Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Dream I Can't Shake


“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined” ~Henry David Thoreau

Most of my life I have had this dream of traveling the world and dedicating my life to helping others.  It’s something I’ve never been able to shake. Even now in life, with a good job and a feeling of being relatively settled, there is still a part of me that yearns to make this dream a reality.
It’s as if I was born with this desire. In many ways, it’s always felt like something that I am supposed to do. Does that make sense? It’s actually a very hard thing to describe. I remember thinking about this as early as age 12. I read a book about John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps initiative and it immediately resonated with me.
Lately, I have begun seriously contemplating the pursuit of this lifelong dream. Whether it’s the Peace Corps, World Teach, or United Planet, I feel it’s something that I am supposed to do. I can’t imagine anything more rewarding that becoming a part of something bigger than myself.
Did you pursue your dream? Do you have any unfulfilled dreams that you still consider pursuing?

65 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see what you do :)

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  2. nice...been there man...made the turn about 8 years ago and walked away from corporate comfort..its scary and exciting at the same time....cant wait to see what you do...

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  3. There are lots of dreams stored in the corner of my heart ... let's see :-)

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  4. That's one of my dreams, too - though I know that it's probably not that realistic to dedicate my life to it with school and a job. But we can always use our free time to help out and volunteer... Maybe even travel to different places to reach out to others! :)

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  5. That is a BIG dream...can you start small and work your way into it?

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  6. I think that is what life is all about, being true to ones self and helping others along the way...I hope you are able to follow your heart.

    Dream big, live bigger :)

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  7. Oh i truly think you should follow your dream. I am following mine right now.:) B

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  8. Maybe I am irrational, but I have this belief that you just jump into what you are meant to do. It is a big dream and a giant leap to take. But I recently read this book, "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green, and the lead character has this great quote about essentially using the future (I will do this in the future) as an excuse for the things we don't try and achieve in the present. And it really spoke to me.

    It drives me decision to want to be a public defender; I feel there is so much I can do to help people right in my own back yard. But I am also passionate about global aid, like you. I am the biggest advocate of missions sponsored by the Peace Corps and by humanitarian aid orgs of the UN.

    Whatever you do, I vote you do it today instead of saying it will happen tomorrow.

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  9. Go for it, better to have tried it and find out it wasn't for you, which I doubt, then to regret not doing it when you could. Mine is to get the heck out of the rat race, slow going but I keep at it haha.

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  10. I wish you well, whatever your decision is.

    And also wish you time to consider many aspects of such a decision. Hard, cold, fact-checking consideration. I know, that's not the usual (probably) popular comment on this. But I still say it. From my advanced age perspective. -chuckle-

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  11. Hey there. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :]

    I say go for it. Life is short, you should do what makes you happy.

    It took me a while but I finally started Culinary School for Baking & Pastry and couldn't be happier. (Although, some days I just want to stay home and not go. lol)

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  12. YES! Follow your dream - don't wait until tomorrow, because you don't know how many tomorrows you will have left. This is actually my all-time favorite quote (I have a coffee mug with the quote on it!) and one that inspired my husband and me to go for our dream of living in the country and being self-sufficient. We were going to wait until retirement, when it would be easier and we could save up money, but we went for it. We've never been happier and I truly feel like I am where I belong.

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  13. A favorite dream is of spending my retirement in the company of good minds; I am pleased you are part of it.

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  14. I certainly understand what your gut is trying to tell you. Just listen and follow. This is an interesting post and it appears that a great number of people feel as you do and have walked away from a secure job, into the wilds of fulfillment.

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  15. If you feel that strongly about it, I think it is something you are meant to do.
    I don't know how you feel about God, but when I feel something strongly it's God telling me what to do. : )

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  16. Thank-you so much for stopping by my blog! Definitely think you should follow your dreams :)

    Lots of love from Ashton over at:
    lovelifeandtruthtells.blogspot.com

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  17. What happens to a dream deferred?
    Does it dry up
    like a raisin in the sun?
    ...Maybe it just sags
    like a heavy load. ~ Langston Hughes

    This poem always comes to mind when I think of unfulfilled dreams. Find a way to pursue your dreams, even if it is only temporary. At least you can say you tried.

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  18. Follow your dreams, inwardly and outwardly. Sometimes our dreams can be fulfilled close at hand as well.

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  19. Sometimes we can follow our dreams right here right now without necessarily having to uproot our entire lives or "run away" from it all. I do love my corporate job and I can still pursue my creative interests (writing and photography) on the side. I love both the excitement and energy of the big city and serenity of the countryside. I really think you can have it all. I hope you find what you're truly looking for my friend :)

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  20. I think people have different experiences with the clarity of their dreams or passions. Not many of your commenters, above, actually named a dream. My son, who is in college, can name his dreams/passions clearly; there's something he's cut out to do. By contrast, I'm fifty-three years old and just discovering some important things within me. So much diversity!

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  21. I think when you have a desire for that long, as if it is part of you, it is there for a reason! It may very well be the calling on your life. Everything up till now may have been the prep time for whats in store :)

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  22. Go for it!!!! :D

    At this point, I've followed pretty much all my dreams. New dreams are forming... It might contain some work traveling. À suivre... :)

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  23. I know exactly what you mean, Keith. Are we ever doing enough? Are we ever really giving back? It's a feeling I get often as well. Follow your heart. Do what feels right. Life at home will always be there....Cheers for this enlightening post.

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  24. I think it is amazing how much you sound like me - lol. And I love that quote. And it is so true. Life is calling. And I would love to live the dreams I have - but it seems that life itself sometimes gets in the way. There are extenuating circumstances. But I try to live my life the best way I can despite life. Does that make any sense at all?

    Hope you are living your life.

    sandie

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  25. If you don't follow your dream, you will probably always wonder - what if? This is something you feel strongly about, I'd say go for it. It won't always be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. Thanks so much for visiting my blog - I'd love to have you along - I'm enjoying your blog and would like to follow along too.

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  26. I think it's wonderful that you have not forgotten or put aside your dream. I am following my dream of writing now more than I was a year ago. It keeps growing.

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  27. What you're describing sounds like more than a dream; it sounds like a calling. A drive. And if you possibly can, I'd say go for it. Now, while you're young. I was a huge JFK fan, and wanted to join the Peace Corps, too. Or to volunteer on the Good Ship Hope. But instead, I married and had a family. No regrets, though. I've found many many wonderful volunteer jobs over the years, so I had the best of both worlds... my home and family, and the joy of helping others, too.

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  28. I think it's awesome that you are going for your dreams. I have some unfulfilled dreams. I can't say I didn't try; but still. Not every dream will come to fruition but don't think that means we shouldn't try.

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  29. There is a time and a season for everything! I say look at your life and ask yourself if this is the right time. If so - go after your dreams! :D Some dreams are woven into our lives as well, and become a reality a little here and a little there. I'm sure you will find the time and means to make your dreams a reality...

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  30. I had a dream to spend time in West Africa between high school and college. I honestly never thought it would happen because that would mean taking time off between high school and college and that was definitely not in the cards for me! But I guess I really was supposed to because late in the game I decided the original college I had chosen wasn't the right one so I dropped my admission and applied for a few other colleges for the following semester, which left what was supposed to be my first semester of college wide open. I ended up spending about three months in Senegal and I am so glad that I did! So I definitely say go for it. Even if it's not feasible to do something longterm, there are a lot of organizations that will take you on short missions that you could be part of.

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  31. You should always go after a dream, and that is especially true when it's a selfless dream such as this!

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  32. Hi Keith .. I must say I haven't harboured any dreams - but I'd like to be out there helping others ... my goal for the future. Looking forward to seeing where life takes you ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  33. I´m sure that you already know that, but you have always a warm welcome waiting for you in Estonia!
    Just a note for the travel planning process :)

    Take care my friend!

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  34. It makes sense to me, because I had almost the same dream. Perhaps unfortunately I had two other dreams: to become an Industrial Missionary and to paint. Somewhere along the line I fell between the three and no, I didn't follow any of my dreams.

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  35. I am pursuing my dream--writing. It is soooo rewarding but also way harder than I imagined. But whenever I think about bailing I imagine the regret I will experience (AND the less than admirable example I will set for my children).

    Though the world is gorgeous and exciting, I would encourage you to tune into the people and circumstances around you. There's tons you can do right in your current location.

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  36. It's weird. I've felt the same way. As a Sunday-school attending kid, I wanted to be a missionary. As a skeptical teen, I still wanted to work with a relief organization. I realized my calling was with the worlds unlovely. And now, without having made any effort to pursue those dreams, I find myself working with them in my own way. Monday to Friday, i work with the frail and elderly in a hearing clinic. On the weekend I work at a coffee shop in a dodgy neighbourhood which serves a nearby building of handicapped people, as well as many immigrants and transients. I have manifested my destiny without meaning too and it's the most fulfilled I've ever been.

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  37. I am pursuing my dream right now. Many people have told me it's a stupid decision because there are limited opportunities but there is absolutely no way in the world that I would ever give it up. It is everything I am and want to be. I go insane when I can't dance. Whether I become a professional dancer or not or whether or not I end up teaching or simply just dancing for myself. I will never give up on my dream. How could I go through my life pursuing something that will "treat my life well" or will be "sensible" all the while dreaming of that life I wanted. I cannot. I will continue to pursue my dream.

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  38. Yes, I am and I love that you share your internal purpose here, thank you. I think it is so fabulous that even though you are mostly settled you feel there is more for you. Listen to it. I believe you are stronger and more courageous than you know and that you are doing it now and will continue to honor your dream. I look forward to learning more.

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  39. It's NEVER too late to follow your dreams! Why let it keep nagging at you? I say grab the reigns and go for it! I am in awe of your dreams. What a good man you must be to have such a passion for helping others. If you chose to follow those dreams, I do hope you will document it here. I would love to read about your journey!

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  40. i commend you for feeling this is your passion - especially if you, indeed, act on it. :)

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  41. you should definitely go for it!!!! that is an amazing aspiration :)

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  42. I have pursued my dreams, and now I'm hoping to use them for a bigger good.

    Good luck on your awesome dreams! :D

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  43. Sounds to me very much like a "calling." I had a similar feeling as a 5-year-old in my bed at night. Like there was something huge out there, calling out to me. I just didn't know what it was. I'm still figuring it out, but I daresay I'm on the right track. I think you are, too Keith :-)

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  44. Always listen to your instincts! If your gut is telling you to travel and devote some time to doing humanitarian work then start planning now! I bet great things will come of it!!!

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  45. Hello Keith!
    Thank you for your generous comment on my blog:) If you believe in God whatever you perceive him to be,then asking for guidance is the way to go.You will be shown the right path to travel.I wish you well.

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  46. I think it sounds like a good idea to go for it! Or at least make a solid plan for it if now isn't the best time in your life. Best of luck in your decision!

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  47. I pursued my dream, I'm living it. I'm a happy man. For me, the value of writing down a specific vision made it possible. It transformed my dream to a workable goal.

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  48. This sounds like a very exciting path you are about to go down! Can't wait to read what you decide to do!

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  49. I say go with your gut. Maybe you could take the summer off and try something out to see if the practical side of the dream resonates as much as the blue-sky side of it does. Pray, pray, pray.

    I wrote a children's book I have always wanted to pursue publishing but I'm too ignorant about how to do it and to chicken to get rejected to try.

    Maybe one day.

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  50. I agree with Amy, do follow your intuitional promptings. I'm convinced there is something huge moving through all of us at this time - like a collective shift in consciousness.
    By supporting each other, we can make it!
    Very best of luck :)

    I will be watching this space...

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  51. Yes, I'm moving into more intimate alignment with my dream all the time (over the last few years - I ran the other way for quite a while), but I do find my dream morphs too. It sounds like yours is much steadier. Go well, but do go.

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  52. I follow my inner voices, my heart and my intuition. That is the way of following my dreams. Good luck with everything you do. The world needs people like you.

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  53. this is an amazing time for you- can't wait to see what you decide to do- and yes I wanted to travel as much as I could and I have....so enriching....

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  54. love thoreau. and this post! i'm still pursuing my dream, but my path has had many twists and turns to lead me where i am today--still so much more growing to do! next year will be an exciting new chapter :) good luck to you!!

    xo,
    kristyn

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  55. Please never give up this dream. We need people like you in this world!

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  56. Ditto!

    When people get asked "what would you do if you won the lottery?" they answer a whole bunch of different things, mostly about the stuff they'd buy. In my case I'd just make sure I had a guaranteed roof over my head for when I needed to rest/get older/whatever, and then spend my life volunteering on social or ecological programmes around the world! I always feel happiest when I'm helping other people.

    Good luck with your dream!

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  57. if eel like i was born with the desire too and am trying to find a way to make it a reality. x

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  58. You are spot on Keith!

    That is what I do, I "Coach" because that's what people want is to feel like someone is telling them what to do. But really, what I do, is remind people and push people to do and be everything they've ever dreamed of and wanted to do.

    I don't believe the, "Well, I wanted to be an astronaut when I was little.. but I should really just work at my dad's business.." No - You should be an astronaut. I believe we have dreams for a reason, we have intense passions that we are supposed to be led by. Who knows: Maybe that one person who dreamed and dreamed of being a doctor but went into construction because he thought it was a silly childhood dream -- he could have been the one to cure cancer.

    Our dreams are our compass.

    ~

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  59. OH MY GOODNESS.. I have written TONS of posts on wanting to join the Peace Corps. And yes.. it ranks as one of my top "unfulfilled dreams." One day... one day.

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  60. Me too! I tried applying to the Peace Corp when I was 19 but I didn't have a college degree.. well still don't but someday. You can do it!!!

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  61. No, I did not pursue my dreams. I always wanted to teach. But I had babies and decided they were more important at the time. I have no regrets being a stay at home mom. Now I am 58, disabled and even though that dream is not pursuable anymore, I still wish I had went for it. Don't get old and think about the 'could have, should haves' like me. If you have the ability, go for it! Maybe that's why you are here. ~Sandy~

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  62. Are we twins separated at birth? LOL. I also have a strong desire to go overseas again. I spent a month in Brazil volunteering in the favelas and it was a life-changing experience. I still kick myself for not doing the Peace Corps.

    My love of being abroad was the catalyst behind me going to grad school - it has been my dream for a while to run study abroad programs as a faculty member in Spanish-speaking countries. While I feel like I've done everything in my power to make that happen, doors have been closed so far and the last couple years have been really frustrating. I know that passion is there for a reason, I just can't figure out why there has been so much outside resistance. I think we're all born with God-given passions or natural talents or aptitudes or however you want to think about it, and discovering/pursuing those things brings so much fulfillment - so as others have said - go for it!

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  63. Also I am constantly on the move and love to travel. For me my personal dream is to experience as much as possible. My way to do it is travelling and photography. As for photography I set a goal to myself that in 2 years I want to become a professional photographer by devoting my time and energies to learn the techniques. Let`s see where those 2 years will be enough :).

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  64. We are blog twins :) glad you stopped by my blog so I could read yours! Keep dreaming and more importantly keep pursuing. We learn and grow that way. Thanks for all your inspiration :)

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  65. It does make sense, yes.
    A humble soul thinks that way.
    Always follow and aim for your dreams.
    Wishing you the best, Optimistic.

    Regards from Portugal.

    ~ Life

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