We all have dreams. We all want to tick the next thing off our bucket lists. Maybe we want to run a marathon, earn a degree or be a musician. It’s not hard to imagine all of that in our heads. In reality, it’s usually hard to get there.
One of my dreams is to write and publish a book about what it means to be Asian Australian, what it means to be different in the cultural sense and how I’ve come to be okay with this.
But writing a book and getting it on bookshelves doesn’t happen overnight. Dreams don’t happen overnight. It takes time for things to happen.
We have to be uncomfortable, be willing to learn if we want to make our dreams come true. Sometimes we don’t have everything it takes to reach our dreams. Yet. Most of my study days were spent memorising maths formulas like the typical Asian nerd, always struggling to string a proper sentence together. Then earlier this year I decided to write around 500 words each day on any topic that comes to mind and now, weaving words into stories comes easier to me.
So we need to be dedicated. We need to set aside time to do what it takes to achieve our dreams. If we don’t, we’re no step closer to doing so.
We need to be patient, brave and prepared to try again on the road to our dreams. Not everything on this path will go right; there will be setbacks and challenges. Hearing editors say, “No, that’s not what we’re after. Make your Asian article more general and relevant to non-Asian readers”, about articles I sent to them wasn’t encouraging. So I decided to blog to share my writing, to be a better writer.
We have to be confident. We have to believe in ourselves, believe that we can make our dreams come true. For as long as I can remember, I doubted that I could be a writer because others around me didn’t take me seriously: colleagues thought writing was “my hobby”; my Chinese-Malaysian parents encouraged me to get hired in big, corporate companies. Then I started listening to myself. And sometimes we have to surround ourselves with the dreamers and the believers, those who’ll egg us on when we’re down, to keep believing.
Then again, sometimes dreams will just be dreams. For example, if we’re ninety years old, it might be a bit too late to reach our goal of climbing to the top of Mount Everest. We can’t make our dream of traveling the world come true if all of our money goes towards supporting our family. Some things are beyond our control.
So then, life goes on. And in a sense that means there is more to life than making our dreams a reality. Maybe it’s being content with what we have. Or appreciating the in-between, the small moments and the people we meet along on the journey to our dreams.
One night last year, I dreamt two guys came up to me in the city and recognised me as “that writer”. A few weeks ago, my blog was featured in a national print and online magazine and reached 200,000 views. Sure, I felt excited when I saw the milestones approach, but when I actually held the hardcopy and saw the views, I didn’t jump for joy. Didn’t feel ecstatic.
What tops these moments is…talking to you. Every comment I read and respond to, I realise I inspire others to be themselves. Because when you read what I write on this blog, you’re inspired to share an honest bit of who you are right here. It’s very humbling, and I’m reminded it’s okay to be me.
Maybe with bit of luck I’ll get a book out there someday. With more luck, maybe I’ll make a living out of what I love doing. I just have to keep hoping.
With hope, anything’s possible. Almost.
What’s your biggest dream? Have any of your dreams come true?