An old adage reads,
> Never say never.
The irony is not lost on me, but that aside, the message is important. Even so, I believe it is wrong in some cases, especially those where the negative aspect of the word “never” is reversed so as to make it a positive way to approach life.
Such is the case when I say,
Never Stop Dreaming
About a decade ago, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming an actor. Stage primarily, but I would not have turned down an opportunity to appear on the silver screen.
I applied to a university known for its Theatre and Fine Arts program and auditioned for a spot in the program. As spaces were limited, this meant I would be competing with a large pool of other applicants.
Without getting into the details of what I thought was a wretched audition, it’s enough to say that I was accepted into the program. I was elated to have the chance to follow my dream.
However, my family was not so supportive. There were questions of whether or not I would be able to make a decent living, if any at all. Suggestions that I start waiting tables right away to better that skill set. Even the ever-popular, “what’s your fallback?”
I succumbed to the pressure and left the program after the first year to get a degree in Information Technology. You thought there was a happy ending, didn’t you?
Well, as it happens, there is. While listening to an audio version of The Alchemist the other day, a quote emerged from the reading that struck me again as it had the first time I read the book some 13 years ago.
> “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Think about that for a minute.
I stopped the book and remembered why that quote sticks in my mind. The important word is “possibility”. We should realize that not every one of our dreams will come true in our lifetime. If they do, then perhaps you are lucky, extremely driven, or both.
Another important note to make about the quote is the use of the article “a” to preceed the word dream. Paulo is aware that we have more than one dream throughout our lives. If it were simply “the” dream, then once it is past, what fun would life be?
Any dream that we have for our lives is worth our time and effort. We sometimes need to prioritize when we can put forth the effort to making the possibility of a dream a reality. When I decided to leave the theatre program, I put that dream on hold.
Years later, I still wouldn’t mind being an actor, but I have adjusted that dream because it has become clear to me that I just enjoy being on stage — any stage. It need not be Broadway for me to live my dream, so you see, the dream became possible over the years.
We choose our paths for a reason, and sometimes the path ends up being a long and winding road back to our own front door. In our homes, we can find the things that are most precious to us. Our family, children, pets, memories, and yes, even dreams because that’s where we store them — in our hearts and in our homes.
So, _never stop dreaming_. Dreams make life an adventure.