Dream a Little (Dangerous) Dream

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“A dream fulfilled is a great feeling, but it is also daunting. You’re left asking yourself, ‘What do I do now?'”

By Ashley Mandanici | Twitter: @ashleymandanici

All Rapunzel ever wanted for eighteen years was to see the floating lights drift up into the sky on her birthday, but not just from her bedroom window… she wanted to see them up close!

The day had finally arrived. Though the circumstances and company were unlikely, her dream was about to be fulfilled. In that moment of anticipation, she expressed a sudden concern to the man responsible for getting her there:

Rapunzel: I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?

Flynn Rider: It will be.

Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then?

Flynn Rider: Well, that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.

Tangled (2010)

For the past five months I have been living in Uganda, which had been a dream of mine for about four years prior. My dream was to work with Watoto Childcare ministries, and help make an impact on the lives of children in Uganda. With that I also desired some adventure. Life was becoming rather tame and predictable, and I wanted to spice things up!

Before I left for Uganda, I found myself asking others, and myself the same question Rapunzel asks in Tangled: “What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?” Everyone’s response was almost always, “It will be!”

Yet the more frightening question turned out to be, “What if it is everything I dreamed it would be? What do I do then?”

Dreams fulfilled

My time in Uganda was definitely a dream fulfilled. It was actually better than I could have ever imagined. I danced in the rain, I gazed at the stars, I slowed down, I laughed hearty belly laughs (daily), I sang with feeling, I cried unashamedly, I held hands, I danced, I got muddy, I ate food from the side of the road, I attempted a new language, I talked to strangers; I lived! I woke up every morning sensing an aroma of adventure in the air, never knowing what new exploit or mishap was coming my way. And I loved it.

I lived out my word for 2012—New! I lived in a new country, with new people, eating new food, learning a new language, leaping into new adventures as I recognized gifts and abilities I didn’t know I had!

A dream fulfilled is a great feeling, but it is also daunting. You’re left asking yourself, “What do I do now?”

What happens now that my time in Uganda was everything I dreamed it would be?

Well, I guess that’s the good part: I get to go find a new dream!

My One Word

This year my word is dream. A part of me did not want to pick that word, because it felt “flaky”. I associated the word with silliness: daydreams, dreaming your life away, dream-catchers. When I  thought about dreaming, I saw my teenage self standing in the middle of the school gymnasium during “Career and Personal Planning” day, optimistically looking for the “Professional Singer” booth. So when “dream” crossed my mind, I quickly began degrading it to a kids’ game–one that I just didn’t have the patience, or the nerve, to play anymore.

Then I started to think about how far the dreams I have acted on have gotten me. I thought about how I saw my “floating lights” in Uganda, after four years of dreaming about them. As I did, I began to realize that the fulfillment of my dreams is not based on their achievability, or even on how realistic they are. The success of my dreams is based on my commitment to them: on how hard I fight for them, and how I follow through with them.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.  

T.E. Lawrence

So now, with eyes wide-open, I have the dangerous task of hunting for a new dream.
_____________________

So, my SheLoves friends:

– Is there a dangerous dream lurking in your heart?
– Are you willing to act on your dream with open eyes?

_____________________

About Ashley:

My name is Ashley and I am the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Relate Church in Surrey, B.C. My mission is to develop the God-given potential in every child who crosses my path *Insert Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” here*. I love all things jazzy, particularly music, and I tend to break into song throughout the day for no apparent reason. I blog here and tweet @AshleyMandanici

 

Photo credit: Jessica.Tam

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Ashley Mandanici
My name is Ashley and I am the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Relate Church in Surrey, B.C. My mission is to develop the God-given potential in every child who crosses my path *Insert Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” here*. I love all things jazzy, particularly music, and I tend to break into song throughout the day for no apparent reason.
Ashley Mandanici

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Comments

  1. Anna White says:

    Here’s to achieving dreams and finding new ones. Uganda sounds incredible!

  2. “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” -T.E. Lawrence
    If there has ever been a quote that summed me up perfectly, it would be this one. Last year was really a year of dreams for me. This year I’m going with lots of “Grace” while still going strong on my dreams.
    I have two dreams I would love to somehow combine:

    – Fighting modern-day slavery and

    – Ireland

    I’ve had many people come up to me and try to convince me of the ridiculousness of these dreams but I know they are God-given and I will not let them go. No matter what happens. 🙂

    • So glad you loved the quote Jessica! And I don’t think that that’s a ridiculous dream. Be obedient to God’s voice, and trust that those dreams are for Him. I pray that God continues to flame the fire of your dreams Jessica!

  3. Claire De Boer cjdeboer says:

    “The success of my dreams is based on my commitment to them: on how hard I fight for them.” Love this, Ashley. Well done for fighting for your dreams because sometimes we really do have to FIGHT for them. P.S. I love your one word 🙂

  4. I was desperate to choose ‘dream’ for my One Word. This past year I’ve been learning to Dream Bigger, and I’ve been learning to let myself dream, to not let the fear of failure stop me, and to entrust my dreams to God, to let Him fulfil and over-fulfil, and go a million miles further. So I wanted to carry on dreaming, problem was I was focusing on the future and not ‘waiting’ as God had instructed, losing focus on the Now has been sending me to some awful emotions. So as I dream CRAZY and learn to wait for those dreams I am living ‘Now’ (My One Word) …’Dreaming bigger as we head for God’s beautiful somewhere…’

    Thank you Ashley! Your story is amazing, and encouraging, even after 4 years your dreams were fulfilled, am I prepared to wait that long or maybe even longer? Going to have to pray for God’s strength in that. Keep dreaming bigger!

    • I love your one word Grace— living in the “now” is surely something i could get better at as well. Focusing on the “now” is a good way to get those dreams fulfilled. Thank you so much for the read — i’m glad you were encouraged by my story– good luck with your one word 😉

      • Thank you, I hadn’t thought of Now as fulfilling my dreams. Feels like I’m just holding back and in the waiting room, I’ll get there. That was absolutely my pleasure! You are amazing.

  5. May you dream big and dream wild and enjoy the ride!

  6. I am reminded of the quote from the Chronicles of Narnia when Mr. Beaver says of Aslan the Lion, “Of course he’s not safe, but he’s good.” I feel like dreams are that way. They’re not safe but oh, they can be good. (And not flaky!) Lovely post on so many levels. Best to you as you pursue your dreams this year~

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