Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream. A number of times I’d just wake up in the middle of the night finding myself in bed and thought, ‘oh, this one is real.’ Other times, when I’m either at field work or at a meeting listening to other people’s curious remarks, I’d listen to my own voice telling myself, ‘wow, I’ve actually been dreaming of doing this since years ago.’
I’ve always had the strong desire in me to work around the world. Growing up, I remember wishing to be a medical doctor so I can work at WHO or MSF, which would allow me to travel to refugee camps, villages with chronic hunger, houses of the poorest of the poor, or rural villages anywhere, and literally give the babies DPT injection or comfort the sick who cannot be saved. That was maybe back when I was 15 years old. The wish was still there when the time came to decide what major I wanted to take in university. Me and my parents had a ‘meeting’ at our dining table and when they asked me what kind of work I wanted to do, I answered:
“I want to have a profession that allows me to work around the world and take me to places.”
I’m sure my folks still remember this. Their comment was,
“You can work as anything and still be able to travel anywhere. Just think what you would like to DO.”
I am a person with too many desires (until now). The interest in doing medicine was still in my mind until the last minutes of high school. But at the time destiny, in the form of a CD, introduced me to a completely new thing: Environmental Engineering. I fell in love with it. After convincing my parents (including inviting an alumnae of this degree to give an insight — fortunately she was very supportive), I applied for it.
It was one of the best choices I have ever made in my life. At the uni I learned innumerable things, all of which have led me to be who I am right now. I never regretted not having chosen medical school. The pressure and workload would have been too high for me that I could not have been able to do any organizational activities, those things I dedicated half of my life to during my uni years.
I believe all the things that happened had helped in getting me to the dreamy life of here and now. As I wished, I have been in touch with the poorest of the poor, brought to villages with very limited access to water, to rural villages, and have been shown the ways that I can take to help them. May not be through injecting DPT serum or curing the sick as I had wished once, but probably through assisting them to have clean water or toilet. I will continue walking on this path and see destinations the crossroads at front have to offer me: ways to making my dream of working around the world and helping making changes come true.
I shared these dreams of mine with my close friends a few months ago in a deep conversation about our dreams. Later it astonished me how we all have amazing desires. Even some shared the same dream! Opening a child health center. Others dream of going abroad, get a master’s degree, work, then start their own things at home. Another has had a long-term dream of running a business. Another desires to get a PhD and eventually become a professor. Another shared a completely different, noble purpose of life focusing on the spiritual side. Another aims to raise awareness for causes. Another wants to fly around the world as a pilot.
We shared our dreams, all different and purposeful. It was a beautiful chat.
Dreams are invigorating, consuming, and contagious.
But they can also be plainly wishful, lifeless, vain. Far away and too good to be true.
I am not doubtful that I can bring mine to life. And even less doubtful for them and their dreams. I am still so far from helping to bring impact, but only up to now I can say with confidence, that dreams do come true.
Now reminiscing as I am writing, I must add that, however, they don’t just come true. They have to always be kept in mind and to be worked on. Like they say, ‘universe will conspire’ (I hate this saying now because it’s overused). Life will help you in many ways but focus has to be the key driver.
Otherwise, life with its many crossroads can divert you to another road leading somewhere else, without you even realizing. Although sometimes the scenery you get along the other road may help to remind you that it is not the road you wished. Like how the road I had taken through my previous job (driven to by communal interest from peers and environment) could not give me the desired feeling of fulfillment. But then the road brought me to the pause of remembrance and the turn of change.
Now I’m on track. Enjoying every small step of it. And already having new desires to (first) daydream about. Because all one has to do is dream. Keep it in mind. And work on it.