Before I knew The Limitations of The World, This Was my Dream
Recently it was my birthday, and I started to think about what it was I wanted out of life during my tenth birthday. I don’t know why, but being a ten year old always seemed to be a special time for me, like it was the prime of childhood. All the books I read and movies I watched growing up, with characters I admired always seemed to be ten year old girls finding secret places that were especially their own. I looked back to a diary I kept during those days to see what exactly what I wanted. See, I believe that each of us are built with desires and dreams imprinted in our hearts. These imprints When we are young and unaware of the challenges set before us. This is when we are most aware of what it is we were meant to accomplish. As we get older, and things change, then our dreams becomes less simple and we substitute what we were meant to do for what the world expects us to do.
A while back I lost a friend who informed under no uncertain terms that my aims in life were “unrealistic” and “It’s time for you to grow up anyway.” And it’s true, any dream you have as a young woman with a disability today is still highly unrealistic. There is no job field I can enter at this point with no typing skills and manual labor being next to impossible, where my lifetime career would be simple, straightforward, and predictable. Add to the fact that I work in the arts and the entertainment industry is one of the most shallow industries in existence and you have a road map for someone trying to reach the moon without a rocket ship. He didn’t know it at the time I don’t think, but what my friend was asking me to do was to deny my dreams simply because the world wasn’t ready for them. Is unpreparedness ever a good reason to move on, particularly when it’s unpreparedness not on your behalf but on the behalf of the rest of the world? Would it be appropriate for an African-American fifty years ago to say that wanting to get a graduate school education at an institution like Vanderbilt was not a worthwhile dream simply because the school was located in an area that was still full of racial tension? Are we morally obligated to change our ambitions just because they might be difficult to reach or impossible given the current state of our society?
If someone has a family that is dependent on them or other obligations, certain sacrifices must be made, particularly when it comes to earning a living. But those of us who are able to get by and still repeatedly try to break down the walls we choose to demolish might not necessarily have the sociological standard course of action. After all, if no one breaks down the walls that are obstacles in our own culture, they will never come down on their own accord. Rather, they will stay as imposing obstacles waiting for someone in the next generation to tear them down. And so, walls are made until someone is determined to make an explosion and carry through with the demolition process fully.
Dreams are by nature just out of reach, and if they were easy to grasp and lasso down to the floor, would they be worthwhile dreams or just perpetuating the status quo. It is never acceptable to pass on your dreams simply because they are too difficult to accomplish. Difficulty is never a strong enough reason to quit anything.
There was a time when I was very very small, and I did not realize the limitations plastered on the wall. What I did realize was what my dreams were. At about the same age, I would go to sleep and not understand that the things I did after I went to bed and the images that came across my mind were not reality. The next morning I would ask my mom if she remembered flying over the moon with me or dancing with flowers on fairy dust patches. She would look at me and say “That didn’t happen, you dreamed it. It was a dream.” But it all felt so real to me, even after I woke up safely in my bed.
On the one hand, you don’t know which of your dreams will come true or not. None of us ever do. But often the most earth shattering dreams are the ones which most people cannot see and therefore assume to be impossible.