A Life of Dreams
I am a non-traditional student here at MWSU, and at age 43, I still dream. I always had a dream of going to college and finding a career that suited me, that would complete me, but life has a funny way of putting people’s dreams on hold. You are never too old to dream, the hard part is taking the chance, to make a change, when the feeling comes over you grab a hold of it and act on it, or the moment just might pass you by.
Every day, all over the world, people are waking up and somehow, for some reason they feel old. It happens to a lot of us. I believe this is a part of growing up, and I’m not suggesting growing up because of your chronological age, but because of the satisfaction one feels from his or her accomplishments, their dreams, no matter their age. Whatever the reasons are for this terrifying feeling that overcomes us, as if life is passing us by, I assure you the rewards of reaching your dreams will significantly outweigh your age.
I cannot speak for the teenager leaving high school to attend college, but I can say that as a middle aged, disabled person returning to college that it is frightening to open a new chapter of your life, no matter how rewarding you know it will be.
People change as they grow older, they tend to slow down, and they tend to find joy in the little things in life. They adapt routines, they get comfortable, and they have responsibilities they have to meet. They now have mortgages, spouses, children, jobs, all which depend on them. Unfortunately, there will always be that “I wish I would of…”, and along with that comes the “what if I would of …” These are the nightmares middle aged people live with everyday when they are trying to justify to themselves why they did not try harder to reach their dreams. As a child I knew I would reach all of my dreams. As an adult I realize how many of those dreams I will never reach. It is so easy to give up when life is hard, and believe me it will be, but I did not give up, instead I woke up. It has been 26 years now since I graduated high school and I am finally fulfilling my dream of going to college.
Teenagers today need to realize as they grow older, they too will someday adapt routines, some with spouses, children, and jobs that depend on them. But for now, this is their moment to shine, to reach for the stars and fulfill their own dreams, so that tomorrow when they wake up and it is 26 years later, they won’t be haunted by the “I wish I would of…” and “what if I would of…”, they’ll be able to look in the mirror and smile. And maybe, just maybe the little things in life they enjoy will be their dream they reached for yesterday!
Whatever your present situation may be in life, a teenager preparing for college, a middle-aged person adapted to your routine, or even a person with a disability, you should never look at your life as half over. Instead, try looking at it as your future, your destiny, your dream…an adventure waiting to happen.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.