A long, long time ago, I allowed myself to dream, and dream big. I was a little girl who believed that she would be a pretty ballerina, a doctor, a pilot, the president, and still have plenty of time to play. Barbie could do all those things? So why not me? My parents didn’t have the heart to burst my bubble, because they knew too well that the older I got, dreams would lessen and change, and reality would struck like a lightning. They let me have those dreams and told me the lie that many of us hear growing up: be and do anything you want.
No parent lies to their child on purpose. Deep down I know that most mothers and fathers want their children to accomplish that what they didn’t. They want richness and success and happiness for their offspring. They also know that we are only granted a few years in our lifetime to see things, the way a child sees them: the impossible, is possible.
Twenty-seven years in, the harsh truth of our world today has slapped me around enough times. It turns out, you are not the only person who wants to work for the National Geographic, or be a photographer, or discover something new about the universe, or travel the world. You realize that you are in a race, an endless competition to be more and to do more, and then you start forgetting why you are in the race in the first place. What is your real purpose on this earth where other 7 billion people might be asking themselves the same question. Why am I here?
I realize that I have had a lot of great experiences. There is so much that I should feel grateful for. I am. I am grateful for the blessings in my life. In all honesty, I feel that I have failed horribly in this so-called life. I feel that I have failed to my loved ones, to the dreams that I had of creating something meaningful. Ultimately, I have failed to myself. I can’t help but wonder, am I alone in this? I have fallen in the habit of comparing myself to others that are more talented, more gifted, how can I compete?
I began to question what do I do wrong. You might think that comparing myself to others is a hint. Don’t we all compare ourselves to others though? At one point or another? Perhaps the real problem is that I’m competing and I don’t even know against who. Against myself, probably, the voice in my head that tells me that there’s more to do, and that I’m not where I should be.
Maybe it’s not too late to be and do what I want. I’m not too old to step on ballerina shoes again. It’s not too late, unless I think it’s too late. Excuses must be ignored and I shall face the fears. If you find yourself in my shoes, searching for answers, for dreams, all I can tell you is to think about what is most important to you and go after it. I know what is important to me. It’s time to own up to it.