I have the good fortune to volunteer in my girls' classroom once a week. I find this to be an invaluable opportunity to get to see how my girls interact with others, gauge how they are performing in class, etc.
Last week their regular teacher was out sick so they had a substitute. She had just finished reading a story to them and began talking about the fact that the author and the illustrator had also been kindergartners at one time. She started asking the children what they wanted to be when they grew up and, of course, the answers varied widely from "worker at McDonald's, to a doctor, to a Mom. The obvious point being that they could be anything they wanted to be if they were willing to put in the time to make it happen.
You have probably heard about what Oprah calls an aha! moment. Well this was mine. I sat there pondering what I had wanted to be when I "grew up" (although I am not even sure I know what that means) and realizing that I hadn't achieved it. And then I began to wonder why.
Why do those 25 kids in that kindergarten class genuinely believe they can be whatever they want to be and where does that belief go? Why is it when you get to older you let go of that belief? Why do you allow your dreams to go by the wayside? And, furthermore, does it have to happen?
I guess for me those dreams collapsed when the reality of life set in. I started working when I was in 10th grade and had a job until I had my children. I got used to money, used to having what I wanted when I wanted and my dreams seemed like something of the past. Please don't misunderstand me. These were conscious choices and decisions I made. Nobody forced them upon me. I guess like many other people the "rat race," got the best of me.
So here I am, almost 38 years old, wondering some days why I gave up so easily. I do not regret anything that has happened in my life. I am a firm believer that everything in your life happens for a reason. Good, bad or indifferent there are lesson to be learned. And I love being a wife and a mother. I believe there is no greater calling. But what else could I have taught my kids, how much better of a wife could I have been, could I have contributed more to society if I would have followed my dreams?
The lesson for me from this aha! moment is to hold tight to my dreams. I will no longer allow someone to tell me I can't be who or what I want to be. I will follow my heart. I will try not to worry about what other people think or allow their judgements to cloud my pursuits. I intend to dream big, follow through and be the best ME I can.