When we are young, we capture things around us like photographs. We see things that catch our attention. That inspire us. Pull on our heart. Captivate us entirely. We start to paint this image of who we want to be when we grow up, what we want to do, the type of house we want to live in. We dream of being a princess, a teacher, an actress, a doctor, a gymnast, a mom.
What we don’t ever have a chance to realize is that one day, this image will ultimately be out of our control. These dreams and wants typically change as we grow, whether we are the ones who make the choice that they do or because our paths in life simply lead us in a different direction.
One day, there is a chance we will wake up and realize this is not the way we planned our life. Chances are, it’ll hit us like a ton of bricks. We wake up following our same morning routine and wonder why. How did we get here? Where did we go wrong? But darling, trust me, you didn’t go wrong.
We unintentionally set these goals at young ages. To graduate college. To be married by 22. Babies by 25. In the moment, we never have a chance to anticipate the obstacles we will be faced with over time. Mainly because we are too young to worry about those obstacles. We cannot yet understand the things that will impact these deadlines we’ve set. But from that young age, from the day we decide “this is what I want,” we hold onto our timeline and we don’t seem to let go until that day when we wake up and realize those deadlines we set have come and gone.
When our hearts are big and unbroken, eyes wide and optimistic, our minds are full of creativity and full of potential because they haven’t been scarred by the world yet. We haven’t been manipulated, pushed and pulled to believe one thing or another. We haven’t seen all of the ugly. We haven’t learned to fear people’s thoughts or views. To be offended and bothered. To take things personally and feel hurt. We haven’t faced all of these instances that will teach us lessons and leave us slowly building our own walls. We haven’t started to slowly learn how cruel and unpredictable life and people can truly be.
We realize that maybe we are more introverted than we once were. Maybe we are afraid of falling both realistically and theoretically. Maybe we didn’t realize how easily others spew lies and how quickly everything we know could flip and change until we’re left questioning and wondering what path we’re even on.
We all come to this reality at some point in our lives. Sometimes, the dreams and goals we had worked out exactly as we hoped. Other times, there are bigger things in store for us. We’re faced with storms to walk through that will shift everything. Throughout these storms, we may not understand, we just know that this is not what we envisioned. This was not our plan. This is not what we wanted. But it’s where we are now, and it’s who we are now. In most cases, the storms we go through leave us feeling unaccomplished. Unsuccessful. Uncertain. We feel almost guilty and ashamed. We stop seeing all the good we once knew and focus only on what isn’t. What we didn’t do. What mistakes we’ve made. What we haven’t accomplished. We wonder how much time is left. What can we still do? How late is too late?
But darling, this is where you belong. You have a purpose bigger than those dreams you had when you were little. You have a heart and a mind that is stronger. That has seen the world for what it is. That weathered countless storms. But you’re here, standing firm with your feet on the ground. You set goals and dreams and they simply shifted. You didn’t get married and have the baby. Maybe you didn’t go to college or become a doctor. It’s because you were meant for something different, not because you are not worth it. Not because you do not deserve it. Not because you’re incapable.
Your purpose was simply bigger than the picture you painted for yourself.
You are where you belong. You are capable of big things because you’ve faced big things. You are worth it and it is never too late to dream new dreams.