After my last post about Tina Fey not caring about whether I follow my dreams but encouraging my dream friend to do so, I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams, ambitions, goals. Hardly a day goes by without seeing something on Pinterest, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter about “following your dreams”. I’m reminded constantly of an old catch phrase on the Disney Channel: “When you follow your dreams, they can really come true.” I wonder if they still use that..
Having lofty goals and ambitions for yourself is idealized. I would say it is even more so for young girls now as powerful female role models have been moving to inspire ambition in young girls. It seems like everyone wants to have an end goal, an eye on the prize sort of moment when all of their hard work will pay off.
I won’t pretend that I don’t have goals or that I’ve never thought about an end goal, and ultimate moment of this is where all my hard work has brought me. But, and this is true of a multitude of people, I am not totally sure what I want. My goals change a lot, sometimes rapidly, sometimes gradually. They change. As I learn and grow, my mind expands and so do the possibilities for what I could do.
I have a friend who had known what she’s wanted to do with her life for as long as I’ve known her (about 15 years). She’s now making real strides towards those goals and everyone is so impressed. I was even tempted to be jealous of her and I am in some ways.
I have another friend who had a goal to be a news anchor and pursued that with passion. She finally did manage to get in front of the camera when she was a student in a great broadcast journalism program. She hated it.
When I was probably 8 to 13 years old, I was convinced that the only way for me to be truly happy was to become a professional basketball player in the WNBA. Not only am I not good enough to ever play professional (or even college level) basketball, the person I am now would get NO satisfaction out of that.
It’s great to be impressed and proud of people who have always known what they wanted to do and pursued that hardcore. But it’s also important to recognize greatness in people who stumble upon dreams that they haven’t been pursuing for years and years and who end up achieving greatness nonetheless.