Don't Lose Your Dinosaur: When Dreams Change
When I was 14, I was more ambitious than I am now at 23. I had a plan of carefully laid out goals and nothing could stop me. I made my list having little to no knowledge of how these dreams could actually take shape, and it didn’t matter. I was still young enough to retain that simple notion that I was capable of anything.
It was simple: When I graduated high school, I was going to Oxford. I was going to be heralded as a genius young writer, graduate with honors, become financially stable immediately (potentially the most outrageous of these goals) and find the person of my dreams, who coincidentally would also be financially stable.
I don’t know what tuition is over at good old Oxford, for an international student no less, but my 23 year-old self sincerely thanks my parents for compromising on college choices with me. I went to school still in state, just five hours away. No, I didn’t even apply to Oxford. I couldn’t even bring myself to write a good enough essay just for the honors program for my public state college. No, I haven’t achieved any of those other things on my proposed list of post-undergrad goals.
All too often, I see some bleak web comic about a child having a dream, then growing up and losing that dream because of bitter “reality.” I’m here to say I hate those comics. All of them. Yes, we all have dreams as kids that, as we grow older and hopefully wiser, we realize we can’t totally hold onto them. And that’s perfectly all right. Sure, at 10 years-old, I probably wanted to be some secret agent turned Olympic ice skater turned Lara Croft. And then at 14, I already had a completely different set of things I wanted for myself. But that’s the thing about growing and changing: it’s a good thing. Now, at 23, I could see myself as a successful restaurant owner (who moonlights as Lara Croft).
Being an “adult” doesn’t automatically make you dead-eyed and boring with no sense of imagination; it means you have had and will continue to have more ideas and more opportunities.
At the risk of this becoming too much like an excerpt from a motivational speaker’s book, I’ll end this with a very important quote from Stepbrothers:
“Don’t lose your dinosaur; don’t lose your dream.”
[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]