This I Believe

Jennifer - Auburn, California
Entered on October 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: purpose

I believe in the power of having dreams or goals in life.

When I was in the 6th grade, my dad put up a basketball hoop in our driveway at my urging. I know his reluctance in putting it up resided in the fact that this would become the toy of the moment and soon enough spiders would be getting more use out of it then me. But that did not happen.

I remember the night I knew what having a dream felt like. My father and I played basketball almost every night. Our game of choice: Three Point HORSE. I loved playing three point HORSE with my dad. I was twelve years old and for the first time in my life, I realized I was really good at something besides playing barbies and what a great feeling that was. My dad and I played at least a thousand games in the span of a few months. We even kept a tally of wins and losses. I remember one night I had beat my dad and he told me that he had to play his very best to try and beat me.

My dad was more or less telling me I had a gift and that I should pursue it and it didn’t matter that I was a girl and it didn’t matter that I was only twelve years old. My dad made sure I knew ANYONE in life had the inalienable right of dreaming and pursuing that dream. My dream of playing basketball in college gave my life its first light to follow and I swear, my life became real and palpable at that very moment. My dream drove my life. Having a dream taught me self-discipline and the importance of hard work. I really don’t know where I would be and who I would be without my first dream.

Dreams give us purpose and provide and individual with hope. I am teacher and recently a student remarked that she didn’t know what life would be like without being able to dream and pursue that dream. To understand her, just take a look at other cultures where dreaming is a luxury such as: third world countries. Life in those countries is filled with necessary tasks because just surviving life on a day to day basis is an accomplishment enough.

My wish for everyone in life is to find something they love and pursue it. My first dream became the glue that to this very day holds my life together. My dream set me apart from everyone. My dream gave me my identity. My dream gave me a skill that I still dazzle people with on occasion. Now, I might not have accomplished my dream of playing college basketball but my dream set the tone for the rest of my life. Every time I go into my parent’s garage, I make sure to find the plastic garbage bag filled with my eight or nine worn out basketballs that my dad, for whatever reason, kept. Those basketballs are a reminder of my first dream and the power that dream gave me. I will always keep that bag of worn out basketballs. This I believe.