“Set a goal so big you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.” -unknown

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I was told many years ago by a friend that the reason I hadn’t reached my goals yet was because I wanted them too much. That I was too focused. I needed to forget about it, to not worry about it and maybe then it would happen– maybe. For a long time I believed them.

But the thing I’ve found is that you must want a dream too much– whatever that dream may be, whatever it may look like. It must be the thing the moves you. That raises you out of bed hours before the sun blinks blearily back at you. That keeps you awake watching videos, studying maps, reading articles, long after you said you’d go to sleep. The thing that makes you drive hundreds of miles– and still thump your hands against the steering wheel in time to music at the end of it. The thing that makes you cry, that makes you laugh, that makes you have nightmares and yet fuels daydreams. The thing that makes you want to quit. The thing that won’t let you. The thing that awakens things in you that you didn’t even know existed. That makes you create, that makes you innovate, that makes you work when you don’t want to, explore when you didn’t think you had it in you, meet new people when you didn’t think you could. It makes you realize you’re much tougher than you ever gave yourself credit for.

It makes you braver. It makes you stronger. It makes you better.

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The intentions were good when I was told to take a step back, I’m sure of that, and in many ways I’m glad I did. I have been revitalized in recent years because of it. I’ve come to realize that not everyone will understand my journey, and my goals– and that’s okay. They don’t have to perfectly understand them. Not one of us will share the exact same set of goals– and that’s okay too, we shouldn’t expect to. Not every dream has to be of podiums and gold medals– not every goal needs to seek validation from others in order to be worthy. No one can dictate how far you go, but you. Don’t sell yourself short, you are much more capable than you think.

I know that I have become more of the person I want to be because of my dreams, and the work that has gone in to striving for them. I have become a better person because of those around me working towards their own. I’ve learned so much more from this process– from meeting so many people, from watching their hard work and determination. I’ve learned a lot through my own writing journey these last two years, too. In many ways I think I’ve accomplished a lot more than I originally set out for (and I am out for A LOT) which is actually sort of awesome. The journey is very far from over. But I’m happy where I am right now, and with the direction I’m headed, and I’ve come to appreciate how important that is.

I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.