I've spent the past two years writing and interning for an organization that completely enhanced and transformed my life. I've built relationships with women in all corners of this country and some across the globe. My heart has drummed one beat after another for the cause that is I AM THAT GIRL. I have had the privilege of learning from women I idolize and sharing my story with younger girls. It was always my hope that they, at their tender ages, would not feel so alone knowing that women before them have made it through similar situations... and become better and stronger human beings in spite of their struggles.
It's been incredible, enlightening, inspiring and motivating. I've learned that I have more interests and more passions in life than I ever thought possible. A typically scared individual, I am learning to stare my fears in the face and conquer them without second guessing myself (something I've struggled with my entire life).
Over the past two years, self-exploration has been in the forefront of my life. I've dedicated countless hours to journaling, dating myself, engaging in hard conversations with people I trust and really getting to know who I am. Learning about my needs and how I can best serve myself and the people in my life, was one of the most incredible self-discoveries I've made. Throughout this time I also learned that I hadn't really given myself permission to dream. I think a lot of times, we limit the dreaming to the kiddos, emphasizing that they CAN DO ANYTHING they set their minds to. At a certain point, we stop reaching for some of those dreams. Perhaps we achieve them, perhaps we settle for something less than our original aspirations... but somewhere in my nearly 30 years, I started to stop believing that the dreams I had dreamt up as a child were attainable.
Almost a year ago exactly, I wrote about a quote from one of my favorite philanthropists, Sophia Bush. Earlier this week, the quote resurfaced for me, and it now resides on the cover of a binder that is housing one of my most precious dreams. Part of the quote reads,
“The dream is what you imagine, the hustle is what you have to do to actually live it and the hustle is hard, no matter what career path you’re in.” –Sophia Bush
We get so caught up in being dreamers. People appreciate that you have a dream and often look at dreams with romanticized ideations. But I think sometimes we become so enamored with dreams being dreams that we forget (or we don't actually believe) that we are capable of making them come true. I know that I'm incredibly guilty of that. When thinking about my aforementioned dream, it always seemed so far out of reach, a beautiful thought, something to fantasize over. I don't think I ever truly believed it was something I was meant to accomplish.
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So what of dreams, then?? I refuse to believe that dreams are meant to stay dreams. Dreaming is a beautiful concept but I can't help but become frustrated at the idea that dreaming is merely theoretical. What purpose do dreams serve if we only look to them to give us warm and fuzzy false hope?! We owe it to our dreams and to ourselves to chase after them with the intent of catching them... or, if you ask me, we do not deserve to dream them at all.
This binder of mine, it comes with me everywhere. With it, I carry a journal that I am utilizing to brainstorm, plan, and explore the depths of my creativity and my passion. The simple act of keeping this physical representation of my dream close has helped reaffirm the "hustle" for me. It is allowing me the space to dream out loud, so to speak. Having it close at all times gives me the opportunity to embrace inspiration when it comes, instead of putting it off until I have time (if you know me... you know I'd be waiting for months). For the first time since I was a little girl reciting monologues and making music videos in my bedroom mirror, I am actively and confidently pursuing a dream I've had for 10 years.
It feels good people. It feels really good.
So my friends, I implore you to dream dreams. Don't place yourself in the box of adulthood and assume you have no right. Dreaming is for everyone... not just the kiddos. But don't dream in vain. Decide what you want and actively pursue it. Remember, “The dream is what you imagine, the hustle is what you have to do to actually live it..."
Hustle hard my friends,
and dream on.
Wishing you growth, gratitude and grace always-