Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Day I Learned Not to Dream

When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was write. I carried a green-coversealed notebook around with me all the time. I jotted down bits of conversations I overheard, interesting words, and detailed descriptions of protagonists that would star in my stories.

Then one day, my dad threw my notebook in the trash. It got collected by the garbage truck and went to the landfill to die. I cried and asked my dad why he would do that. “Oh that book isn’t important”, he said. What he meant was your stories, your dreams aren’t important to me or the world.

I carried that message with me a long time. I stopped writing. But even though I had stopped writing people could still see the dream in me. Teachers and colleagues would say things like, “I can see you becoming a famous writer one day”. Yet still I didn’t write.

Eventually I realised, years later, that what he said really had nothing to do with my dreams, my potential or my talent. What he said reflected how he felt about his dreams: he had given up on himself.

Can you think of times when people close to you have tried to squash your dream? Just for today allow yourself to wonder whether maybe that person’s criticism or rejection of your dreams had nothing to do with you at all. Allow yourself to wonder whether it is time to re-invite your dream into your life again.

Photo credit: dreaming by jared on flickr.

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