There are songs about them, movies that revolve around them, lives that are changed by them, and everyone has them. Without them, there's no drive or determination. With them comes desire and passion. These are dreams.
When I hear the word dream, two definitions come to mind.
1) The mental pictures we get when we're asleep
2) Ambitions, goals, desires, passions, and aspirations we have for the future
Both are good kinds, but dreams are most powerful in their second form. These dreams have power that is surpassed by few other things: they make us worry; they make us cry; they infuse hope in us; they influence any decisions we may make; they can send us around the world or keep us close to home; failing them can kill us; and succeeding in them can be the most wonderful feeling in the world.
Our dreams come in many variations, and we get them as soon as we can think and understand for ourselves. Having been one myself, I know that every little girl goes through phases of what she dreams to be when she grows up: A princess, a veterinarian, a cowgirl, a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, a model, a singer, an actress, a teacher, a housewife, a career woman....the list goes on and on. The dreams are born, they die, and new ones replace them...but some never die. I can't personally say I've had a dream that I've been zealous about back past times before I can remember. Granted, I've always had a little part of me that wanted to sing and play guitar at the Grand Ole Opry and possibly sing the National Anthem at a major sporting event, but it's not a dream I've wanted to chase down to its death. My dreams are constantly changing, and right now, I'm set on the fact that I don't know what my dreams are and I'm waiting to figure them out.
Less than a year ago and for 10 years before that, I had a dream. It came true, too. It's quite a story to tell, so I'll keep this brief. When I was 6, I was diagnosed with Trichotillomania (TTM). In a nutshell, TTM is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that had me pulling my eyelashes out for 10 years, and, for a period, the hair on my head as well. For 10 years, I wondered what it was like to have eyelashes. It seems ridiculous because everyone else had them and didn't give them a second thought at all. As I got older, I started wondering if my lack of eyelashes would prevent me from ever being told I was pretty. If and when I got married and had kids, what would I tell my little girl when she asked why mommy didn't have eyelashes? It killed me to wonder these things and have no answers for them, so I made myself quit. August 31, 2010 was the day I put my foot down. I have lashes now and putting mascara on every day is a tiny gift to myself that says, "It took 10 years, but you did it. Your dream came true."
I believe that our dreams, and only our dreams, are what change the world, but we have to be willing to follow through on them for any impact. Another example using yours truly:
As I'm sure most of you know, I want to go to Notre Dame quite badly. I am pushing myself to the edge to be able to go there, too. I get a B on a test and when everyone tells me that I did a good job, I tell myself that I should have and could have gotten an A. I've gotten little sleep recently and I've even forgotten to eat on many occasions due to my grave in homework--all this just to go to the school I want.
But, like I said, my dreams change all the time. Yes, I do still want to go to Notre Dame, but over the past few years, I've been pushed by family and friends to look into the University of San Diego....so I finally did. It's a good school and I can definitely (note: not "definatly") see myself going there. Nothing is set in stone and I have a year to figure out what I'm going to do, but my announcement that I was even thinking about another school beside Notre Dame shocked quite a few people who have been pushing me toward my goals. It even shocked me.
Do I have a point to this post? I'm not sure. I suppose that if I do, it would be to keep dreaming and to chase your dreams. It's clichéd, but it's true. Everyone we look up to once started out with a dream. They each chased their dreams until they got where they are today. Chasing your dream will get you a lot closer to making it reality than just sitting around thinking about it. Is it risky? Sometimes. Are your dreams worth the effort to chase? Only if you believe they are. If they ask you why, just answer with, "why not?".