filled with hope and never once did I stop dreaming in those days. I really thought I could be anything and do anything. In my mind, there were no such things as boundaries... no such thing as defeat.
It must have been my circumstances that eventually bogged these dreams into a dirt filled reality. My middle school and then high school experiences were riddled with 'can't's' and 'no's' and plain old impossibilites that governed the mentality at home and in myself.
The moment I left high school into my college days, I had already stop dreaming.
Dead end college
I think the real struggle started when I hit college. The only real reason I had chosen this particular school was the safety away from family (5 hrs by car to be exact) and other outside influences so that I may come into my own, as I'd like to think.
Fed partially by the media portrayal of college experiences, I grew frustrated at the lack of open doors that this school had to offer and the endless bureaucracies that painfully framed its structure, a characteristic found at many other schools. Obtaining opportunities came with huge price tags to boot, or requiring some type of monetary support in order to pursue which just fueled my frustration.
As I weakly fought to resuscitate some of those childhood dreams, I also fought against them, imbuing them in fears and can't's and no's and in turn simmering in a strange hateful cycle of self loathing. I had also begun to douse myself in lies in which I shamelessly told to others and more especially to myself, even though at the time I didn't know it.
I want to be (insert career choice here).
I want to travel to (insert exotic destination choice here).
I want to be (insert career destination here) in 10 years.
I said these phrases but did nothing towards it. I never worked for any of it because I was too afraid. I hid away in these blanket of lies because even though that what I really wanted to be and still do (I think), I was literally paralyzed in fear. I had become frozen in place, deer in headlights if you will... I had essentially given up myself for a hollowed version of it.
I'd say I'm slowly recovering and making it a point to combat fear everyday. Even though where I'm at in life isn't where I want to be, I try my best to rely on hope instead of fear, on doing instead of inaction. I believe that one of my biggest challenges was to come to terms that yes, I may fail, and yes, it may not be pretty but what's the use of being wrapped up in fear all of the time?
I will no longer be ruled by my own self-sabotaging. Strength not weakness shall be what I will strive for every passing day even though I know it won't be easy but at least it's a start. Because dreams should propel them to come true, not just simply enamor the dreamer.