Lola O.
My inspiration for this entry is the episode of Glee with the same title. Hands down, that episode is my favorite one so far. Everyone was amazing, but Artie is the one that touched a chord in me and really got me thinking about the dreams we have. The dreams that live, and the ones that die. The dreams we let go of in exchange for another one. The dreams we can reach, and the ones we can't. The ones hidden deep inside where no one can see or judge. The dreams of our youth that don't make it to the adult years. I just kept on thinking about dreams, which made me ask myself the obvious question of what my dream is.

My first thought was I don't know what my dream is, but even as that thought formed another one deep inside was screaming, "YES!!! You know exactly what your dream is, you're just too scared to say it out loud because once you say it, it takes on a life of it's own. I have more than one dream for my life, and as I experience life more and more with each passing day it goes through transformations just like I do. I've come to realize that a dream isn't something that does or should stay the same. Like us, it is a living, breathing entity. I think we all have many dreams for our lives. The dreams I had as a child aren't the same ones I have at 22. Some have died along the way, others have changed, and there are the ones I never even realized were there in the first place. Dreams aren't static things, they are dynamic and constantly evolving. At least they are in my eyes.

Okay, back to my dream(s). First, lets start with the one that I tend to keep locked away. Life here in Seoul is teaching me to be more open and share a bit more of myself with the world. I tend to keep people at arms length because I don't want to be vulnerable. I'm learning though to give a little more of myself to others in the hope that they'll do the same. That when we get hurt, the pain doesn't last forever. In time it heals. Well for me, the best way I know to open myself up is through my writing. Everyone sees me as this extrovert, but in reality I'm an introvert by nature. Well, my secret dream you might have guessed is to be a writer. If I could have any dream come true it would be that one. To be able to write works of art that help to inspire others, help them find their dream, gives them hope, lets them feel like someone understands them. Those are the kinds of stories I would like to write, ones people can relate to, find common ground with. The thing is that I just don't know if I am up for the task...being a published writer is a dream that seems so out of my grasp. I would like to write poetry, music, and eventually short stories that my readers can relate to. It's just that I don't think I am good enough. I'm scared to let that dream get too big, because if it didn't become reality it would hurt to much.

I've always written for my own pleasure. My high school English teacher got me into writing poetry and it has been my outlet for the past seven years. I write songs too, which is why I want to learn how to play the guitar so I can add music to my stories. Lol...I feel embarrassed just writing all this out. Sometimes dreams can feel embarrassing...but that's just because we want them to come true so badly and are terrified they won't. I love blogging because I get to do what I love, and hope that when someone happens to stumble across my stories they find comfort in what they read. Like the words from my lips would have come from their own. This dream though, is a vague one that is always present but one that I don't allow to grow too big, one day though when I feel ready to expose myself to the world. I'll try and see if this dream will bloom. I want to send out my work and see what happens. For now, just writing for myself and putting some of it out into the cyberworld is good enough. Inside,  I know that it is out there, existing, and if what I write helps one person feel less alone, or lost then that is a great thing.

What about dreams that die? Some of you might have read that I've wanted to be a lawyer ever since I was twelve years old. You know what's harder than a secret dream? Trying to hold onto a dream that died long ago for the sake of others. It took me a long time to admit to myself that I wasn't going to go to law school. That the dream I had for ten years, was one that I didn't want anymore. It was a dream I dreamed more for my mother that myself. I wanted to have a job that would allow me to take care of her and my family in the future. A career that would allow my kids to have to life I never got. Where they wouldn't have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck, and not getting to do the things other kids get to do. It was a superficial kind of dream. I knew that I could help people, but at the end of the day that was a dream to help myself the most. This honesty thing isn't easy. I've come along way to be able to admit that:)!

Coming here, teaching, and having my voice as the only one has made a lot of things clear to me. Whenever I think about my dream, it is always my desire to help others to find themselves, their dream, to feel safe, to feel a little less lost. I want to be someone who can comfort them, inspire them, be a pillar of strength for them. The same way I hope to help people with my writing, is the same way I want to help them in my daily life. So who is them? The youth of this world, what better way is there to make a difference than with the ones who are our future. I've always mentored and coached since I can remember. I've spent my 22 years of life looking out for others, trying to be mother to all. So I've "decided" that when I do go back to the states I am going to pursue a Masters of Education, with a focus in school couseling. I want to be a guidance couselor and do my best to make a difference one student at a time. I know I can't help everyone, but I would like to do my best to help as many as I can. My "ultimate dream" would be to open up a center for youth, a place called The Lighthouse. Somewhere they can go to and know someone will be there to help them, to be medium to other resources, whether it is school or life related, we are there to help them figure it out. A safe place, leading them back to shore. I would love to open up a non-profit organization like that in the far away future.

I actually had been thinking about this even before I came to Seoul, but being here, and having the chance to think for myself has made things a lot clearer for me. I don't want to be a lawyer, and I am finally letting myself let go of a dream that I had dreamed a long time ago. I still have to tell my mom, something I am not looking forward to. I'm letting myself embrace a dream that feels like it was always there waiting for me to finally let it in, let it become visible, let it grow. Some people who know me might be surprised by this choice, but those who really know me will hopefully see how well it fits me, the young woman I am now. I feel like I am really coming into my own, and allowing myself to transform into the woman I want to be, letting my voice be the one that leads me in this journey of life.

Being here, I've been discovering, experimenting, and exploring with my happiness. I've learned that at the end of the day, when I look at my reflection I have to be able to look myself in the eye and smile at who I see. I want to live my life in a way that allows me to help others, do my best to not hurt people, and lets me be happy. A life that gives me the opportunity to discover more dreams, and let the ones I already have take root in my life. A while ago, I wrote about how 2010 is my year to bloom. My season to grow into the person I want to be, someone I can love and be happy with. I'm figuring that out everyday. Sometimes I falter, but who doesn't? The road to discovering who you are, who you want to be, and who you aren't is supposed to have potholes along the way. Those potholes are what makes us stronger and hopefully wiser. Like a flower, I am starting to bloom. My vibrant petals are starting to become visible to the world.

Sometimes we have to take detours to figure out what we truly want. For me Seoul is a detour, a much needed detour. It's the first time in my life that I did something just for me, was "selfish" and let myself leave those I love behind. I needed this detour, whether it is for a year, two, or more. It's something I need for myself.  A chance to see another part of the world, but for me it has always been about leaving the safety of home to figure out this world and myself on my own. To clear out the voice of my family and friends, and just hear my own. To discover, make mistakes, and at the end of the day decide where do I go from here.

What about the future? I used to get so caught up in my future that I would forget we live in the present. The future isn't something that just exists in a frozen state. It changes as we change. The future I once dreamed about isn't the same now. I'm not really sure anymore what my dream for the future is, because I'm focusing on living my life in the present and letting the future grow as I grow, take shape as I take shape, change as I change. One day, the future will be my present and then what? I'm not going to spend my time worrying about what could be or will be. I'm going to live now, work hard now, and let things fall into place. I don't know how to explain it, but I just have that faith/belief/hope/trust that everything that feels tangled now will be figured out when it needs to be. All I can say is for sure that in my future I want to be happy with myself, my life, my love, my career, and the world around me. I don't have to be happy every minute of every day, but at the end of the day before I close my eyes I want to be happy, and look forward to what the next day brings. I'll be thankful for having a future to go towards.

What I'm trying to say is that every dream is precious, but some only last a moment while others live for your lifetime. If you have a dream inside of you, and you really want to see where it leads, why don't you give it a chance to take root? If you are scared of disappointing someone you love by letting a dream die, ask yourself if you really want to spend your life feeling bitter for never letting it go, and pursueing something you love. I know that we don't all get to do what we love, for.....reason, but shouldn't we at least try. Maybe, its the dreamer in me that just feels like we don't have to give up what we love to live well. I'm hoping we/I can have both. I definitely believe in dreams, and that we all  need to have a dream. Something we can look forward to, work towards, something that keeps us going through the bad/hard times.

Hehe, I know I promised to post pictures but I just needed to clear my head, and I've been meaning to write this post. I'd been feeling a bit off for the past two weeks (crappy weather, being sick, homesickness), but now I am physically and mentally better. It feels like I can breathe easily again. I'm thankful to those who reached out to me and helped me figure things out.

Lastly, I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the episode. Sure, Glee is all about the laughter, but sometimes they really know how to tug at our hearts.
A dream is something that fills up the emptiness inside. The one thing that you know that if it came true, all of the hurt would go away.-Jesse St. James-
So lovely readers, what's your dream(s)?

Dream on,
~Lola O.~

***Photo Diary: Gallery coming next***

Bonus: This performance always makes me smile ^____^ 
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