Sandra Does TED Talks

Dreams. When we’re kids, adults love to ask us what we want to be. There are no limitations. We don’t think about money. Or what’s possible. We just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

Anything is possible.

When I was a kid, I thought I was going to save the world through words. I don’t know if I thought I was going to negotiate a peace treaty, but I knew I loved to write more than anything else in the world. It was going to be my ticket to something better for my mom and for me.

I’m going to tell you a secret. When I was a kid, we didn’t have much, but I collected postcards and magazine articles. I would hang them on my wall. All those little holes drove my mom crazy. They reminded of all the places I would go and all the people whose stories I would tell. So many people are invisible, and I wanted to bring them to life -- give them a voice.

I thought that was my purpose.

Like each and every one of us, I got older and started thinking about limitations. What was impossible.

How can I pay for it?

How will I earn a living?

How do I get my shot?

And that big dream that I had started getting smaller and smaller. And those adults who asked what I wanted to be and smiled when I told them, encouraged me to be more realistic.


You can’t do that.

That’s not a real job. Who’s going to pay for it?

You need to look for something more stable.

When you hear something over and over again, it takes a toll. It chips away at the fearlessness of the dreamer. The dream becomes a distant memory.

So you think about what you can’t do, instead of what you can.

You think about the lack of money.

You explore other options that will offer stability.

Your choices become the product of the limited vision of others. It may be fine for awhile but there will come a day, there always comes a day when you have to wonder how different life would have been if only...

You still believed in dreams.

You were braver.

You believed in yourself, stuck to your guns.

Sometimes, it all works out fine and the path in life may not have been the one you dreamed, but the journey is still beautiful. Sometimes, you’re able to snap out of it and recalibrate the direction of your life. Other times and this is the saddest of all, your life becomes an exercise in existing.

I saw myself slipping down that hole at a job that was just paying the bills. I didn’t want to become one of those people so, I made a decision.

All I needed was a shot. A foot in the door.

So here’s the secret: dreams don’t always come true at once. It may come in stages. It may come in the form that looks far from where you want to be but is creative enough to work.

My opportunity came in the form of fan fiction. The words of encouragement were from anonymous readers. Who knew they would reignite a spark that was dimming?

So, my friends, think about the dreams you had when you were a kid. And look at where you are now. Is this where you want to be? Is this the life you want?