I remember, when I was a little kid, feeling like I had some sort of magical, untapped, limitless power inside of me. I would lay in bed at night allowing my imagination to run wild. I would create these perfect fantasy worlds in my head and I felt unstoppable.
I knew that there were limits in life. For example, I desperately wanted a horse but living in the suburbs that was not feasible. As my dad pointed out there were laws indicating how much land you needed to have and we did not meet the requirements. As I type this now, I wonder if that was true or just something he said to shut me up…
In my fantasy world, all the neighbors on my block would cease to exist. I wished them no ill will, they simply disappeared. Our entire street was vacant expect for my family, so all the “yards,” were now ours and we had plenty of room for horses. Of course, in my perfect fantasy world I only considered the parts of having a horse that appealed to me: Their beauty, riding them, interacting with them. There was never a point that I dwelled on their care, mucking out stalls, etc. That is the perk of fantasy.
My entire childhood and perhaps to some degree even into high school, I dreamed big. Nothing was out of reach, nothing was off limits. I could have whatever I wanted, I could do or be whatever I wanted. My dad always told me, “You can have anything you want in life, all you have to do is earn it.” Somehow though, I lost that. I let life get me down or convince me that I needed to be practical. While there were still beautiful stories in my head; picking up and moving to some distant city, or becoming a famous writer by the age of 22, or being filthy rich, or who knows, I abandoned them.
I started making safer choices. I’ve always wanted to write, since I was a little kid. I would write silly short stories to pass the time. I would tell intricately woven stories with my Barbies, or playing house or any of those things kids don’t seem to do nowadays. When I started college, however, I opted to pursue a degree in Human Resource Management. The classes bored me to death but they were safe. I was already a manager in a fast-food chain. They had a franchise office. I could get a business degree and that would guarantee a good job. I was also considering being a teacher but I wanted to teach Spanish and I was afraid I would always sound like a gringa speaking it which wouldn’t be helpful to students. I was scared. So I took business classes. (I don’t think I’ve ever admitted to anyone before why I didn’t pursue being a Spanish teacher).
I have bounced around in the years since high school, carving out little niches for myself. I’ve gathered up myriad experiences that have helped to shape who I am today. I’ve tried on lots of different roles, and pursued my varied interests. As a kid I always imagined myself being a waitress- I loved the interactions they had with their tables and I can say I’ve done that. In fact, sometimes I even miss it. I wanted to be a hair stylist but that also seemed scary to me as I felt like an unkempt mess. I overcame that fear and I did it and loved it. I’ve been a manager, I’ve been an employee, I currently get to teach in the job that I have now.
So where does that leave me? I am realizing never stop dreaming big. Never silence your inner truth. I am back in college and getting a degree in English. That scared the shit out of me for years, I couldn’t see a “practical’ way to apply that. It doesn’t matter though. I need to do it. (ok and now I have figured out “practical” way to apply it).I am reconnecting with myself, my passions, my soul. I’m learning to quit silencing what doesn’t make sense and listen to my gut. All in all, I would say I am in a damn good place.