What do you think about when someone tells you to follow your dreams?
I picture a wispy-haired toddler running in a grassy field. Her hands are outstretched and she is reaching for a pink balloon that drifts and dances with the spring breeze. When she trips, the string slips from her hands. She picks herself up, oblivious to the grass stains, giggles and continues the chase.
A lot of you have bigger dreams than catching a pink balloon.
Dreams of going back to school after you've had children, managing your life after a divorce, struggling through one more day when depression does its best to smother you, making breast cancer part of your past.
What does that look like?
Imagine thick straps over your shoulders and a coarse rope in your mouth. Leaning forward...straining against the immense weight at your back. The rope cuts the corners of your mouth, your shoulders burn, your jaw aches from clamping hard.
And nothing happens.
Your thigh muscles spasm and your feet cramp. You struggle against the weight. Your heart pounds and feels like its going to explode out of your chest. Dark thoughts enter your mind. This isn't going to happen, I can't do it.
But every day you keep pulling. You're in agony, fighting to go just a few inches.
And one day, you do. Perhaps it's the wind at your back, perhaps it's your friends and family lending a hand, maybe it's divine intervention. But those inches are yours.
And some time later, you can feel the shift, feel some momentum in your exertion. Either you've become stronger or the load has changed. It doesn't matter. You're moving forward.
When the tension leaves the rope, you glance over your shoulder to find that you've been tugging a 40 ton eighteen wheeler all this time. Impossible. The cab door opens to your touch when you approach. When you get in the seat and roll down the windows, the wind whips around the cab and cools your sweat drenched face. You lean forward just a bit, only this time to press your feet on the gas pedal to go faster.
Your lips curve into a smile. You can see for miles and miles and the road is clear.
Reach your hand up... tug on the horn. You've done it.