“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
– Langston Hughes
Yesterday was a pretty bad day for me. I lost big on the stock market and blew almost 15% of my trading account within five minutes. As I sat in front of my desktop screen reeling from shock, I felt afraid to make another play. I took a deep breath, told myself to call it a day and exited the trading platform. This, was the first time I had lost confidence in my dream of becoming a full-time trader.
Now, some might say that 15% is not that bad for an amateur trader and many traders have lost more than that and turned out alright. But no matter what, losing thousands of dollars in a heartbeat is not something anyone can handle right off the bat. It was still hard earned money that I had lost, money that I made serving countless customers and moving warehouse boxes.
I’m sure many of us have dreams when we were little. Huge and beautiful dreams that grew smaller as we grew older. I had multiple dreams that changed along with my living circumstances, up to the point where I started questioning if my dreams were actually just a means of survival instead.
The other day I saw an advertisement on YouTube regarding dreams. A pair of children and adults were interviewed. When asked “What is your dream?”, one of the adults replied “I don’t really remember…” while the little children replied spontaneously like it was the easiest question in the world. I felt hollow as I was watching the video. It was like a stack of post-it notes that reminded me of all the things I threw away so that I could “become an adult”, and I felt a little disappointed in myself.
As we adapt to adulthood, we tend to numb the emptiness with excuses society throws at us, to the point where we start to forget about it. We constantly remind ourselves to “Be Realistic” or “Be Responsible” and buried whatever remaining dreams we had into the deepest part of our hearts.
While I won’t deny that those reasons have their point, they are still excuses nonetheless. The notion of “having to give something up because we are adults” is one that society pushes for, not something that is absolute. Yet, we tend to seek approval from others around us, to the point where we take in whatever society says as the absolute to live by.
Now, my intention for this post is not to encourage you to drop everything and start living by your own rules. Rather, I would like to remind everyone out there about the things that we may have lost as we fall into the routine of just living. Our hopes and dreams may be limited due to the ever increasing responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stop dreaming. Start small! If your dream is to travel the world, start by planning a year-end vacation trip, even if it’s just to the next state! Remember, dreams are still dreams no matter how small they are.
© 2016 Xavier Lee – All Rights Reserved / Featured Image Photographer: Dyaa Eldin