As kids we want to be told to dream big. As parents we want to ensure we encourage our kids to dream big, to shoot for the moon, to chase down their desires, and to be who and what they want to be.
Growing up I didn’t get a lot of the encouragement. My mom has always been supportive of me. No matter what I have wanted to try, what idea I cooked up, where I wanted to go, she listened and told me to go after it. She was leveled headed though, and she kept me grounded and helped me question everything in detail before forging ahead. She was a little voice of reason. And I love her for that. My dad on the other hand was the more practical one. He questioned what the outlook would be in the long run, would I be able to make enough money and survive on my own. He questioned the longevity of the outcome and how hard it might be to break into certain fields. He tried to get me to think inside the box. And for wanting to please him and gain his approval, his approach often deterred me from following certain paths.
I’m not saying in the slightest that my parents didn’t have my best interest at heart in their own ways. Ultimately they wanted me to be independent and successful. However, I wasn’t encouraged to Dream Big.
I was never told I could be anything I wanted to be, no matter how outrageous it was like a princess flying on a unicorn to Mars. An interest wasn’t taken in some of the things I enjoyed like writing or saving the environment. Of course they wanted me to be happy and make a good living but they wanted me to do it reasonably. And I could never quite figure out a way to go with the grain.
I always knew I was destined for more. I knew I was unconventional and meant to be out there in the world. I knew I was not destined to settle. So here now, at 31 (and a half!) I continue to explore uncharted paths in search of ‘home.’
The journey started a little later for me, in my late 20s. I left a long time fairly stable job in search of something ‘more.’ I knew my time had run out where I was, and my entire being knew I needed to make a move. I have continued to shuffle around a bit, learning so many new things, trying jobs in different fields, meeting countless interesting people along the way. I put myself through a yearlong school program to better myself, to help better people around me and people I have yet to meet, and I met some of the most inspiring and game changing people in the world (yes, the WORLD).
The road has been bumpy. I’ve not yet found a solid place to land. I feel as though these jobs are little camps I set up for a while to get to know the lay of the land before heading back out on my own. The road is dark. It’s scary. There is no map. But my internal light is all I need to guide me.
I taught myself to Dream Big. I taught myself that it is possible to be who and what I want to be. I taught myself that fear is necessary for growth and for change, and it doesn’t mean something is wrong. In fact, it means something is right.