Sometimes I can't help but wonder what I've missed out on in my life because of fear.

I've always been a dreamer. I've never been the kind to simply settle. I can't bring myself to stop dreaming even now, when so many my age are accepting where they are as the peak of where they'll go. I can't accept that. I'm not looking for a lavish lifestyle or international title, but I believe there is more for me. At least something I will enjoy. Not enough people enjoy life anymore. Sure there are enjoyable things, but why not enjoy all that you possibly can. This is what I dream of, really living life to the fullest it can possibly be. I want to be very in love with my spouse, family, career, location, all of it. I dream of that now, and it softens the blow of reality on unpleasant days. That is where dreaming can be harmful.

Dream Big. You see and hear it everywhere. Heck, even the people who are trying to hold you back now, once filled your adolescent mind with the words. These words can harm and help. Some people are genuine when they use them. But if you don't take action towards your dream, you may just be left with a dream of something. Something I struggle with is just dreaming. I can picture myself in a better place with a better career and everything is almost perfect. It serves as a defense mechanism when we desperately need something to help us through the hard times. I believe dreaming can be the root of bitterness. There comes a time in life when people must accept that dreaming held them back from living the life they were meant to live. That can bring you back to a harsh reality. So why do we allow ourselves to get to that point?

Everyone has a different dream. Whether your dream is to live a fast-paced, international career life or a simple life in a rural area, surviving on necessities and love, make it happen. You owe it to yourself. Live your life to it's fullest and respect others' dreams. It is so important to receive support when leaving your comfort zone. In some ways, having others look down on your decision to go your own way is good for your journey. If you push past criticism it will make you stronger for the long run. Trust me, I feel like I could stand through a downpour of bricks sometimes. But because there will already be enough criticism, be one of the beautiful voices. It's hard to push someone to their dreams as well. Some dreams are scary, and very uncertain, but if someone is passionate about it, it may mean their livelihood depends on it. Whether you are pushing someone towards their dream or giving it constructive criticism, never push someone into something they don't want to do. Never be a reason someone is unhappy or bitter.

"You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be , and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present."
                                                 -John Green, Looking For Alaska

Keep living, really living, and keep growing, and improving, and encouraging. That is a fulfillment of a dream.