The Power of Dreams

Cheryl - New Philadelphia, Ohio
Entered on March 7, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: hope, purpose
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I believe in the power of dreams.

At 45 years old, I was at a cross-roads. My two oldest children were college-age and my youngest not far behind. A registered nurse but mainly a stay-at-home mom, my job description was beginning to undergo serious re-definition. I dreamed of stretching my boundaries, maybe in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

I had stumbled into writing several years earlier and found a new passion. After some success publishing short stories and picking up a few jobs as a book reviewer for some online sites, I hit a wall. It took my husband to bring my passion and my bachelor’s dream together.

“It’s too bad you don’t have an English degree.” That statement from my husband sparked a desire and within two weeks I was enrolled in a small college thirty miles from home, in pursuit of that degree. I’m over halfway done and will graduate in the spring of 2010. Along the way, the dream expanded. I now plan to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing.

It hasn’t been easy, this journey in pursuit of a dream. It’s difficult going back to school. Finances are tighter. Time for relationships is sacrificed. Fulfilling multiple roles—student, wife, and mother—is exhausting most of the time. But working toward this goal, this dream, has given my life a new purpose and opened up endless possibilities.

I don’t know where the pursuit of this dream will take me, but it doesn’t matter. If my dream of a master’s doesn’t work out, it won’t matter. What has mattered is the courage to pursue the goal, and the encouragement I’ve received along the way, especially from my family.

But this encouraging of dreams is something my husband and I have done with our own children, prodding them to discover their own passions and pursue them as hard as they can, no matter what others may think. As a result, my son obtained his pilot’s license before his driver’s license and continues to work toward more flying ratings. His dream is to fly in the Alaskan bush. My daughter who is gifted in the sciences—strongest in chemistry—has been encouraged to excel in a field dominated by men. My youngest son has discovered music and in two years has taken up guitar—electric and electric acoustic—as well as drums. He has stretched even further and has begun to compose lyrics.

I believe the power of dreams gives a person hope and encourages the development of a passion. Each one of us has dreams; a passion. Too often dreams are discouraged or squelched in the name of practicality. But when dreams are allowed to die, what makes that person unique dies with them.

I believe as a dreamer allowed to dream, it is my responsibility to encourage others to dream also and pursue that passion, find that purpose.

I believe in the power of an unleashed dreamer.