From young toddlers in pink dresses to high school overachievers, we've been bombarded with one, simple question, rephrased countless times. It might come in the form of "What would you like to be when you grow up", "What is your dream?", or "What would like to accomplish?" It is a simple question as it is, and one that is often returned with a simple answer.
When we were younger, we'd reply with "Princess", or "Astronaut", or hand out one of the usual "doctor" replies. Being older now, we've matured, and our personalities have been shaped by our family, society, and our one and only unique sense of thinking. We'd probably laugh at anyone who answers the question with "fairy" now, even though we most likely used to say that, too. Our replies became most likely money-orientated. We then began to answer with jobs that grant us a big dollar sign, and allow us to fulfill every need and desire. That changed, too. Slowly, we changed our standards; lowered our expectations and future to something extra low . . . why?
Who dared tell us that we were incapable of reaching our dreams? Who decided that our dreams must revolve around a job, and why? Why can we no longer be astronauts or be the future founder of iBanana? Are you a victim of this nonsense, or are you an outcast as well? Do you live your life to the bare minimum because you think that is all you're capable of? I can't say I don't have a future in mind, but my dream sure doesn't revolve around a job.
My dreams are simple; I want to be the absolute best I can be, no excuses or lies. I'd love to buy my parents a beautiful home by the lake, with a boat; named after our long history family name. I want to show them that every tear, every lecture, every heartache, every moment I've caused did not go to waste; that their life was significant. I want to see my father ride the boat with a smile on his face as he's swept with a wave of nostalgia, just to show him that his boat in Iraq and all of its memories will never be lost. I want my mother to decorate the house the way she decorated our houses in Mosul as I whisper in her ear, "Nothing is lost. This is your home now".
I want to witness my sisters living their lives to the fullest. I'd like to clutch my Dad's arm tightly while he walks me down my red carpet. I want to see my mother standing at the front with tears of joy in her eyes, and beside her a man; the man who would allow me to love my God more and more every day. My beautiful, healthy sisters will choose the wedding designs. I dream that my family to be in the hospital while I give birth to my first child. I will be his or her counselor, his/her hope and motivation. I want to build places of worship for the poor communities that are stripped of their faith. In it will be clubs and activities for young men and women, to show them that someone cares enough about them to want to boost their self-esteem. Educating youngsters about multiculturalism, different religions, and different lifestyles is definitely a must. I want to live a long, healthy life and die while everyone I love surrounds me. I'd like to be everything and anything that everyone said I couldn't do. I want to be my own role-model. I simply want to reach everything I'm capable of.
My dreams don't stop there . . . they turn and form into actions, which one day, I hope, will turn them into reality. I don't want to be a doctor, lawyer, princess, astronaut, or any of the other jobs. I just want to achieve my best, and see where that'll take me. I'm not concerned with what the world will think, more of what I'll think. I aim to please myself every single day. Of course, I don't recite this story to everyone who questions my goals, but I also don't lower myself to lying about it. I reply with a straightforward, "Something that will make me and my family proud of me," which usually leaves the questioner curious. Nevertheless, I feel accomplished with not settling for less than I set out to be. I don't want benefits just for myself, but for my community and anyone who opens their heart to it. After all, like Ghandi said, "Be the change that you want to see in this world."
Author's Note: I'm finally returning to writing, and therefore, I might be a little rusty. I apologize for any mistakes.