Why Following Your Dream is Okay

When you were a child, did you ever have a dream for yourself? I did. I think most people do. I may have shied away from the truth of my dream for a very long time, but no matter where my life took me, and the circumstances I faced, my dream burned deep within me. It was just waiting for the right moment to burst forth and take shape and burn bright. I had no control over when that would happen though.

Unlike many of my peers, I chose a different path to take with my life. At sixteen, I was not out partying, doing drugs, getting drunk. I had a few boyfriends, but nothing serious. I was depressed though and became very sick. I fell behind in school. When I was able to go back, I just didn’t care to. I had been through so much at the hands of my fellow classmates that I just wanted to escape it all. I wanted to put that part of my life behind me and face forward. I didn’t want the burden of that time in my life to rest on my shoulders anymore. I knew if I stuck it out, there was a very good chance that I would not make it.

With the love and support of my parents, I withdrew myself from high school with the promise that I would get my GED, keep my job and get my license. All of which I did. Deep down in their hearts, they knew my decision was the best one that I could make for me. Yes, some people criticized them for allowing me to withdraw, I’m sure, but when it came down to it, keeping their daughter alive was their goal, not getting the approval of other parents.

I met the man that I would marry at fourteen for a brief five minutes, but it wasn’t until I was seventeen that we started talking. Shortly after the New Year, in 2002, I gave birth to my daughter, Mikala. My life changed profoundly from the moment I found out I was pregnant with her and it has continued to since her birth.

Many people assume that once you become a parent, your right to follow any dreams that you have becomes null and void. Because of the actions of some parents, who forget they have a responsibility to their children, other parents that want to be successful and be somebody face judgment and ridicule that is often unfair.

Over the past few seasons of American Idol, I’ve seen more and more parents audition and make it through. To me, that is inspiring. They don’t seem like bad parents. They seem like parents that want to make a better life for their children, to give them all that they can in life. Are they wrong for choosing this path? No, I don’t believe so.

I believe each of these contestants is setting an example for generations to come. I believe they are showing that it’s okay to dream. It is okay to chase after what you want in life as long as you don’t forget your children, as long as you continue to be responsible for them.

Over the past few years, I’ve had the chance to see my dream begin to grow and become a fire burning inside of me. I can feel the heat of that dream every day. It doesn’t dissipate when I go to sleep at night. It doesn’t dissipate no matter what I do. My mind is always searching for food for that dream, for that fire. Water does not douse it. Nothing does. If someone implies my dream won’t come true, the fire surges forth and grows in intensity.

Had I not had certain inspirations in my life at certain times, I don’t believe that fire would have grown when it did. It took precise moments in time to influence me. Those moments will forever be etched in my mind. To those that gave me inspiration, I’m forever grateful.

I’ve been able to see my dream come intro fruition. It has been a stressful road at times, but one that I would not change for anything. I believe everything that has happened, has happened at the exact moment it was supposed to. As I sit here, I’ve had some unique experiences with my writing. I’ve seen articles published. I’ve had friends ask me to write things for their sites. I’ve liveblogged a television show that ultimately played a huge factor in achieving my dream.

Yes, I’m a mom of two, beautiful children, but I’m not going to turn my back on my dream. I’m going to keep working at it. I’m going to continue to better myself. I’m going to set a positive example for my children that with a lot of hard work, dedication and tenacity, they can achieve their dreams too.

I want my children to see me as not only their mom, but as a role model, someone to look up to and aspire to be like. I don’t want them to be afraid of following their heart. As long as they aren’t hurting me, our family or others, then I want them to be confident and believe in themselves and reach for the stars.

If you are a parent, and have a dream burning inside of you, you need to listen to it. At the same time though, you need to remember your kids. You can’t forget the role they have in your life and the role you have in theirs. Being successful at your dream does not mean you are a bad parent. You can make things happen if you want them to. Don’t let others beat you down and make you feel like you are making a bad choice. Stay true to yourself and always believe.

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