Dreams

Today is my last day of field. Meaning the last day of my second-year social work internship! I cannot believe how fast it has gone! My feelings are mixed: bittersweet if you will.

Bitter, because I hate to say goodbye. I have had such a wonderful experience here. My supervisor and coworkers are phenomenal; they each have taught me so much! Not to mention the kids… The children I work with are extraordinary; they are each rock stars and precious beyond belief.

Then sweet. Sweet, because it is time. What lies ahead, who knows? (That question alone I consider bittersweet.) My studies here are a stepping stone; they are the doorway to so many opportunities! Work? More school? I got accepted to some Doctorate programs in Social Work, but Bryan and I are still weighing our options and our dreams; I am even still weighing my own heart and life goals. What I do know, however, is that I am passionate about people. I live to serve and help children and families.

It’s funny how often we weigh our hearts and our dreams. I used to think dreams were definitive. Unchanging. Funny enough, I’m finding more and more that very few of my dreams remain constant as I am constantly changing. For awhile this frustrated me. A few months back even, I looked at one of many life dreams list:

Climb Mt. Everest
Travel to all 7 continents before I get married including Antarctica
Hug a bear in the wild
Marry in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple at the age of 27
Play Belle in the musical Beauty and the Beast
Ride a camel in Eygpt
Drive a tractor
Travel by boat in the Amazon
Live in Boston like my parents
Go on a safari in Africa
Ride an elephant
Write a chapter book…

I was 12. Out of 42 items, I’ve accomplished 11 1/2. For a moment I felt a pang of guilt and disappointment. I dabbled with feelings of failure. Now perhaps I’m rationalizing, but I came to realize that many of the dreams I long ago recorded no longer fit with who I have become. I’d like to think that I’m a better person than I was twelve years ago; I’d like to think I’ve grown. If I still perfectly fit every one of my 12-year-old dreams, that would mean I haven’t grown, learned, or improved.

When I was 12 I knew—I absolutely knew—I would climb Mt. Everest. Ask anyone: my mom, dad, siblings, and friends. I read every book I could find about Everest. I researched costs, training programs, the wait list… I was going to climb Everest. Then at 14 I traveled with my family to Indonesia for a humanitarian project in a remote island village. There I saw scabbies, malaria, malnourished children…I never thought of my Everest dream again. Instead, my heart instantly turned to serving others. Did I fail then, by not climbing Everest? No. As I changed and as my heart changed, my dreams changed.

I now realize and believe that as I grow and transform my dreams should likewise grow and transform. This takes me back to the talk I mentioned here about focusing on to be lists as opposed to to do lists. Have I become what I want to be? No. Not entirely. But that’s because I’m still living. Am I closer though? Some days I’m closer than others…but overall I’d like to say yes. Yes, because many of my dreams have changed. Not all, but some...

Again, perhaps I’ve rationalized, but I like the idea of transformative dreams. While some dreams do and perhaps should stay constant, many dreams should change as we improve. To me, that seems to fit better with the idea of learning and growing; it seems to fit with the idea of constantly striving and learning to be better. The end.

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