Tonight, as I was on the phone catching up with a friend, we explored the possibilities of the future from COVID-19, what we do at home to pass the time, our jobs, and our mutual longing to go back to traveling. By the end of it, we happened to touch the subject of dreams and long-term life goals.
I was slapped right in the face as he asked me, “what’s yours?”, right after he dissected his ideal long-term plans over the phone.
I paused and felt a bit humiliated, frankly, for not remembering what I actually wanted and what I set out to live for.
Back in college, when a professor asked us to write about where do we see ourselves in ten year’s time, I remember writing a short essay about wanting to perform on Broadway or West End. I also dreamed of becoming a theater or film director in the local art scene. 4 years after I wrote it, my living is nowhere near the theater, or any stage, for that matter.
I explained to my friend that plans change and, besides, I needed money which the theater alone cannot provide for me. I cannot say I completely believed in my own explanation. Ever since, there’s something inside of me gnaws at the fact that if I was ambitious and persevering enough I can do whatever I want. That all the need to work for money so I can have something to provide for myself everyday is just a lame excuse.
I jokingly added that I was a coward, that’s why this dream of mine is put off. And this bit, albeit shrugged as a joke, is something I believe in.
To compensate for my lack of conviction towards my dreams, I told him that I also wanted to publish a book in the future; that this plan is already on the works since a few years ago, already half-executed. I guess at the back of my mind I’ve always thought that publishing a book is more plausible than actually performing on Broadway and West End.
But this gets me thinking: What hinders us from becoming the person we always wanted to be? And whatever the reason may be, why do we allow it to stunt us into becoming our full potential? Is it cowardness? Lack of conviction? Laziness? Fear of rejection?
If there’s any blessing this pandemic has brought upon us is that we have nothing but too much time in our hands. A time which we can use as an opportunity to reflect on whether or not what we do in our every day lives is a one step closer to becoming our full potential.
I hope one day when I get asked of the same question I will not hesitate and pause for a moment because I already have a definite answer.