This week my office celebrated the special "Bring Your Kid to Work" day. Oh, the memories that surfaced from my own childhood. I remembered the days when I would tag along with my mother to her health care job and watch in complete awe as she took care of the elderly. It was different to view things from the perspective of an onlooker today (since I am not a parent).
On a daily basis, I am around my younger sisters who are over a decade younger than me. It's so intriguing to see how they maneuver through life. But, as I volunteered and colored with the younger group at my office, I was amazed. Their intelligence stunned me. It also made me reflect on my own life versus the innocence of their own.
I asked a few of the girls who I was chaperoning what they desired to be when they grew up. One stated, "I want to be a Veterinarian." I smiled and said, "wow, that was what I wanted to be." The other two said, "I want to be a doctor." This prompted me to ask what type of doctor. The both of them expressed, " a Pediatrician."
I simply said to myself, "wow."
When I was a little girl, I would always answer the famous question of what I wanted to become by saying that I wanted to be a Pediatrician. For many years, this vision and idea stood by my side. I wished to help children all over the world if I could. Eventually, I came up with an insane idea (that was later crushed).
I wanted to be a Pediatrician and Veterinarian and I would have a huge office with a divider (for safety and health reasons). I imagined this large office that served both children and animals only a few steps away from each other. In my mind, it was okay because kids loved animals, obviously!
The scary thing about the thought of this dream is that it slowly began to crush and become an impossible thing to reach. As I listened to the young girls predicting their future, I saw hope. I saw trust in their dreams and a sense of fearlessness.
I always laugh to myself when adults say that the younger years were the ages of innocence and then they turn into terrors. Well, it's true, but not in the sense that we would like to think.
Our surroundings, our friends, parents and of course our own self-doubt all play a role in crushing or building our dreams, aside from the influence on us as people. I recall telling a few friends when I was younger that I would have a house in California and a Condo in New York. As if it were yesterday, I can remember my friend's brother saying, "you need to be real with yourself. That is not reality."
Though I still believed it would happen one day, that was the seed that was planted within my mind that allowed me to push the dream away. "This is impossible, it's not real."
A 10-year old stole my dream. These little girls have the dream to be the best that they can be. One specifically said that no matter what type of doctor she becomes, she wants to make sure that she is helping people. That's so important.
The thing is, I want each of them to steal my dream. I want them to steal the dream that I had and the ones that they hold onto. As they should at the young, innocent age and as we should still do so now.
Every day is a chance to be empowered and to live our lives. Fear is natural. It is of the essence. That which will help to determine our character and build our strength. Life is a beautiful mess and a necessary fight.
As I climb higher up on the ladder of life aka as I get older, I am beginning to realize the many dreams that I allowed to be stolen from me.
I encourage you to take what you deserve and what you are owed. It's your dream. Steal it back and don't fall short of what can and will distract you.