How many of us live the life we wish we were living?

My oldest sister has worked at the same job for ten years. She claims she enjoys her job and I am happy about that. It is not a job that I would enjoy for ten years. It’s just not my kind of thing, but I admire her for having a job that she doesn’t mind getting up in the morning and going to. A lot of people aren’t in this situation. But she admires me, for going after my dream, though it is risky and may never pay. It makes her think of things she wishes she were pursuing, no matter how risky they are.

I don’t think enough people pursue their dreams. Something comes in the way, be it a child, fear of failure, laziness, other pursuits, a job that they took while they decided what they wanted to do, a job that they thought would be doing only for a few years before they moved onto what they really wanted to do, only to find out that they are still there 20 years down the road.

I get tired of others who say that they don’t have any dreams or they don’t know what they are yet. I tell them that they are lying. In the past I was a little afraid to be so strongly opinionated towards people, afraid I might offend them. But maybe it is the strength of my conviction that these people so desperately needed. What people don’t realize is that dreams are God-breathed, and even as you accomplish one, more are given to you. It is dreams, and your pursuit of them, that define the spirit. What are those with no dreams?

Here’s a list of my dreams. Some of them are childish dreams. I wanted to be everything when I was younger. The true ones have remained through the years.

Volunteer firefighter. I liked red fire engines as a kid. I also liked the pole and wanted to slide down it while the sirens blasted. But now I think of saving a person’s life. Of stepping inches from death, and pulling them back. That would feel good.

A cook. To see people smile with that first bite they took and know that for just a few hours or maybe even a few minutes they forgot everything but pleasure.

A baseball player. To hit a game winning homerun to win the World Series and hear the fans roaring with pleasure, laughing and hugging the person sitting in the seat next to them.

A pastor. Wow, these people bleed selflessness. A job you could feel good about at the end of the day, or the end of your life, when the line of people you affected stretches out the door.

A singer. Would that I could sing and move a heart. I have always wanted to make a girl fall in love with me, just by singing her a song.

A policeman. To wear that uniform would be an honor.

A farmer. It is nice to be able to have something to show for a hard day’s work.

A novelist. To write a book that takes people away to another time, another place, another life.

A husband. To hold my wife’s hand at our wedding. To kiss her! To make her more than she could be alone, and be more myself.

A father. To hold my son or daughter the minute after they are born. To walk my daughter down the aisle. To play catch with my son. Is there a greater gift for a man than these things?

A pirate. To sail the seven seas and know no fear! Aargh, matey!

A dancer. Oohey! Would that I could move like the strings of a violin.

A knight. Too bad chivalry doesn’t exist except in a few fine souls these days. I wanted to be Gawain and still do. A knight is a man’s man.

The list could go on and on, but I hope my list made you think of your own, no matter how foolish they seemed or seem.

The toughest thing with dreams, is conquering the fear that goes with them. It seems that fear and realizing dreams, are two sides of the same coin. Encouragement, which is someone else’s belief in you goes a long way to defeating fear. If you are ever in the presence of someone when they voice their fears or dreams, encourage them. Especially children. Their dreams need to be encouraged all the more. The more our children dream, the more they will make this world we love better. No dream is foolish, only those who don’t believe a dream is possible or worthwhile.

© Seth Crossman