Dare to Dream

By Avery Walker

Every year, on December 30th, I make a handwritten list of my goals for the next twelve months. Eating healthier, exercising, being more organized, and other self-improvement goals are usually part of the list. However, for several years I would put the same goal at the very bottom of the list, hoping this would be the year I would complete it. Every year I would ignore that particular goal, putting it off for various reasons. It would take too much personal time. It would not add to my income. It was a selfish dream. I could do it next year when my child was older and did not need so much of my attention. I could do it later once everything else in life had calmed down. The excuses were endless, and the item stayed on my list for almost a decade. Spoiler alert: life did not calm down, it got busier. There was always something more pressing demanding my attention, and my little dream got pushed to the bottom of the pile. Then, I faced health struggles that forced me to slow down and re-evaluate my life goals. For the first time in my relatively young life, I was faced with the reality of mortality and the possibility of regrets. I began to wonder if the things on the top of my resolution list were really deserving of their prioritization. So I did the thing that had begun to grow mold at the bottom of my to-do list, and it was even more fulfilling than I had imagined. Even though it required some sacrifice and lots of support from friends and family, it was time well spent and one of the best experiences I have ever had. Recently, over coffee with a friend, she shared with me that she had lost sight of the things that truly brought her joy; the kind of things that would cause her face to light up when she spoke about them. I asked her, “What is the one thing you find yourself dreaming about doing?” When she answered me, her dream seemed like a very attainable goal. But to her, it was something she had denied herself for the sake of what she had always considered to be more pressing needs. After our conversation, she decided to invest in her dream and make it a reality. I have never seen her so excited.Life was never intended to be full of humdrum and monotony. We are creatures created with an innate ability to hope, believe, dream, and strive. Living responsibly is admirable and necessary, but it does not have to be to the exclusion of the things that add emotional value and experiential growth. We eschew procrastination when it comes to work or chores, but often find every excuse to ignore our secret aspirations, convincing ourselves that pursuing them would make us selfish. Our time on this earth is too short to put off until tomorrow the things that are important. Whether it is a trip of a lifetime, the challenge of running a marathon, or an accomplishment like writing a book or starting a business, with careful planning and hard work, your dream is only steps away from becoming a reality. Finding a trusted friend to share your dream with can often be the first step. Perhaps you can even be that friend for someone else. Even if it takes years to reach your goal, just giving yourself permission to believe it can happen can set into motion a chain of events that started with a little positivity. This year do not be afraid to look past the usual items on your resolution list, and dig deeper to find the things that will make 2024 a year to be remembered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *