Dream Big

I regularly take my daughter to the Crayola Experience, an activity center at the mall with lots of Crayola-themed hands-on stations where my little girl can run around and make the biggest mess while doodling, coloring, and painting. During our last visit, we both sat to color with crayons, and while she did her modern art thing on a coloring sheet featuring some birds, I colored the page she handed to me, a cloud-and-stars scene featuring the words Dream Big.

I colored the page over the next hour using the crayons my daughter would tell me to use (although I regained my freedom to choose colors once she went back to the playground) and found the experience to be extremely therapeutic. I had just come off a string of work days and I was feeling drained; coloring with my little girl was rejuvenating. I realized something else while I colored this page: I needed that message in my life.

My daughter has in her room a framed poster that reads, She believed she could, so she did. It’s a nice inspirational quote that my wife and I both wish to instill into our girl. When we go to the store, the aisles are full of similarly inspirational quotes ready for hanging in little kids rooms everywhere. But as we grow up, the inspirational quotes diminish, we become more jaded, and somewhere along the line, we’re crushed by the negativity of the world. Or maybe that’s just me, but I don’t think so.

It may seem silly, but I’m very thankful for that coloring page at the Crayola Experience telling me to Dream Big. My daughter could’ve chosen one of at least ten different coloring pages, but she gave me that one. At a time when I was drained from work, thinking a lot about the future now that we have a second child on the way, mulling over dozens of things I need to take care of in the immediate and not-so-distant future, this coloring page reminded me that life is far more than the day-to-day grind to pay the bills, that even as an adult I should still dream big. How can I teach my daughter (and my unborn child) to dream big if I don’t do it myself?

In that spirit, I will be sharing some of my big dreams. They are all big but doable, well within the realm of achievement with some dedication and commitment. In sharing my big dreams, in talking about them, it will help me to visualize them outside of my own thoughts, to remind me why they are my big dreams in the first place, and to recommit to achieving them. If they also inspire someone else, all the better. Let’s all dream big again.