On Life & Childhood Dreams: A Lesson I Learned After 23 (Long) Years

 Do you remember that moment when you knew what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Please enjoy today’s guest blogger, Anne Mercado, as she shares her story of following her dreams.

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” -Deepak Chopra

As adults we view childhood dreams in two ways. The first as an uncanny certainty of what a child wants despite her tender age. The second as a changing desire of an impulsive and creative young mind. For the latter, how many times have your children proclaimed their inner-most desire to become a spaceman, only to have this change the following week. What do they want to be now? The next Picasso. It’s for this very reason we initially dismiss childhood dreams as anchorless ships that sail off into the vast blue sea, never to return again.

But that’s not how it was for me.

I always knew I wanted to write. In fact, I was always writing (and reading) as a child. My younger self – during the time when I could barely spell “chicken” right – would pound away on a typewriter, basking under the sun. I wrote about nature-inspired poetry, fictional news reports and stories produced by a hyper-active imagination. I spent my after-school hours in the backyard taking in fresh air while observing chicken, dogs, grass, leaves, trees, and yes, even creepy-crawlers. These were often the subject of my writing. As I got older my intensity for writing grew with me. Pen and notebook in hand, my thoughts would materialize into words etched into white pages. I wrote more poetry, fictional news reports and stories about scientists using the moon’s magnetic field to hurl missiles at approaching meteors. There was even once when a magazine published my writing.

You’d think that with such a desire for it, I would end up just as I had always wanted to be.

Wrong. I was advised against pursuing my dream and chose a career path that had little to do with writing anything creative, unless you consider reports and contracts as page-turners. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you view it, I couldn’t seem to find fulfillment from the jobs I had. In retrospect, it was because what I really wanted was to churn out words. I wasted 6 years of my life, excluding college. 6 years I could have spent honing my skills as a writer. But hey, now I’m back writing. Starting from scratch, which by the way is wrought with challenges. A bumpy road indeed, but what path isn’t? If there’s anyone who claims to have had a silky-smooth road to their dreams, they deserve to be ostracized from the rest of humanity for risk of spreading false hope.

Now for the takeaway.

“The things which the child loves remain in the domain of the heart until old age.” – Kahlil Gibran

Once my child told me he wanted to be a chef. Fine with me. Now he wants to be a lawyer. Nothing wrong there except I’d rather have him pursue another career (the reasons are my own and irrelevant to this post). I was thinking about our conversations and realized that my objections shouldn’t prevent him from following what he wants. It’s not my life to live after all, but his. And if defending those in need makes him fulfilled, who am I to prevent him from that? Now that we have children of our own, let’s not be so quick to smirk at their childhood dreams. These aspirations should be taken seriously and nurtured because those who love what they do often excel. Why? Because one of the best things about being human is the feeling of fulfillment and purpose that comes from passion. Passion is an endless supply of fuel, one of the greatest motivators there are. So for my child who has recently turned 5, my promise is to help him lock-down the sometimes elusive childhood dream and help him reel it in. That way, he never has to “work” a day in his life because he’ll be doing what he loves, whatever that is. As long as it’s legal, of course.

Photo Credit: Creative Common from Linda Cronin

Anne Mercado is the quirky author behind Green Eggs & Moms, which offers clever parenting tips and news to keep moms with young kids sane. When she’s not hunched over the computer working, you can find her either counting down to ten to get her kiddo to move faster, or reading a horror book. She also loves vampires and zombies.


Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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  1. Love that quote from Kahlil Gibran…it speaks of the truth, at least in my case. 🙂 We always go back to doing what we love most, even if we were sidetracked a little. I agree also that if we are passionate about what we do, we are most likely to excel in it.

  2. I was always fascinated with encyclopedia entries when I was a kid; so much so that I wanted an encyclopedia entry to my name. Now, they’ve phased out encyclopedias! Hahaha!

    Seriously though, I’ve always dreamed of being a writer, a wife, and a mother. I’m living ’em all today. 🙂

  3. –Beautiful, Relatable Post.

    “The things which the child loves remain in the domain of the heart until old age.”

    This is Soooo True <3

    thank you for sharing…

    1. I love that line, too, Kim. I watch my children try new things, enjoying some more than others, and hope that they remember all experiences for the lessons they gather from them.

  4. Great article, Anne! You are definitely a talented writer. As for me, I swore when I grew up I was going to attend UNLV, majoring in hotel/restaurant management. After I graduated from college, my goal would then be to open my own Las Vegas hotel, bigger and better than all the others.

    Lol! Wow, was I a different person, even as a child, back then! My mom never put limits on what I could do with life, so here I am loving life as a writer and stay at home mom. And my future continues to be bright! 🙂

    1. Aww thanks for that, Rosann! It’s nice to know your about aspirations as a child and Jennifer is right, had you done that and found time to blog, you’d be telling us about the ups and downs of the hotel industry. And we’d be asking for discounts so we could go to your hotel haha.

  5. I always love English and Teaching–I thought I’d be an English Teacher one day…but then while going to school I became a Nanny and the lil tots took over my heart. I was a pre K teacher for about 10 years untill I had children of my own and stayed home to raise them–I may go back to teaching some day but know I’m really enjoying being a MOM and a BlOGGER =)
    As for my children they change every day, but my daughter who also has a love for books, writing and drawing always respondes she wants to teach like I did after saying she wants to be a Marine Reaque worker or someting I think is crazy…my son want to be a soccer star—I too tell them they should find some thing they love…then it never really feels like a “JOB”

    1. It’s nice to know that you were a pre K teacher – you must be extremely patient with kids. And it’s good that you found what it is you love doing, well in your case, the things you really enjoy (being a mom and blogging).

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