Can you remember your first dream? How about your last one? I’m not talking about your imagination running wild while you sleep. I’m talking about the moment you set eyes on something you wanted so badly you chased it. When I became a mom, seeking life goals quickly took a backseat to figuring out how to raise another human. Six years and another kid later, I still find pursuing my secret desires doesn’t always fit on the day’s balance beam.
Still, I’ve been inspired in another way. I’ve watched my daughter grow and try new things. There’s golf (love it), ballet (hate it) and piano (feeling depends on the day). I find her raw reaction—good or bad—to be absolutely refreshing. She doesn’t care about circumstance, social pressure or what others might think of her decisions. To this kindergartner, choices are based on the simplest and arguably most important thing: how it makes her feel.
Recently I asked my daughter if she’d like to be a news reporter like mom when she grows up. Without missing a beat she quipped, “No, I want to be a golfer artist veterinarian teacher.” It sounds like a tall order, but the translation was really quite simple and, to an extent, sobering: When she grows up, she just wants to do the things she loves.
I know that answer will probably change a gazillion times before first grade, but engaging her as she explores her likes and dislikes will remain a constant. What I don’t know are the rules when it comes to convincing my kids that they can do anything. After all, I’m still trying to check off my to-do list in life—things like performing live theater and writing a book to one day having the stars align so I can meet J-Lo. That last wish might make you giggle, but to me it would mean the world. Remember, even if it seems silly or unreachable, there is nothing wrong with staying true to what is important to you. That’s something I want my daughter to always know. I’m mad it took me so long to figure it out myself.
Truth is, we all have hidden talents and things we are capable of doing that others know nothing about. The thought of all those secret desires being stowed away in our hearts downright saddens me. The good thing is, we’re still early in the new year. In a month synonymous with passion and devotion, I can’t think of a more perfect time to rekindle the spark in your own dream.
My advice: Don’t use a match; grab the blow torch.