Knowing that someone is dying is a weird situation. On one hand, there are overwhelming feelings of anxiety, sorrow, and grief. On the other hand, there is an extraordinary opportunity to seize each moment to ensure there won’t be the remains of regret. As an only child, the loss of my parents has always been my biggest fear. I️ would be left without anyone to reminisce on my childhood memories with, with my own memories the only tangible truth. In a world without both my parents — a world I️ pray I’m at least forty years removed — I️ will be alone with my thoughts. Enough of that, though. I️ cannot let this removed world even enter my psyche.
Before my dad passed away, because we knew he was, in fact, dying, I️ was fortunate enough to say and do everything possible at the peak of our fragility. I️ was able to learn what connections he believed I️ ought to keep alive and strong and his thoughts on letting go of that which means weakens me. Right before he passed away, I️ worked my booty off creating a resume for my dream internship as well as write the supplemental essay. I️ shared with him my plans for my future, and with that came receiving his stamp of approval.
He opened my eyes to my talents and taught me how to best employ them. He appreciated the southern twang found much more deeply in my heart than on my lips. His persona of the American dream taught me that I️ can be whoever I️ want to be without changing who I️ am. Quite frankly, who I️ want to be changes a lot. . . On one hand I️ want to be i️n the corporate world of my favorite airline, headquartered in my soul city. On the other, I️ want to be an executive in the entertainment industry: my first true love which taught me resiliency through the power of heartbreaks. And everything in between.
These two fields are not as separate as they may appear as my infatuation with the two stem from the same seed: dreams. I have loved stories for as long as I can remember, and stories, to me, appear most purely through dreams. Words, stories, dreams — they are all the same purities. Many fond memories of sitting on the lawn of In-N-Out, located conveniently adjacent to LAX, watching airplanes reside in my mind. Here, I found the intersection of my two greatest loves. I drifted deeply off into the world of imagination, watching an A380 carry people who were surely trying to make it big in Hollywood, imagining both their successes and failures, anxieties and excitements. Hours passed like ticking minutes as I created intricate stories, new with each landing plane.
Does my belief in words, in stories, in dreams make me naïve? I’m almost sure of it. I’m hopelessly romantic for this triad, and, naïve or not, that is what makes me, me. I believe my future will be driven by words, stories, and dreams. Living my dream life can and will be made possible by these arts. While my dream life changes a lot, it is always grounded in these three elements. This is something I likely would have not realized if it were not for my dad dying. His dying gave me the motive to think critically and urgently on where I want to go. His death lit the fire in my soul to put this dream into action because it is the one thing I know for certain he anticipated of my future.
While I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share in this with my dad, it should not take dying to force us into these important conversations. Think and share your aspirations with those who are closest to you and know you best. Encourage them to do the same. It is in sharing the deepest corners of our being that we learn who we are, where we want to go, and how we will get there. Those who know us best are the connecting links to get us there.
My future holds the perfect intersection between entertainment and air travel. I have spent my hiatus crafting this future. For now, I’ll just say the sky is the limit in my dreams . . . literally! 😉
We often ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. We marvel at the sweetness of their imaginative responses. As we get older, our responses of what we want to be change. Comment below who or what you dream of being. Is it who you already are? If not, what is stopping you from being that person? How has this dream grown with you? What can we do, as a community, to empower you to reach this dream?