I am embarking on another world-traveling journey this week – to Israel. It is my heart and deepest desire to travel the world. Because of this, it felt appropriate to reflect on how far I’ve come. I added some posts from the distant painful past to the bottom of the page, but thought I would insert this one right at the top. It’s interesting to me when I need a reminder of my own already-learned-life-lessons. While it’s a little idealistic for how I think now, I needed it today. I hope it blesses you a little too.
SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2010
My mom always told me that I could grow up to be anything I wanted to be. So, of course, when I was three, I either wanted to be a singer, a painter, a writer, or an actress. Or maybe I could be all of those things. As I grew up, I decided I wanted to be lots of other really fun things… like a princess, a cheerleader, a journalist, a psychologist, etc. I believed I could be and do anything and everything. Walt Disney told me so. Vacation Bible School at the Baptist Church told me so. My mom told me so. And I believed it.
Years later (while in a cult – long story), I was convinced that this was not the case. I was told that moms were wrong when they told their kids that and that actually, moms should tell their kids that they could be what God wanted them to be (they would not like it, it would be really hard, it would not be fun, but they would be blessed for it). So . . . some kids I know gave up their dreams and did the things that this person who plays God told them to do. . . I was one of those kids. . .
This is part of the past. And this blog isn’t about the past. All this to say that with this type of worldview, my life became messy, disappointing, and downright boring. I was miserable following someone else’s version of “right”.
It took me a while, but I finally figured out that this person had it all wrong. I finally listened to the voice deep inside that said that maybe the things I long for – are the things I am made for. Maybe what I love to do – are the thing I was created to do. Maybe the career that brings passion and purpose to my heart – is the career that I will use to show love and hope to people. What if the dreams that are dreamt without trying – those are how I will influence this world? What if desires are a safe-guide? What if God is in the middle of my dreams, not void of them. Maybe I’m lucky to have a passion and maybe the things that burn within me, are what I was made for. I know that for me, these ideas are true.
I love to look at the dreamers around me. When my man-friend, Drew, conducts research about motivation and performance and other really smart things, he lights up. Have you seen my little sister run? You can’t tell me the girl hasn’t found something she was made for. We can do the things we want to do. We can grow up to be the things we want to be. We can make the portion of the world we have influence in better by loving our lives (Love my life = LML) and living big and following our hearts. My goal is to live a life I absolutely love. I get to create it – so I’m going to create it the way I want it. Life is hard some days, but that’s okay. Living takes work . . . might as well make the work, worth it. I am proof that dreams come true. From getting out of a controlling and abusive cultic lifestyle, to finishing my bachelors degree in two years, to getting into grad school, and going to Europe. . . I believe in me.
I am not on a flight to Europe right now because I am wealthy, or lucky, or special – I am a girl who follows her heart the best she can. I prayed and had faith: in myself, in God, and in my dreams. I don’t how much it matters that you call it God, destiny, the universe, etc. I all I know is that there is something looking out for me and that dreams can come true. I had to do my part, but something was on my side.
Destiny might not be obvious every day. Sometimes it seems like God or life has a different plan then you did. All I know is that for me, on this day, destiny prevailed. I sat in an IHOP in Orlando three years ago and made a checklist with several European cities on it and called it Mission Dream BIG and last month my uncle generously gave me his frequent flier miles. I had just enough to get to Europe. A few semesters ago I sat in the Language Lab at school and watched videos about French culture each day after class and now I’ll be in Paris in a few hours. A few months ago I only got into one of my top 3 graduate school programs. That program only has two international classes a year; The class which is held at NYU Florence and starts the same day my tour of Europe ends. The tour ends one hour away from where the class starts, three hours before it starts. When I booked the tour, I had no idea SMU would let me start a term early. It’s not coincidental or accidental. It’s fate. I don’t have it all figured out, but I know that there is something to dreaming and doing so without limits.
Let your heart go wild.
Something inside me keeps saying, if you can dream it, you can do it.