Between my fascination with how social media influences our expectations and perceptions of many aspects of the lives we live today and a little sarcastic conversation between my cousin and I about "livin the dream" from the Fourth, the idea of dreams, even the concept of the American Dream stuck with me.
As we read August Wilson's Fences at the conclusion of the school year this year, my students and I talked a little about handling others' negativity and doubt of their ambitions. Teenagers can be big dreamers, and I don't like to be a naysayer of anyone's dreams and ambitions, but my husband sometimes labels me as one with my cautious realistic input that I sometimes impose on my students as well as him.
I don't believe I'm a naysayer at all, but some of the misconceptions I think people forget is life is full of choices, sacrifices, set backs, along with those moments of glory for achieving what we've always wanted. I have some friends that are some big dreamers, but along with being dreamers they're also go getters. They're not afraid of change and they're not afraid to step out of their comfort zone. However, I also know they catch some grief here and there from the naysayers, the ones who don't want to believe.
Here's the other thing. Everyone's dream is different. What is the dream to someone else is not the dream to another person. But no matter what the goals are, I think it's so vitally important to remember it takes work, hard work, a willingness to fail, a willingness to step outside our comfort zones, an acceptance of change, and a willingness to make the sacrifices for what we want. Everything in life is a choice, but no dreams ever just fall in our laps. It's not really a dream achieved if we didn't have to work, shed a few tears, doubt ourselves a little along the way, turn our backs to the naysayers and the doubters, and keep on pushing for the things we envision in life. It will not be easy. It will hurt whether it's physically, mentally, emotionally.
Some today want to mock dreamers, trash the idea of the American dream, disregard it as a lost reality in today's American society. Is it a struggle to get it? Sure, but America's always been about perservence, grit, and working to overcome in order to achieve. Maybe the misconception isn't in believing whether it's a reality of today or not, but in believing it should come easy.
Even though it's always good to have your eye on the prize, I think the other thing to remember is to appreciate the journey along the way. I love dreamers and most of the ones I know do an awesome job of living in the moment even while they're looking ahead. To the naysayer who once told me you can't dream big and live in the moment, oh yes you can. I see dreamers doing it every day.
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