If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that everything changes. Things do not have to be as they are right now. Life offers infinite possibilities to those brave enough to take the necessary — and often scary — first steps.
I have dreams. I have aspirations. Sometimes, the two get mixed in my mind. A dream, for me, is something that seems impossible — yet still something I can picture. A dream is the attainable impossible. An aspiration, on the other hand, is something I fully plan to accomplish, knowing that it is only a matter of time before I do.
Some of the following are dreams. Some are aspirations. But all are possibilities.
[I Could Be A Writer.]
It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Since I was six years old, I have wanted to write stories and send them out into the world as books. So, naturally, that is my first aspiration.
I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. No other medium gives your imagination the license to create entire worlds and populate them with the characters you see. No other medium speaks directly to its audience in hushed whispers, telling secrets that only the book-holders will ever hear. The characters may be the same, but they are different for every reader. Personal experience allows everyone who encounters a story to take something different away from it. No two people ever have the same experience with a book. There’s something magical about that.
I love the study of character and motivation, of believable fiction and honest portrayals. In my stories, even my fantasy stories, there is no such thing as good or evil — only motive. The world is not black and white, and I would never wish to portray it as such. When I tell a story to my son and he asks me why the villain is being villainous, I never want to say, “Because he’s the bad guy.” It’s never that simple. Maybe the villain is selfish and unconcerned with how his actions affect others. Maybe he knows that something he is doing is wrong, but he believes the end will justify the means. Maybe he is misguided and believes that his actions are right. No one is inherently evil — not in real life and not in my stories.
I have a lot of things to say about the world — and to the world. And I believe that fiction is one of the best possible avenues for that purpose.
[I Could Be A Stay-At-Home Dad.]
My wife, unlike me, actually finished college, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Theoretically, this makes it easier for her to find a job. [In reality, it’s still pretty damn hard.] However, if she found a full-time job and I stayed home with Liam, it would allow me to focus more on writing and publishing my stories. Plus it would allow me the opportunity to forge the type of bond that so many fathers never get the chance to create with their children.
In our society, it is commonly accepted that men are the breadwinners and women raise the kids. Over the last generation this notion has started to slip, but it is still the prevalent idea when it comes to family life. And, while the thought makes me slightly uncomfortable because of the societal norms and my own insecurities, I also know that I would welcome the opportunity.
[I Could Be A Teacher.]
This is one that most people who know me would probably find rather humorous. However, it is true. Part of me has always wanted to be a teacher. To guide, to nourish, to mold and encourage growing minds — it’s a dream of mine. I cherish the ability to influence others to make a difference, and I have always had a strong desire for that type of connection. I long to command a classroom, to fill eager minds with knowledge gained from study and experience. [Note: I know this is not the reality most teachers encounter, but this is my dream … so let me have it.]
However, my lifetime battle with my own patience would more than likely keep this dream from ever becoming an aspiration. Perhaps I will mellow out as I grow older. Though that one seems to be a bit of a long shot.
[I Could Travel The World.]
I want to show my son how diverse the world around him is. What better way than to just show him? Michelle and I have always wanted to travel. We do not want our experience of the world to be limited by the borders of our neighborhood or defined by what we see on a talking, flickering box. We want to see it with our own eyes.
I want to walk the rolling hills of Ireland. I want to drink in a British pub. I want to explore the ancient ruins found in Italy. I want to buy something of questionable moral taste from a Japanese vending machine. I want these experiences for my own, and I want to share them firsthand with the ones I love.
Dear reader, I ask you this: What are your aspirations? What are your dreams? What crazy ideas do you have in your head, and what are you doing to make them real? Dreams and aspirations are nothing without action. Without the will to act, they serve no real purpose. They will only remind you of what you could have been, instead of showing you what you can be.