Dreams, Actions, and Patience

As featured on the Well Core Network.
By Aja Uranga-Foster

“Follow your dreams,” is a saying we have all heard. As kids it’s an inspirational phrase. As teens, doubt about this statement begins to creep in. And as an adult, many experience complete disillusionment regarding this topic as bills pile up, obligations cram the calendar full, and the grind of life takes hold.

But this is no reason to give up on your dreams. It just means some adjustments to your timeline may need to be made, and your expectations may need to be broadened. Case in point: Priscilla Sitienei of Kenya.

Ms. Sitienei always dreamed of going to school but was not able to when she wanted to as a young person or a middle-aged person. Now as a 90-year-old great grandmother she is living her dream, attending primary school and learning to read. One of her academic motivations is to be able to someday read the Bible.

She attends school with her 10- to 14-year-old classmates, including her great, great grandchildren. And while there are many ideas one could come up with for why she should not attend primary school– worry of what others might think, thinking she is “too old,” etc– she choose to not consider those ideas, and instead focused on her dream to get an education. She opened up her heart and her mind to accept a longer timeline than she may have originally set for herself. And she opened up her expectations to move beyond the “should have” and into the “I can and I am.” And now her story has touched millions around the world and in her community, and serves to inspire others. Read more about her by clicking here.

The grind of life, lack of resources, family obligations… these things can catch us up like a tidal wave and carry us far into the future, far away from where we want to be or think we should be. Maybe even many decades beyond. But don’t despair. Take a breath, and open your heart and your mind to the mysterious way that life allows your dream to unfold. Perhaps on a longer timeline, perhaps in unexpected ways. Checklists and plans are great to help us get focused on what we need. But more important is handling unexpected events with grace, and patiently stepping forward with purpose– including stepping around the roadblocks– to make our dreams into reality.

Photo credit: https://twitter.com/ajrileyrocks

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