Little kids dream with their eyes shut and their minds wide open. They look past what the people in their lives are doing and search for the biggest hopes they could have for themselves. They are fearless, not yet having experienced disappointment or the anxiety that comes with risk.
New Year’s Resolutions beg for at least minor reflection on what has happened and what we hope will happen next. We look for realistic goals so that we’re less likely to let ourselves down. Goal setting is great, and being realistic about how you’re going to achieve your goals is how you get to that desired result, but just take a second and ponder: what would seven year-old me want?
If someone put a crystal ball in front of your face, what would you want to see in it? What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Seven year-old Amanda wanted a few things: to be a spy, to be a famous singer/song-writer/drummer, and to travel the world. Twenty-one year-old Amanda wants almost completely different things, but I wouldn’t say it’s because I’m less naive. I’ve worked on traveling the world, and that makes me proud, because I am truly doing something I’ve always wanted to do. Instead of working as a secret agent or joining the Cheetah Girls, now I want to be the next John Green. I want to write great YA novels and I want to have a successful YouTube channel, and most people tell me that those aren’t realistic dreams, but I don’t care.
I am terrified of failing. With graduation upon me this year there are so many ways I could fall flat on my face…into a gutter…that opens up and swallows me whole…but I can’t let that change my plans. Seven year-old Amanda would be so disappointed if I settled for something “realistic.”
Look at your New Year’s Resolutions: do they help you accomplish the things you really want in life? Would seven year-old you be proud? Because if not, you may want to rethink some things. Big dreams are not impossible if you think about them practically. People become singers, astronauts, presidents, writers, actors, etc., all the time. Someone’s got to do those things, so why not you?
When you give up on your own dreams, you’re only making room for someone else to do the things you’ve always wanted. Be selfish about what you want. This is your chance.