When you hear the word "dream," what's the first thing you think about? I always think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I have a Dream speech. His words are not only powerful and historic, but they remind us of the simple act of wishing and hoping for something.
The dreams I'm referring to aren't the ones that occur when you're sleeping. I'm talking about those that keep you awake at night and staring off into space day dreaming. You might even start to panic when you think you'll never accomplish them.
These are the dreams you form as a child-aspirations that take form over many years. Things that might seem unattainable at that moment and things you may sometimes forget about when life is kicking your butt.
I'll be honest and tell you, that ever since I was a little girl, my dream has been to live the life of an "on-the-go" journalist in New York City. I don't even remember how this started, but it's all I can think about some days. I love what I do and am happy with the life I have. But, sometimes I wonder if I should continue to pursue my dream.
Saturday night, I was flipping through the channels on the television and I came across an ABC 20/20 special, Sunset Boulevard: What's Your Dream?
If you live in Los Angeles like I do, then you know the stories of one of the most infamous boulevards in the country. Sunset Boulevard has a history unlike any other. It's filled with dreamers who want to "make it big" in Hollywood. They want to become an over-night celebrity, drive luxury cars, and duck the paparazzi around every corner.
The 20/20 special featured "a streetwise runaway, a hard-partying gossip columnist, a starry-eyed rock band, a war veteran turned actor and the talented kids at Hollywood High trying to find their voice." Most of them have left their hometowns and past lives, and have given up almost everything to chase their dreams.
I can't stop thinking about Alyssa Gomez, also known as "Raven." She was the "streetwise runaway," a young Latina whose story didn't end with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was a poet, who dreamt of living the fairy tale life. Unfortunately, the search for her dream landed her on the streets of Hollywood. Dead at the age of 15.
We do know that not all dreams end in tragedy. Look at the people who are living theirs today and those whose dreams have changed the world. They will probably tell you it takes hard work and dedication to make them come true, regardless of what they may be. They will tell you to never give up.
For the first time in a long time, my eyes are open to how following your dreams will either make or break you. They are not easily obtained and if they were, I don't think they would be called dreams.
Now, ask yourself: What is your dream and what's it worth to you? What would you do to accomplish it? What would you sacrifice?