I’m a dreamer. I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve always known that I’m a dreamer.
Ever since I was a child, I had my head in the clouds. My favorite moment of the day was storytelling right before bed with my dad. My dad is the one who instilled in me my love for reading & writing & discovering new things. He is the one that forged my nerdy side. And I’m thankful for that. However, storytelling being my favorite moment of the day that meant that I found more comfort in fictional stories & characters than in people around me.
If I have to describe myself during childhood I would only have one word: Shy. I was always hiding behind my mom’s skirt. As I advance in age though & start to comprehend things & observe my surroundings, I became more vocal. I had views & opinions about things happening in my family, with my friends & teachers at school & most importantly I had opinions about what was happening in my country & in the world. That doesn’t mean that I stopped being shy. Oh if I knew how to get rid of that curse.. I would say that during my pre-teen & early teenager years I was introvert. One thing that didn’t change though was that I still had my head in the clouds. Except my dreams weren’t about fictional characters & cartoons anymore. They were about me. They were about my life. Let’s say that at only 12 years old I already knew that I would study abroad for my studies. 7 years later, here I am, studying abroad. One goal achieved. As my dreams grew, I grew with them. That was a golden phase in my life. One where I felt utterly happy & confident with myself.
As the years went by, I started to realize that my dreams can also be a curse. Somehow as my dreams grew, my fear tripled in size with them. I was afraid of not being able to turn those dreams into reality. I was afraid of failing myself. I was afraid of not enjoying my life because I was so consumed by my dreams that I created a tunnel like vision. I had one goal:
Achieve my dreams.
And then I started to despise them. I started to give myself pep talks to help me get out of my dream like state. To get my head into the real world. To stop dreaming & start doing. But as I lay at night in bed those dreams would come back with a vengeance bringing with them new dreams & new challenges. Somehow, those new dreams were bigger & bigger every night.
I dream of travelling the world with only a backpack & a friend for harsh & lonely days. I dream of meeting people & learning cultures & being amazed by landscapes & experiencing all the thrills that such a raw experience has to offer. I don’t want to stay in hotels & enjoy pools & beaches & go shop into local market because I’m searching for a traditional vase or rug. I want to have real contact with real people. I want to experience what is like to be in their shoes for one hour or one day or one week, however long they will have me.
I dream of working at the United Nations. I dream of impacting change wherever I can. Helping people & contributing to making the world a better place. Now, whenever I tell people that is what I want to do with my life they all have the same answer :
“Wow you’re ambitious”
& I can see in their eyes that they think I’m delusional. I’m not. I know what I want & I promised myself a long time ago that I would get it. Even if it scares the daylights out of me.
The thing is… I am not afraid to dream big. Not anymore.
I am not afraid to dream big thanks to Martin Luther King who dared to have a dream. I’m not afraid to dream big thanks to Nelson Mandela who fought all his life to bring down the Apartheid. I’m not afraid to dream big thanks to Ghandhi & Mother Theresa who healed the world with words of kindness & love. I’m not afraid to dream big thanks to Habib Bourguiba, the first president of Tunisia, my country. The man who fought for women empowerment in an era where most countries where too busy belittling us. And I’m not afraid to dream big thanks to Kerry Washington, the woman that I consider to be my role model. The woman who fights to put an end to domestic abuse, the woman who enhances the arts, the woman who stands beside the LGBT community, the woman who is an advocate for humanity, who believes in everyone’s rights & enhances everyone’s dreams. Recently, as in a couple of hours ago, Neutrogena released their new campaign #SeeWhatsPossible. In the add, Kerry is stressing the importance of dreaming big, of consistently being challenged & reaching toward things that force us to grow. And as I watch the video, I start to see what’s possible for me. For my dreams. And that is turning them into reality.
I don’t have a dream. I have a hundred of BIG dreams. And perhaps the biggest dream of them all is to be able to fulfill them all.