When I was young I knew what I wanted to do for a career. My dream at 14-years-old was to be a d.j. on the radio. Music has always been a huge part of my life. From the moment when I first started to discover music and develop my own musical tastes, to all of my years playing clarinet and saxophone, to watching my dad practice d.j.’ing for weddings and his weekend job. My biography has been written with sharps and flats, with whole, quarter, and sixteenth notes, with rests and repeats, and all on the flowing lines of a musical staff. Music is still a huge part of my life. I have been in radio for the past 16 years
Being in radio has not been the only dream I’ve had though. People tend to say, “what is your dream in life. What would you do if you could do anything?” They say that as if a person is only allowed to have one singular dream in life. But dreams are reach. People grow and change. Priorities change. Desires change. New talents are discovered and honed. Dreams can be born anew no matter how old you are. Sometimes dreams can also fall by the wayside.
When I was in broadcasting school in 2000, it came to the part of the program where I had to considered employment options as the placement office started looking for potential radio stations for me to interview at. The placement director had me fill out an information-gathering form . . . “What are your goals for your career? What kind of radio station format would you like to work for? What cities would you like to work in?” I wanted to go everywhere, but every city that I wrote down was a big market city. I wanted Chicago, New Orleans, New York City (which happens to be the number 1 radio market . . . Los Angeles is the number 2 radio market). I remember writing down on my paper for my placement director that I wanted to be the next Dick Clark, the next Casey Kasem. I had dreams of taking radio by storm and revolutionizing the field. That was my dream at the time. My first job was at a little, bitty 6,000 watt station in Paducah, Kentucky. 16 years later I a still living in Paducah. I am now at a 100,000 radio station. In the course of my career my dreams changed. I found new dreams, and I realized those dreams.
I always wanted to be a wife.
I always wanted to be a mother, especially after being told when I was 19 years old that I shouldn’t have children.
Today I have been married for almost thirteen years.
Today I have an eleven-year-old son.
I have always loved to write. If you’ve followed ATaleOfATrex for any amount of time, then you know that when it comes to writing, I love it so much because sometimes a pen can speak better than my mouth can. I love to freewrite. I love to write poems. Sometimes I even write short stories, usually about something that is going on in my life right now. Since I was a teenager I had always dreamed of being a writer, of having one of my works published, and having people say that I am a good writer. Another dream.
A few years ago I decided to write a book. A whole book. A book with chapters, and covers. A book with a dedication page, and a table of contents. A real . . . actual . . . book. My dream was to put this huge part of me down on paper and then put it out into the world. It took me a year to write and edit the book, and then self-publish it on Amazon for Kindle. Was the book good? NO! But it was my baby. I poured myself into those words and sentences. I stepped way outside my comfort zone with scene descriptions. I set this goal for myself, and followed through even when I wanted to quit. I forced myself to finish because I didn’t ever want to look back with regret. I hand wrote the original draft in 2 purple 3-subject spiral notebooks. I typed and edited the whole thing. It was a labor of love, and each letter written, each page typed, each chapter edited took me closer to seeing that dream come to fruition. It sold on Amazon. It didn’t sell well, but it sold. I got positive reviews from a couple of friends that meant nothing to me because they were from my friends, and I got a negative review from a complete stranger that fired me up, pissed me off, and completed the cycle of the dream. In that negative review from that complete stranger I was validated as a writer in my own eyes. I took a risk and didn’t run from it. I realized that dream.
I have since taken the book down from Amazon, because I no longer need that validation about myself or my writing.
Dreams can change as a person changes.
Now my dream is to get my Masters degree in social work. I went back to college a year ago, and it is going to take years to reach my new dream. But I have a dream for the future, a dream that I can see, and each class I take gets me closer to reaching that dream.
You see, the point is not to just live your life. The point is to dream. The point is to set goals for yourself. Dream big and reach far. What do you dream of doing in your life? What have you always wanted to do, to achieve, to see, to write, to travel to? What is your dream?
What is holding you back?
You have dreams for a reason, and unrealized dreams only turn into realized regrets at the end of your life?
Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. The pursuit of your dream may not work out in the end, but at least you will be able to say that you tried. What is your dream? What is keeping you from the pursuit of that dream? Now take to a moment to think hard . . . is the reason you aren’t pursuing your dream a legitimate reason, or is it just an excuse?
I heard something at church this morning that really stuck with me: “You are always pursuing something, whether you realize it or not.” In the context of the message at church is was meant that we are either pursuing a relationship with Christ, or we are pursuing a relationship with ourselves and our own desires and thus a relationship with Satan. But I think the statement, “You are always pursuing something whether you realize it or not,” also fits this post. You are always pursuing something. You are either pursuing your dreams, or you are pursing your regrets.
Which one do you want to hold in your hand as you face your last days on earth? Do you want to look back on your life and declare that you left no dream unchased, or do you want to look back on your life with regret at the things you never did or the things you never tried?
My dreams have changed, have evolved, have grown over the years. But if I were to die tomorrow I would not be able to look back on my life with regret. I have chased my dreams. Sometimes I chased them with fear, not knowing what would happen in the pursuit of that dream, but I chased my dreams.
What dream is waiting for you to pursue it?
Until next time . . .