Baby Steps

I have always had big dreams. I used to spend hours making lists of what I wanted to do. Mapping out ideas. Making plans.

Some of them were acted upon. Some slipped away. And still others remain, floating and evolving, for future use.

I still lose myself in my imagination. Although that word feels wrong. ‘Imagination’ seems to imply a fantastical nature to my musings. And that’s not true.

Each idea that I seize upon gets treated to a rigorous and detailed examination. I study exactly what would have to be done in order for the idea to come to fruition. I map out potential problems, and possibilities. I take my dreams and subject them to harsh reality. But still, many survive with the thought of actions- hard work and patience.

And I have never seen this as a fault. Because often, my grand plans do come into being.

But lately, I find myself feeling guilty and ashamed. I still make plans, but I feel conflicted about sharing them.

Because for the past several years, I have shared many dreams, and none of them have become a reality.

And when I hear myself, all excited about yet another idea, I cringe. I sound as though I have lost touch with reality. That I simply live in a fantasy mindset.

I see my family and friends humouring me, nodding their heads indulgently, not wanting to discourage my excitement, but not truly believing in the possibility.

And I don’t blame them. After all, I have come up with countless exciting ideas over the past several years that have been silenced.

Yet, if I search, I can come up with many opposing stories.

In the winter of last year, when I was barely able to walk 300m, I decided that I would be ready to attend school again this September. And while I recognized that I may have to do it with mobility assistance, I was confident that no matter the state my body was in, I would have developed enough control over myself that I would be able to take on a commitment.

And now I am watching the date that marks the beginning of classes swoop upon me, as I study my university timetable for the Fall term.

I also dreamt of writing a blog. I was so incredibly excited about the name, the colour scheme, and the subject matter. I told everyone I met about that particular dream.

And now I type up my 33rd post, with full confidence that it will be read.

Other dreams I did not share. I did not talk about my dream to be capable of strolling through a museum or store, able to appreciate the display, not searching for a chair. I did not talk about my dream of hiking. I did not talk about my dream of singing.

But I did work hard towards all of those dreams. They became goals. Goals with a certain element of luck and chance, but projects nonetheless.

And after months of steady work, those dreams have all been achieved.

There are still the others. The ones that grew silent. But they have not disappeared. They still exist, waiting for their time, knowing that it may be years, or decades, but sticking around nonetheless.

Now when I speak of my dreams, I speak of business plans, of travelling, and of graduate school.

I research and write and plan.

But I understand the steps that it will take to get there. I understand that my path might change.

I was asked this week, after sharing a far off hope, whether I understood the concept of baby steps.

And I think I do. I know that it takes time. I know that it takes effort. I know that I will trip numerous times.

But when learning to walk, I believe that it is essential to have a destination in mind. It might change. The person calling you might move, or you may become interested with an object in a different direction.

But why walk, why take any steps at all, if there is nowhere you wish to go?