Many would say that one of the most irresponsible statement to stand by in 2019 is “Follow Your Dreams”. Irresponsible because, in this never-ending economic crisis, following dreams may seem like the worst idea one could have, unless you have a viable Plan B or some kind of parachute. If there is something that these difficult times are taking away from us, it is the energy and means to make our dreams come true. Still, we shouldn’t let our goals and aspirations drift away in this ocean of uncertainty and hardships, just like we shouldn’t feel stifled by our peer’s success. Dreams don’t have to be almost impossible to be pursued. Sometimes “Reach as High as You Can” means exactly that; do things according to your own limits, whether temporary or not. Do your best, but only do what you can.
Since the very beginning, we are taught to dream big and that hard work is all it takes to make it. It’s a teaching you can find everywhere, from pop culture to school essays. We should remember that dreams and aspirations begin with small steps in the right direction. It’s something I have learned during my experience as an IMAlive volunteer, even more, it’s something I have learned to accept during my more than 100 hours of chatting with people in crisis. Small steps go a long way and, sometimes, small steps is all we need to make. We shouldn’t beat ourselves down if, at this moment, we don’t have the energy or resources to fly.
Last year, I attended a Supernatural convention and actor Jared Padalecki said something that’s been stuck in my head since then; we should try to live as if we had a long life in front of us. We should imagine who we want us to be in fifty years and start planting the seeds to get there, even if it’s a garden we will never get to see. It’s a revolutionary idea in its simplicity, just like every idea that goes against the mainstream perception of what we should or shouldn’t do, what we should or shouldn’t be. Our society seems obsessed with defining our dreams and personal success by its terms. It’s time we start defining success by our own terms.
A good exercise for this day could be, try and reach as high as you can – just for today. If you have a long-term dream, you could start working on it. Do some web research on how to change your career. If you have been staring at online classes for the past year, like me, just enroll. You may try something you have never done before. Open your mind and expand your horizons. Allowing yourself to dream, if just for one day, can be extremely uplifting. We are capable of more than we think.
Lastly, if you are lacking time, inspiration or ambition, you could make yourself the project to work on. Put yourself first today. Be your own personal dream. Be kind and patient to yourself. Reach as high as you can.