When you were a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
Maybe you held your lightweight baseball bat and approached the tee, ready to whack the living daylights out of that ball … and in your mind, you were up to bat in Game 7 of the World Series.
Or perhaps you held your mother’s broom in front of you, lowering the handle toward your mouth to make a microphone … and you stood on stage in a sold-out arena, belting out your latest single for your adoring fans.
The hours of the afternoon may have found you surrounded by half-broken crayons and dried-out markers, a colorful portrait taking form on the loose leaf paper in front of you … and you later displayed your picture on the fridge, as though it hung in the National Gallery of Art.
If you had a patient mother, she may have let you “bake” alongside her in the kitchen. While she followed her recipe, you experimented in your own bowl with a cup of this, a dash of that … and you created a delicacy for your popular bakery.
We all had dreams and aspirations. As children, anything seemed possible and well-within reach.
So let me ask you: what happened to your dreams?
Maybe you are living your dream right now. You used to dress up as a firefighter and now you wear the real uniform. Or you currently work as a teacher, the job you dreamed of when you stood in front of your classroom of baby dolls. But, maybe—just maybe—in the end you did not really pursue your dreams.
You may have a good reason for that. Perhaps, as the years passed, your interests changed. What attracted you as a seven-year-old no longer appealed to you as a teenager or young adult. Also, practicalities sometimes set in. Financial limitations could have stopped you: private lessons, specialized training, costly equipment, needing to travel … These are serious obstacles sometimes.
Yet … what if that isn’t the case right now? What if you simply don’t have a good excuse for not pursuing your dreams?
Once upon a time I was a girl who dreamed of being an author.
From my earliest years, the art of storytelling enthralled me. My mother read to me daily and I cherished the books we explored together. As a child, I would spend hours playing Barbies, crafting intricate plots for my dolls with conflict, suspense, intrigue, and, of course, happy endings.
Years later, I still loved storytelling. I studied history in college. While I am abysmal at remembering dates, the incredible stories history tells us fascinated me and kept me researching, from the life of Stonewall Jackson to the leadership of Pericles.
Yet, despite my love of writing and that original intent to become an author, somewhere along the way … I lost that dream. Perhaps the practicalities of life got in the way: afterall, I reasoned, I should choose a career that is more dependable and secure than one in writing. Or maybe the rigors of academic life crushed the imaginative energy that ferments dreams such as these.
I met my husband and we married. Somehow, in all the hours conversing over the phone or in person, I never mentioned to Chris that I once dreamed of being a published author. Then I found myself a married woman, relocated to a new state with no job, no longer in school, with an abundance of time on my hands. In that open space, with no pressure of deadlines or responsibilities, I began to dream again. I rediscovered, lying dormant deep down within me, that desire to tell a story.
And thus is the origin of our debut novel, In the Shadows of Freedom, a book Chris and I began a month after we married, but which actually had its roots far back into our childhoods—as I soon learned that Chris, too, once dreamed of being a published author.
Living Your Dreams
Maybe now is the time for you to recall your childhood dreams. Is there a way you can begin to pursue them today, even if through baby steps? Dreams take time, diligence, and patience to achieve, but it might start with something quite simple. You wanted to be a singer? Join a choir. You loved to create art? Go to a paint and sip for a date night or with friends. You wanted to be the next Derek Jeter? Be a coach for your kid’s baseball team.
We had these dreams for a reason. And maybe it’s not time right now to pursue them. I understand that you might have responsibilities that take precedence. I’m not encouraging anyone to neglect the people in your life who matter the most! But I am saying: you also matter. Your dreams matter. If you can’t follow them now, that’s okay. Just promise me you won’t forget them.
Tell Us Your Dreams
I feel so grateful to share my dream with all of you. I invite you to enter into this world we created … after all, we created it for you, the reader! I hope you find pleasure in reading our story. Maybe you can relate to it in some way. Or maybe it will encourage you to look at things in a new light.
Thank you for being here with us. To have a place where we can share this dream of ours with you and connect through the art of storytelling is such a gift, one we truly cherish. I can’t wait to get to know you!