Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dream, don't plan.

I used to have many plans for my life. As early as sixth grade, I had planned to take up Journalism in UP then take up Law to follow in my dad's footsteps. In high school, the plan changed to taking up Broadcast Communications. In college, the plan changed to getting into Summit Media and working in magazines.

The thing with all those plans is that they didn't happen as I thought they would. I decided not to pursue law (it actually never really crossed my mind all throughout college), and when I did get into Summit, I ended up in PR, which I never really imagined myself getting into.

So I spent a couple of years floating around, wondering what had become of my plans. I was in PR and seemed to be doing okay, but when I tried to imagine what I wanted my life to be in the next few years, I couldn't see myself hob-nobbing with the country's top editors and establishing myself as a well-connected PR practitioner. I always thought of taking further studies, but could never figure out what I wanted to study further. I thought of teaching, but could never see myself authoritatively and convincingly leading a roomful of students that saw the teacher as the enemy. The trouble with my plans is I had no idea what to do when they didn't work out.

It was only recently that I realized-- I had been so busy trying to plan my life that I had forgotten to dream. Or maybe it wasn't so much that I'd forgotten, but more of I had been afraid to dream because what if I couldn't make it come true?

But in the smallest ways that I had dared to dream --I dreamt of touching people's lives and making a difference through my words, I dreamed a silly dream of writing or editing Tagalog romance novels-- the Universe found ways to turn them into a reality. There were no plans here, no end goal, no measure of success. Just an openness to opportunity, lots of courage to take a leap of faith, and prayers that everything would work out okay. And they did, more than I could ever dream they would.

It's more difficult than people think, to learn how to dream. Especially when you're someone like me who's so used to coming up with a step-by-step process and working towards specific outcomes. They can even become easily interchangeable, plans and dreams. But I'm realizing that it's the dream that anchors the plans. When the plans don't go as they should, the dream remains the same. In my life, I had lots of plans, but no real dreams. So when the plans changed, I felt lost and unsure of what to do, who to be, next. Dreams are the heart of any life plan, and I'm only allowing myself to start dreaming now.

Luckily, I'm marrying a dreamer who is able to clearly envision even the car that we'll be driving in 10 years, down to the color. It inspires me to make little dreams of my own, for us, and for me.

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