Chasing, Gaining, Losing, Desiring Dreams

Cherry blossomsDreams are etched deeply into part of our being – our memories, minds, or spirits perhaps. They influence many vital decisions and alter the courses of our lives. You can choose to stifle them deep inside, never allowing them to see the light and grow into a branch of your life. Alternatively, you can take a wild chance and follow them, knowing they might lead to pain and difficulty. In the end, you will always wonder what would have happened if you never give those dreams a chance.

Still, chasing a dream and catching it only to have it crumble in your fingers is agonizing. Having a fleeting idea fail or not enjoying a temporary situation is frustrating. Yet, realizing your dream that you fought for is a thing you no longer desire wounds much deeper.

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The Fear of Saying “No”

Stepping onto a stone

“By stepping outside your comfort zone to do something peculiar, you confirm that you can do more than you’ve done. Move out!” – Israelmore Ayivor

“No” is one of my least favorite words. I hate saying it to people for numerous reasons. However, the main reason stems from fear.

Fear of them being hurt, upset, or unhappy. Fear of them disliking me, thinking I dislike them, or being rejecting. An even darker fear underlies most of these: fear of how they will retaliate.

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Losing Sight of Yourself

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." - Benjamin Franklin

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin

You know yourself better than any other human.

Sounds simple, right? Why is it then that I find this so hard to remember? I look to others to tell me what I do well, how I look (or how I should look), and who I should become. When I need approval, I don’t even try to rely on myself. Instead, a friend or family member is sure to boost my self-esteem.

Or at least, that is how it has worked most of my life. A time arrives, however, when people around you belittle instead of charm, critique instead of comfort, and ignore instead of notice. Suddenly, you are forced to look at yourself in the mirror in confusion, wondering who you are without the words of others. Or perhaps, wondering if the bitter, nastier labels they stuck on you are the reality of your character.

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Can You Ever Fully Escape Your Past?

Imagine meeting an old group of friends or classmates. One person constantly belittled and even bullied others while growing up. Now, she listens well and even apologized for past actions. Another person, on the other hand, was shy and insecure. He still struggles to speak and usually complains about himself when he does speak.

Situations like this happen to me all of the time although not always in the same day. I meet people from the past who have changed tremendously while others are nearly identical. The questions arise, “Do people change? Can someone move on from the past? Are some people able to forget who they were?”

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Coming Back Stronger than Before

Cinderella

Disneybounding as Cinderella

I am not even sure how to start this exactly. The wait between these posts (both for you reading and me writing) has been far too long.

Life has been a bit hectic and full of changes lately. Since my last post in June (forever ago, I know), I have been offered a new job which I will be leaving the country for in a few months. After years of dreaming and doubting myself, I am going to be teaching English in China. Better yet, the Disney company will still be my employer.

The joy of taking this new step in life comes hand-in-hand with the fear of change. Am I really moving to a country across the world that I have never been to before? How will I learn Mandarin that quickly? How will I survive without my family and friends? How will I ever be confident enough to teach?

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Judging a Job as Fulfilling or Not

Sorcerer Mickey

I love working for this guy!

A few days ago, someone watched me for a few moments greeting people at my job. “Wow, you sure have a fulfilling job,” he intoned sarcastically. “Telling people to go this way and then that way.”

Surprised and rather annoyed, I looked him right in the eye. “I actually love my job.”

“Sure, for now.” He laughed. Heat rushed to my face as I struggled not to cry. It”s not a big deal, I tried to think. But his words still stung.

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When is Nice Too Nice?

Darth Vadar

My fear is that if I am not nice, I will be something like him.

Yesterday, two friends were (playfully) bickering. Laughing a bit, I attempted to diffuse the situation a bit. “You can kick me under the table if you need to,” I offered.

“You’re so nice and sweet,” one remarked.

“That’s not sweet. That’s messed up! Who let’s themselves be kicked?” The other friend questioned. “What happened to you in your past that you are so submissive?”

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No One Has Rights on Me or You

Daisy and me

This sassy duck does not let anyone who doesn’t respect her into her life. 

So much of my time is spent wondering how I am going to say “No” to someone. How will I let him down carefully? How do I keep her from getting angry at me? How do I get out of a situation without having to be obvious?

People are constantly telling me to give others a chance. We are often told not to “judge a book by its cover” and to “take time to really know a person.”

Those words of advice are very helpful in many situations. Yet, these wise sayings do not mean you need to say “Yes” or let everyone into your life. Sometimes, saying “No” is the safest and healthiest option.

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You Remember Me?

Pluto and Santa Goofy

Pluto and Santa Goofy

“Did you take this class recently? Because I remember you saying you were looking forward to bringing your family to Walt Disney World for the first time.”

“You’re back? I so excited to see you!”

“You are going to work there, right? I have been following your journey on Facebook.”

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Be, Do, Become!

This relates so much to how I feel. Some days, I know where life is taking me and am confident in that. Most days, however, are still filled with doubt about the future. And that is okay, I think. At least, it is fine for now.

If I had one single dream, there is no doubt that I’d chase it ferociously. Thing is, I have too many that I can’t articulate, so I find myself stuck. I love fashion, I love writing, I love photography, I love music and gardening and painting and people and…and…and…

I’ve always struggled with this- with having to define myself into one mold. (Which is probably why I’m 28 with an undeclared major.) There are just so many things that interest me, how is a person to only pick one to succeed at? To support their family with?

I was watching some documentary about these people who were so passionate about mountaineering they made it their life’s work to summit the worlds tallest mountains. This was their specific passion even though alarmingly dangerous, and they took it very seriously. In a country where you can pretty much do and become whatever…

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