I’ve been considering the idea of a decade. In many ways, 10 years seems like a long time. After all, in the past 10 years, I have gotten married, worked for four different employers, lived in three towns, and finished two degrees. Yet, it seems like those 10 years have passed very quickly.
You know how, when you’re a kid and someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, your answer has no limitations? Because, when you’re a kid, you can’t imagine a world in which everything isn’t possible. When I was little, I wanted to be everything. A teacher, a Broadway star, a famous musician, a novelist, a poet, a princess, a dancer, a preacher, and anything else I could imagine.
I’m only one of those things. And only part-time.
Does everyone feel this way? Does everyone look back at the dreams of their youth and long for that feeling of hope? Do we all think of how silly it was to think all of those things were possible? Do we all pretend that we don’t still have a secret wish in our hearts to do all of the things we’ve always wanted?
There’s a commercial about a little girl who is constantly told that she can’t do this or can’t do that. The last image is of the girl looking at some academic challenge, before she puts on lipstick and walks away. I wasn’t that little girl. I was told and truly believed that I could become anything I wanted to become. My parents have always been very supportive of my dreams and goals.
It’s the rest of the world that put me in a box. It’s the people I know, and those I don’t, who have unintentionally aided in crushing my dreams.
When you tell someone you are writing a novel and they make fun of you, you stop talking about writing novels. Eventually, you stop trying to write them because you feel so discouraged.
So, stop it, world. Stop telling me that I am limited. Stop telling me that I can’t fulfill my dreams. Stop telling me that:
I could never be a Broadway star. I’m too old to start now.
I could never be a full-time musician. My voice isn’t perfect enough.
I could never be a novelist or poet. My stories are too plot-driven.
I could never be a princess. They don’t just hand those crowns out to everyone.
I could never be a dancer. I don’t have the right body type.
I could never be a preacher. No one would listen to me.
I may not be a Broadway star, but I am always on the stage.
I may not be a full-time musician, but you can’t stop me from singing.
I may not be a novelist or poet, but I’ve got a great story to tell.
I may not be a princess, but my Father is the King of Kings.
I may not be a dancer, but I still move to the beat.
I may not be a preacher, but you won’t stop me from sharing the Truth.
I am a dreamer, and I’ll keep dreaming and hoping that the next 10 years will be even better than the last.
You should, too. Don’t let your circumstances limit your imagination. Hope for something bigger. Dream the impossible. Believe in miracles. Share your story. Today could be the beginning of the best decade of your life.