*She publishes her stories as Stryder Dancewolffe.*
Shooting for the Stars, or why it’s important to have dreams that may seem unreachable.
by Stryder Dancewolffe
When I was a small child, but after I had been told I’d be lucky to live to adulthood; I decided that I would grow up and be a paleontologist. I was probably only eight or nine, and I came from a relatively down to earth family. I remember it being my mother that told me, though it could have been any number of the adults I grew up around, ‘You should get your head out of the clouds’.
I had already learned that I wasn’t allowed to disagree with the adults, at least not aloud. But, I also remember, that the first time whoever it was said this to me, I knew one thing. That I may dream of the stars, and maybe, maybe I would fail in my attempts to reach them, but at least, in trying, I would get off the ground.
Throughout my life, I’ve met people, or been with people, who have tried to convince me to be more realistic with my dreams, because I’m disabled, because I won’t live as long as other people, because I dream of doing things that even healthy people find hard to accomplish. Every time they say something that gets my back up, that frustrates me, that belittles me, that same calm voice rings in my head, encouraging me to keep reaching for those stars.
It has become my inner mantra. ‘I may not reach the stars, but in reaching for them, I will at least get off the ground.’
I have had many obstacles in my life, and my dreams have changed, as they often do, but those words, always give me strength, no matter what the obstacle in my way. I know, that in trying, I am one step closer than I would be if I gave up. To me, that says something.
I’m not trying to say that my little mantra will give you your dreams, I don’t even really believe that it will give me mine. It just gives me the strength to fight for them, to give value to the journey; to appreciate each tiny step I take, to value that I am moving, and that by moving, I am not standing still. Which may seem obvious, but it’s one of those obvious things that people seem to not notice. If you are not moving, it usually means you’re standing still; but so many people; spend their whole lives, standing in one place.
It is easy to say, that the things going against us are too strong, too big, too powerful. Easier to give up, to stop moving, or to never even start; to lie to ourselves and belittle our dreams, to accept the ‘truths’ my mother tried to tell me, and set our goals closer to the ground, easily attained. It is a lie, or a truth, depending on how one looks at it, that one must struggle against every day, if one is to reach the stars.
Whatever the obstacle; it can usually be overcome, given enough creativity and willpower; if you want to overcome it; and if it can’t be overcome, then you can even come to find the beauty in struggling against it anyway. Two of my biggest obstacles; are my struggles with my Id; and my failing health. My Id; I beat him regularly between my mantra and my experience in fighting with it; my failing health, falls into the category of things I struggle against that I know may defeat me, but that I feel is worth fighting against anyway.
The thing is, we all have obstacles, and I’m not any stronger or smarter, or braver than anyone else, I just believe in taking one more step. I may never reach those stars, but every step I take, that gets me closer to them; every step I take, before I fail, before I fall, before I die; is one step closer. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I get.