When I started talking, I simultaneously started singing. It was from that point on that I knew where my life path would lead: I wanted to be a rock star.
When I could understand Disney movies, I would play pretend and act like a Disney princess everywhere I went. This gave way to my goal of becoming a Hollywood actress. Destiny.
When I learned how to write, I started drafting stories and from then on, I knew that I would become the highest-selling female author of all time. Obviously.
I always had big dreams as a little girl, and although I abandoned them for a few years, they came back full circle in my early 20s. College seemed like the perfect time to make those dreams come true. I started with acting.
The struggle was most definitely real. Chasing your dreams is not all sunshine and unicorns and it is absolutely not the life of a Disney princess. I always imagined that if I wanted something badly enough for long enough, it was bound to happen.
But, at age 26, I am not where I imagined I’d be with my acting, music or writing careers. It has taken a lot for me to not completely throw in the towel.
One day, after feeling really low and questioning my life choices, I had a revelation. I thought that perhaps it's possible for your dreams to serve you. Not only would this be a way to live out your passions in life, but also, the ride itself could serve as a way to shape the person you are continually becoming.
I first started thinking about every person I have loved and lost along the journey that has become my life. My dreams have essentially allowed me to weed out all of the negative, uncompassionate people whom I once called dear friends.
I am finally at a point where my closest friends are just as motivated as I am. They keep me inspired and ready for whatever comes next.
This was the first part of the revelation. We are often told to surround ourselves with people who exhibit positivity and motivation; those who are ambitious, like us.
But realistically, this is hard to do. Toxic people will continually come in and out of our lives, but by staying focused dedicated to the larger goal, it is easy to ensure their stay won't be long.
The next part of my epiphany was realizing how many times I have had to pick myself back up. Life, in general, leads us to many "nos" and shut doors.
It leads us to trip, fall and hope to God we can pick ourselves back up, once again. And, we always do. But, every "no" is only one step closer to another "yes." Every time we get back up, our hearts grow a little stronger.
The last part of my realization of dreams is that they provide us with experiences we never could have imagined, had we given up sooner.
Think about where you were a year ago. No matter what you say, you were absolutely NOT in the same position as you are today. You learned lessons and you met people.
Your experiences that have helped shaped who you are. And, those experiences came from not giving up on a dream.
No matter what your current job is right now, keep in mind that it’s just a stepping-stone to a larger goal. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the everyday that we forget what we were even trying to accomplish in the first place.
But, constantly reminding yourself of how far you’ve come and how strong of a person you are for getting to this point helps.
Trust me, I’ve been in the rut. I’ve called it quits several times before getting back in the game. But, when you realize that the dream is about the people you meet, the things you learn and the character you build, there is a sense of freedom and power that accompanies it.
So, take in every second of it. Your life is happening right now. When you look back another year from now, you will be even further, even stronger and even braver than before.
Whether we like it or not, we will never stop dreaming. So, we might as well enjoy the ride.