What they don’t tell you about dreams

What’s your dream? I mean No-holds -barred, complete picture, wildest dream? Is it to be an actor? A musician? A fortune 500 CEO? The next Mark Zuckerberg? Whatever it is, I bet you can do it.

My dream is to be a teacher. I know, right? It might seem pedestrian to some of you, dear readers. My dream is anything but “pedestrian” though: I want to be the caliber of educator that changes lives- the next Jaime Escalante, Erin Gruwell, Joe Clark, Nadia Lopez… or even the next Kalli Carvalho, Herbie Berry, Mike Yee, James Mazzaferro, Melanie Lewis, Philip Goodwin, Brenda Langworthy, or Tami Stevens… and the absolute best thing I can say is that I know I am capable of doing it.

-BUT-

Everything worth having takes work. I am a fantastic teacher and I make no bones about it. I am not to the level I’d like to be yet, though. Notice that word? “Yet” is all at once the best and most frustrating word in my vocabulary. I want to have my own classroom now. I want to be designing my own curriculum now. I want to be living my dreams now.

Here’s what the movies and reality tv shows forget to tell you: dreams take (above all) patience- and patience is often the reason people fail at their goals. Try this: sit down with anyone who has accomplished what you wish you could, and ask them about how they got to where they are now. Chances are pretty good that they’ll have stories of hours spent practicing, metaphorical (and sometimes literal) hoops they had to jump though, coffees they had to fetch for irritable bosses, and a myriad of other obstacles they had to overcome before they got to this place of success.

There will be boring pieces to your journey. There will be days you have to force yourself to do yet another menial task that doesn’t feel like it relates at all to your goal. There will be nay-sayers, haters, and people who seem to do it better than you. You are the only you. You are the only person with your exact story, outlook, and abilities all in one good-looking package. Every day is important. You capabilities (past, present, and future) are important. YOU are important.

You got this.

I say this not because I know you personally or because I can see the future… but because I know that (the general) you can do anything you apply yourself to. In high school, I was the student who had a parent/teacher conference every single semester. I almost flunked  out a few times (I literally passed one class 1% away from failure in my senior year). I am where I am today partially as a result of a few lucky factors coming together in the right way at the right times, but mostly as a result of making the initial decision to pursue the dream, and continuing to make smaller daily decisions of doing things every day to continue to work towards it.

I’m not where I want to be yet, but some day I will be.

With patience.

-L

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