Practical Dreams

Once upon a time, we were all five year old children. Not at once- that would be a lot of kids. But none the less, at some point in time we were all five years old. We sat on the floor surrounded by a teacher who told us something wonderful: That we could do anything we want to be when we grow up. She read us stories about people doing incredible things. We were encouraged to follow our hearts and reach for the moon, because even if we missed it we would still land among the stars. And we were still told this as we got older. But I can't remember when they first said, "Follow your dreams- as long as they're practical." I don't remember who taught us to question, "Is that actually a real job?" And every time I hear "You don't have to love what you do: You'll love your pay," my stomach does a little flip.

This post is not about careers. This is about why we are told not to dream big.

Humans push the boundaries of 'normal' every day. It's amazing what we've accomplished as a race, even in the last few years. But still, people seem a bit trapped inside a box. When we dream of doing something great, which we all do, many will dismiss it as a nice thought and move on to 'realistic' dreams (whatever that is) or even to no dream at all. I think it's sad people keep their ultimate wish in the back of their head, only to watch a lifetime go by without trying to reach for it. Maybe they don't have inspiration to work towards achieving it, or it could be peer pressure that keeps someone from pursuing it. But I think that it's a monster in our heads who screams "You can't! You never will!" A monster who was once a baby, unable to speak, but quickly learned and grew louder as we were told "No, you can't." It's a monster who screams over the little dreamer in our head who gives us constant inspiration and encouragement, but who can only whisper.

Dreams are different for everyone. Sometimes it's to see the world, learn to paint hyper realistically, to record an entire album of music or even to be able to walk without pain. Even when it is grey and bleak outside, we have to keep holding onto our dreams and working towards them. We can't dismiss them; after all, what if achieving it is what brings sunlight into your life? I think we'd regret never trying more than we would ever regret trying and not reaching it. Life is too short for 'realistic' and 'practical' dreams, whatever the heck that means. Act like the person you want to be, scheme for the future, set realistic goals and keep your dreams close to your heart.


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