Dreams Come True
by Ruby Bayan
I don't remember anymore -- it must have been during high school. Someone said, "Have a dream. And dream big! It won't cost you extra to dream a big dream."
Yes, like every aspiring young student, I had a dream. In fact, I had a lot of dreams -- visions of a future I wanted for myself, and things I wanted to have, everything that I knew would make me happy.
First of all, I dreamed about a life partner -- a soulmate who would take care of me, love me with all his heart, and accept the love and care I offer him in return. He would be my "knight in shining armor", my pillar when I need someone to lean on, my cushion to catch me when I fall, and my inspiration each waking moment of the day. I dreamed of a partner who would hold my hand and share all my dreams and aspirations.
Then I dreamed about a worthwhile career -- where I can learn about as many things as I can. I wanted a job which not only compensated me for my hard work, but which gave me fulfillment, pride in my achievements, and the opportunity to make a difference in other people's lives.
I also dreamed about a life of adventure and excitement -- to compete in sports, engage in outdoor activities that challenge the limitations of the body and spirit, travel to distant places, taste exotic foods, meet interesting individuals, and explore the wonders of the earth.
And finally, I dreamed about growing old in comfort -- with my lifelong partner, in a country house by a river, where I can sit on a porch to watch the sunset, listen to the rustle of leaves, and reminisce about how all my dreams came true.
Oh, I must've been sixteen then, when dreams were so easy to draw up, from a clean slate of innocence and naivete.
As the years rolled on, I found myself having to deal with the harshness of the real world. Major crossroads and decisions brought me pain before they enlightened me with valuable lessons. So much of the growing years were trial and error, and I almost felt resigned to live a life not the least bit anything like what I had elaborately pictured in my younger years.
I was almost forty when I finally decided that it was time to take control of my life. I had to stop allowing myself to blindly drift downstream. I had to stick my head out of the water, get a visual fix on the riverbank, and swim ashore, no matter how difficult it seemed. It was time to act, to make my dreams come true. It wasn't too late.
I knew that if I didn't do something extremely drastic, I will sadly let the years go by, and watch my dreams fade away. And sometime in the future, I will regret not having had the courage to take that vital leap to get to where I really wanted to go.
So, at forty, I looked back at what I originally had as my teenage dreams. Do I still want those dreams to come true? Are they still the dreams I want to pursue and be willing to pay the price for? Maybe the reason they weren't coming true was because I wasn't willing to pay the price. Big dreams have big trade-offs -- should I risk it?
This time I wrote them down -- not as dreams but as goals. I made commitments to myself and I recorded my progress. In less than five years, I had "all my ducks in a row".
My dream of adventure and excitement has seen initial fulfillment in my trips overseas and my involvement with a mountaineering group. I traveled to four countries and peaked seven mountain climbing sites within a span of four years.
My worthwhile career? You're reading it right now. Becoming a full-time freelance writer was a leap of faith. But as a writer I am able to research and learn as much as I can about anything I want to. I find fulfillment in sharing what I know, and in knowing that what I share can make a difference in a reader's life. And I even get paid for being proud of myself!
My soulmate? Even I couldn't believe it, but yes, I have found him. Last year I had to uproot, leave an old life, and cross an ocean, to join him. But like I said, I needed to be willing to pay the price, and to me, that is the very high value of this particular one-in-a-million dream-come-true!
So, there is just one dream left to go after -- that country house in the mountains, next to a river. I have a clear picture of the house in my mind's eye. That's all we need to make a dream come true -- a clear picture and the willingness to pay the price.
Who knows, maybe within the next five years (or after I print my first bestseller?), I will be a lot closer to sitting on that porch, watching the sunset, listening to the rustle of leaves, and reminiscing about how all my teenage dreams finally came true.
The New Millennium is at hand. Have you written down your dreams -- your goals in life? Now is the best time to commit to yourself and your loved ones. And now is the time to start making decisions towards the achievement of your goals, and the fulfillment of your dreams.
It's never too late to dream. And yes, dreams do come true. I know.
[First published in Lifeline Magazine, 1999]