When you’re little, you’re absorbed in a world of wonder and possibilities. There is no end to the options of what you can do, when you grow up. In the meantime, life is dress up and tea parties, spy hideaways in refrigerator boxes, trees as an ever changing house, backyards holding no limits but freedom in adventure. The beauty of exploration is unparalleled. Imagination and pretend allow you shift dream jobs in an instant. From princess, to superhero, to spy, baker, mom, model, actor, pop star, hair stylist, interior designer, writer, missionary, gymnast, and countless others, I have always dreamed like the sky is the limit.
Tiara, tutu, giant sunglasses, neon microphone close by, covered in glitter, notebook and pen always in hand. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I was an little miss independent, full of ideas about how the world should turn. Born to rule the world, wearing pink flowers, carrying my very own green lightsaber – just like my older brothers – always trying to tell everyone what to do. I never ran out of words or ideas in my little kingdom. I’ve always deep down wanted to save the whole world, to change it, in as many ways as possible, never settling for a smaller, more earth-grounded goal.
As you grow older, the questions turn a bit more serious. That all important question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” pervades many areas of life. It spills over into the choices you make. You never know where the passions you pursue and the things you love will take you, but chances are, they indicate some central themes. Sometimes the hopes and dreams are so many it’s impossible to sort through the tangled story lines and view the journey that awaits. But trust that the thread of who you’re becoming, the purpose the makes your soul come alive, is always glittering through the fog, and as you look back, you’ll be amazed at how beautifully it came together. That’s the phase I’m in right now. And despite having dreams reality checked, I still believe in dreaming big and want to change the world. But I’m discovering that I have limitations, unique abilities, special areas that I can impact. So while it may not be the entire world, I am learning to see the importance of the everyday actions, that we truly do change the world every day we’re alive (thank you Switchfoot). As said in Poldark (BBC, my summer show), “You cannot fight all the world, you can only make your own small corner a fairer place.” This is my goal.
Daily, I can choose to love others more deeply, to cultivate rich community and relationships. I can make a choice each time the sun rises to be grateful for the gift of being alive and embrace the wonder of this world, no matter how tired or stressed out I am from late nights, lots of homework, trying to do it all and be all things to all people. It’s a fight that is well worth it. In the end, the big changes only come through being consistent in the in between periods of life. So I dream big, with hopes as high as the sky, plans to still use my words, my love of children, my heart for seeing change take place, for letting others know their story matters. And every second of my time on this earth, I learn the hard way how to embrace the inexpressibly hard joy of living this mission, this desire to change the world, in tangible ways.