Do you remember a time in your life where you had dreams of what you wanted your future to look like? You know the typical dreams of a child, "I want to be a policeman" or "I want to be an actress." We would sit on the playground for hours, making believe we were those characters... We were Dano on Hawaii Five-O, or Wonder Woman saving the world from bad guys; we were artists, lawyers, doctors, singers; someone to be admired, someone to be proud of.
We all had thoughts and dreams of what we envisioned for ourselves. For most of us, those dreams vanished in the night...they got lost somewhere along the way and we lost sight of those dreams. Childhood bleeds into adulthood, like ink through paper, it slowly traces lines that we did not intend to create and so does our lives, following a path we hadn't initially intended. We go to college, we get married, we have children, but some of us never give up on the idea that our hopes and dreams will work out for us. Some have the ability to harness that drive and desire, but most of us, aren't equipped with it, or are never taught how to take control and make our life our own. We can't all be Lance Armstrong, or Charlize Theron, we can't all overcome things and reach monumental success, or achieve all of our goals, but we can take small steps in making them happen.
Quite honestly, with age, comes wisdom... lately my spectrum of life has changed and with it I have chosen to shift my circle of influence. My friends no longer run down my ideas, they support them, they tell me I can do things I never thought possible and most of all they encourage me to live my life to the fullest. In return, I do the same... We all have a dream dying inside of us, pleading for us to make it sparkle in the light again, before it goes out forever, all it takes is just the right spark and its ignited again... like a match on dry brush... it blazes and lights the way.
Recently a friend of mine decided to do something he had wanted to do for years, be a police officer, something his ex-wife used to make fun of... but the desire to achieve this mark never dissipated inside him, so for the first time in 20+ years he thought he would give it a shot. You see for the first time in his life, he doesn't have someone belittling his dreams, he has surrounded himself with people that will help him achieve all he has hoped for... it changes everything. Remarkably, he's already making headway to accomplish this goal, he isn't letting anyone tell him he "can't" anymore. It's changing his view of the world and at the same time, changing the view of himself... because he "can" do it...
Growing up, I wanted to run marathons and hike mountains, to travel the world and see far out of the way places, tucked in the mountains, or on the beach, to marvel at majestic mountains, or meet amazing people. I never really grew up thinking that way, but I realized as a young adult that life was short. I started having this desire to make the most of every moment, so I made a list of all I wanted to accomplish. The first thing to take a trip each year to somewhere I always wanted to see, the second was to write a book, and then run a marathon, and so on, but I never had the courage to shoot for my goals. You see I let fear of the unknown hold me back, I made excuses for why I couldn't accomplish things, I would say... "maybe tomorrow." My fear of failure kept me captive to what my life could truly offer. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret my choices, or my life at all, but what I have realized this past year is that I need to get back to fulfilling my hopes and dreams, the ones I have carried with me, like a lucky rabbits foot... never too far out of reach, but just sitting waiting for the right moment.
So, this year on January 1st, I made a pact with myself, to start living... not just the every day, get up, go to work, come home... life goes on living, but truly living. Run my first marathon, travel to at least one place a year that I have always wanted to see and I am doing the best to make good on those goals, so win or lose, accomplishment or not... the key is to not give up.
Setbacks, will happen, but when all is said and done, we only have ourselves to hold accountable for how our life turns out. We can make the most of every moment we have on this Earth, or we can waste our time here... It truly is up to us... I know that it's up to me now to not let anything hold me back.