Paradox of big dreams and small beginnings

Photo by Ewa Stepkowska on Unsplash

My dream needs to be colossal, rocket-shooting-myself-over-to-the-moon, and truly magnificent that it overwhelms me with excitement just thinking of it or seeing myself in the threshold of achieving it. Sometimes a venerable type of fear wakes me up from daydreaming because I realized how difficult the path really is and don’t even get me started on competition.

Start small and simple, begin things slow and grow gradually.

These were accumulated advice from friends and my writing mentor. When I consider what I need to achieve my dreams, I come up with many excuses like having no money, no talent and no opportunities that hinders me. Truthfully, what impedes me the most is fear that I will fail and it’ll all be downhill from there. It’s so much easier to just give up. … Now that I wrote it here, I gave myself the opportunity to see the very bottom. Honestly, I’ve been running away from opportunities to become a published author for several decades. So, either I stay here in the bottom or climb up. I should use whatever resources I currently have: life-given lessons, writing lessons from my mentor, and writing opportunity to readers like you. These are all resources to wake myself up, my talent and continue to expand my horizon. Every step I take, however minute and exiguous, leads me towards reaching my goal. 

This is what it is, life’s paradox of big dreams and simple beginnings. Just check out how life around us begins every single time. Back when we lived in Stuttgart, a couple of trees are growing along the side of the main street. Their branches are directly in front of the windows of our 2nd floor apartment. After the winter spell, every branch would start to manifest the small steps to greet the next season. A small, shy bud here, a very small leaf there, and a bird hopping from one branch to the next as if testing each one. Yet come summer time, the trees do not even permit us to see beyond their leafy branches. Each tree may have begun at a different point in time during spring but they are all flourishing equally by summer and displaying their array of abundant colors by fall.

The great thing about dreaming is that you should go big or go home and the odd thing about any beginning is that one has to start small.

Do you approve? Still go and live your life!

Dear readers,

Do you approve of me?” is a question that were never voiced when we talk to our parents, siblings, other family members, and friends regarding our dreams. We seek approval and acceptance but we can’t seem to ask that question directly, perhaps since it will make us sound so destitute for affirmation in the end.

Photo by Jenna Anderson on Unsplash

I have spoken with my family and several friends about pursuing my dreams. They, in turn, have numerous questions of their own:

“Is that what you really want to do?”

“How are you going to go after it?”

“Have you mapped out what path to take?”

“What are your plans to succeed in it?”

“Do you have a plan B to achieve your goal?”

Many of them have a realistic view on how I could fulfill it or how the dream might fail; this perspective is based on the environment they grew up in and their experiences.  Any which way they answered my question, my instinct is to check if they have answered the covert question–the question I dare not ask up front:

“Do you accept me and my dreams?”

This is a bizarre situation I placed myself in because I am setting myself up for rejection and even double rejection. Whatever their answer is to the main question, I will always look for meaning and clarity on the concealed question.

As a whole, many have been supportive in my pursuit as long as I always evaluate and re-evaluate the path I need to take to get there—I have to stay focused.  There were also many who pushed me to “try things out” because in the end regret for not trying is the real failure.  Most of all, there were many who unconsciously answered that they do approve of me and better yet they believe and have faith in me. That at last made me realize that my goal in achieving this dream is truly not to please other people.

Pleasing people is similar to opening a valve that drains you. Depending on who you are trying to please, it could feel seemingly small and totally unnoticeable or a constant overflow from a dam. Perhaps it started as a trickle and now you’re dealing with a downpour. This is still an ongoing battle in my life but it feels wonderful to tell myself that it is not my goal and I could definitely take it off of my goal list. Right now my goal is to maximize my skills to produce wonderful stories and books that would reach out to people, so I should focus on that.

Readers, the main lesson I am learning here is to take responsibility for my life.

I can’t turn to anyone and blame them for leading or pushing me to pursue things nor could I sulk and wait around for life to hand me bags of gold and opportunities. Neither should you.  So, this is what it means to move forward:

  • Find your dreams and exclusively pursue it
  • Undertake it without pleasing other people
  • Lastly, it is your responsibility to live your life to the fullest.