Somewhat of a Memoir, EIGHT: Dreams

EIGHT

DREAMS, as fellow Millenial Hilary Duff sings, are what this is made of. I am a firm believer that if dreaming won’t get you to a better time, it’ll no doubt get you through a bad one. Having dreams is a certifiable way to make sure you never reach your full potential, and not because your dream is set too high but because your dreams will grow in a direct proportion to how much you continue to accomplish. Dreams are the insatiable appetite that you will always have room and greater hopes for more.

Dreamers dare to change the world. I can think of a number of direct examples that instinctually come to mind, not to deny aforementioned Hilary. Following our dreams is how many of us find our purpose. Walt Disney said a dream is a wish your heart makes. I wish for a lot of things and I have not once gotten there by denying myself the possibility that it could come true. Dreams have helped me carefully plan and strategize my future, and even if I didn’t completely follow through it undeniably got me further than I was. Don’t be afraid to dream. Pour your whole heart into it. They say that if you shoot for the moon, you’re bound to land amongst the stars. Am I sounding overly optimistic yet? I’ll try to tone it down. I do really mean it though. There is no foolishness in wanting be better for yourself and believing that you are capable of it. You have to sometimes quite literally fight for what you believe in. I’m not saying get violent or anything but stack up the arguments behind you on why this is accessible. Stick up for yourself. You are your only number one in this world and you owe that much to yourself to never give up.

I know those that know me well that read this will air on the side of caution and advise me, as the words are so shockingly branded in my brain, to slow down. I am a huge dreamer and often get carried away in could bes. Although I can be such an idealist that it can sometimes lead to carelessness, recklessness and impulsivity I know that the only way I am going to get ahead is by firmly believing and reaffirming that I am capable and will achieve greater things. To those that are thinking this of me, in my defense, I have felt quite literally trapped, in a psych ward or other, and desperate to get out of absolutely, not even the least bit over-dramatic, horrible situations. Part of getting out if it was the ability to see something else, something better. Sometimes someone offered that opportunity during inopportune times to me and other times I had to create it for myself. I have learned through years of counseling and therapy to identify the situation you don’t like, map out the best possible solution and ask yourself what concrete steps you can take in order to achieve this ideal outcome. Even better, plan out the best three possible scenarios and have some fall back plans. It is always helpful when you are open to negotiating and have a couple of plan Bs or next best things on the radar. You can help yourself. You are your best possible ally through almost everything.

Definitely get your hopes up about the future. Get excited — it gets you far. If you are lucky enough to find something that you are passionate about don’t let it go. I usually caution against high expectations but when your life is at stake I largely think that a fair amount of eagerness will serve you well in achieving your dreams and keeping them sustainable. When it comes to you and yourself and putting those goals at the forefront, I don’t know many examples where hope has compromised anyone. Make yourself a priority. It’s not selfish.

I am a perpetual dreamer. My name literally translates as dream from Gaelic. I firmly believe that dreams are a tool we can use to improve ourselves. I can be very imaginative and I think that the more detail you put into a dream, the more tangible it becomes.There is something to be said for being modest and humble but never be it so much so as to sell yourself short. There will be so many obstacles in this world that you don’t need to be in the way of your own idea of success, whatever that looks like. I have somewhat regularly when in such a scenario dreamed myself out of dentist chairs thinking fondly of being on a beach and closing my eyes to pretend that I’m on a chaise lounge under the bright sun. I put myself in a relaxed place and it almost always makes everything go smoother.

You dreams are fluid. What you want now may not be the same as what you want a year from now. Our lives are constantly changing and in flux. Go with the flow. Allow yourself to change your mind and tweak and modify exactly what it is you want to accomplish. If you go one way and it doesn’t work out and you want to completely change your direction and do something utterly different that is your prerogative and all the more power to you for being that much closer to narrowing down what it is that will ultimately make you happy.

Purposefully dream. Put in place actions that will benefit your big-time goal and a plan of steps to help you achieve it. A dream can seem far away, unprobable and out of reach until you take a look at what needs to be done in order to get there. Once you know what you want you can break it down into smaller, more achievable milestones and put in place behaviours and habits to help promote your desired outcome. Dream big but be the happiest you can with any small accomplishment towards that bigger goal. Praise yourself for doing for something great, no matter how slowly it comes. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice now in order to benefit later. There is no shame in investing the present moment to benefit your future. Be mindful not to make yourself completely miserable and to not exclude yourself from things that bring you joy now even if it doesn’t help achieve your long term goal. It’s important to have a balance and make sure you are nourishing yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually in the current so that your long term goal is more feasible.

The more energy, thought and consideration you put into something the more it manifests in your life. You will become opportunistic and see more potential for why this can be a reality for you. The more honest you are about what it is you really want the easier it is to make decisions in line with what you need to help you succeed. Literally ask yourself that everyday. For your own sake. It’s okay if it changes or you realize you need more than what is at your disposal in the present moment. Knowing is a step closer to having.

Remember that dreaming isn’t just passively staring into a blank space and wishing something were different. It’s defining what that something different is and creating conditions that facilitate that outcome. I makes lists and budgets, I do creative visualization, I have vision boards and I do a ton of research. You have to get busy and actively take a leading role in making that change happen. You are the common denominator to most things in your life so act accordingly. We get less malleable, if I can say, as we get older as if we are less receptive or influenced by those around us. That’s why the initiative has to come from within us. It’s our responsibility.

If I can tell you just one thing about dreams it’s that they are eternal and perennial opportunities. They are not restricted by limitation and boundaries. They can be as wild as you imagine them and they are at your will and freedom to explore and elaborate on. The more you narrow down on the specifics and details of your dream, the easier it is to turn them into a reality. There is a moment where a dream goes from idea to plan. This is a great turning point and the catalyst to making that plan become a reality. I was never good at meditating, but if I took that same time that I would to sit quietly to set some intentions and pledges to be better to myself, for myself, and really got into the details of what that looked like and felt like, just seeing it in my mind made it that much closer to my grasp. You’d think for how much I like to run off in my imagination I’d much better enjoy fiction, but to me it’s always more fun when you are dreaming about the real possibilities rather than running away in a made-up world. Dream often, dream big, and dream purposefully.

xxo

Ashlinn

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