What is Your Dream?

I’m doing a lot of ruminating lately. As you could probably tell, from the kind of posts that you are reading in my blog lately. Maybe I’m psyching myself. Maybe I’m having a midlife crisis of sorts.

me @2Or maybe, after such a long time of procrastinating, I am finally beginning to ask serious questions.

I remember, around the same time last year, a reporter from a local newspaper came to interview me at work. He was supposed to write an article which would feature some of the foreigners here in Tsukuba, something on international relations in our community.

He asked me the usual questions – why did I come to Japan, when did I start work, my research, family background, etc., etc.

And then out of the blue, he asked: “Yume wa nan desu ka?” Translated, it means, “What is your dream?”

It caught me by surprise. I had mentally prepared for all the questions I could think of, except for that one question that he popped without warning.

I fumbled for an answer. The reporter patiently waited for my reply.

In my haste, I came up with the first thing that I could think of. I said, “Yuumei na kenkyuusha ni naru koto.” To be a famous researcher.

Thankfully, he didn’t pursue it any further. If he had pressed me, I would probably say, “To win the Nobel prize” or something like that. Just to bolster my first answer.

But that first answer just didn’t ring true. Truth is, it just felt hollow. I wasn’t sure that that was my dream. It wasn’t my lifelong dream.

The article never saw print, unfortunately (or fortunately?). But it didn’t matter, really. Really. I just wondered what he was supposed to do with all those pictures he took of me, haha. :)

But that simple incident made me ruminate for days on end. What is my dream? Casually I asked Baggy the same question. He couldn’t give me a straight answer. I’m sure he has a dream, but he wouldn’t tell me unless I coerced him or something.

I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true. – Walt Disney

As a child, I had dreams. I dreamed that someday we’d get out of our relative’s house and move on to a  house of our own. I dreamed that someday we wouldn’t be looked down upon because of our financial status. I dreamed that someday we wouldn’t have to borrow or get into debt anymore. You know, simple things. Those were my dreams, because they were so out of our reach then. And they weren’t just dreams for myself, but for our whole family.

Things have changed over the years. Up to his last breath, my Dad kept reassuring me that I have fulfilled our dreams, and his dreams for our family.

So I didn’t really dream that someday I’d become a famous scientist like Einstein or Marie Curie. My dreams were way much simpler and very much rooted in our reality.

I realized that because those childhood dreams have now been fulfilled, I have not really thought of pursuing new ones. What is the next “unreachable” thing that I should strive for?

Financial independence? Not having to work for money anymore, but still be able to enjoy and live life in comfort?

Make a groundbreaking scientific discovery? Become famous?

Become a philantropist? Devote the rest of my life to a worthy cause?

Honestly, I could not decide. You would think that by now I would be able to figure that out for myself. But I guess, our dreams are closely connected to our realities. Sure we can dream of big things, those which are so disconnected from our present realities, but we could end up frustrated in the end if they do not get fulfilled.

But as they say, we only have one life to live.

The child has finally grown up and she is ready to dream BIG now. :)

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20 Responses to What is Your Dream?

  1. annamanila says:

    As I see it, you have been translating your dreams into reality and then just keep on dreaming higher.

    Now, you cannot answer the question. Maybe you are fulfilled? Or half fulfilled? You are already a scientist, wife, mother. Maybe you can’t ask for anything more than to be better as all three.

    All best whatever you still hope for.

  2. bw says:

    Some people dream of being exactly where you are – a scientist working for a reputable insititution. You are in most people’s minds – up there and worthy to be respected and emulated :)

    Yes, I think our dreams change as we grow older. But as they say, the “grand essentials of life are – something to do, something to love and something to hope for” As long as one of these essentials isn’t missing, we should be able to wake up in the morning feeling like life is worth living :)

  3. Rowena says:

    I dream that one day there wont be kids roaming around the streets looking for food and shelter here in our country.

  4. verns says:

    In all honesty Kathy, I love the entries you post lately :) I mean the previous ones are good ones too but for me, it’s more enjoyable to read “personal” entries…I know you know what I mean :)

    I can relate with your dreams when you were still a child because those were my dreams too. You know, sana maayos na yung bahay namin para di naman nakakahiya kung pupunta yung mga friends ko doon. Sana pag kelangan ng pera hindi na kelangan mangutang…etc etc etc. Life back then was really hard for the family especially for my parents.

    Now, things are doing better. Somehow wala na kami sa ganung kalagayan. Somehow yung dream ko noong bata pa ako na achieve naman namin but I got new sets of dreams for myself now but funnily enough if you ask me what is it, I don’t think I can give you a straight answer too..maybe because there’s so many.

    Anyway they say it’s good to dream but the important thing is to make those dreams come true.

  5. Abaniko says:

    Not having a concrete dream this time may only mean you’re content with your current life. In short, you’re happy you couldn’t ask for more. That’s something to be thankful for.

  6. Gypsy says:

    Ahh, dreams! Dami ko no’n! But wouldn’t it be nice if somebody asks you that (again), to say, “Dreams? I don’t need dreams anymore..I am living it!” Naks.

  7. Belle says:

    you never know, one day we might see your name as one of the famous scientists like Dr Baldomero M. Olivera on his groundbreaking research on nueorotoxins produced by venomous cone snails found in the Philippine waters.

    i could pinch your cheeks in that picture. cute dimples!

  8. julie says:

    You did have your dreams, Kathy, you may not realized it but I think everything you have done and will be doing are all towards the realization of you dreams. Thanks for a post that made me apuse adn reflect about what my dream is all about.

    By the way, I have something for you here:

    http://teacherjulie.com/2007/11/13/friendly-site-award/

  9. dimaks says:

    sometimes, life can be just fine as we were young by taking it as it is. sometimes, we don’t need to move, we just have to sit still and enjoy the scenery :) good day!

  10. ysrael says:

    I BELIEVE IN DREAM, I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

  11. kathy says:

    Thanks for the advice, Anna. Once a dreamer, always a dreamer, I guess. Once our initial dreams are fulfilled, we could only keep on dreaming for higher and greater things.

    To be all three at the same time – now that’s not a dream anymore, but a real-life challenge! Easier said than done.

  12. kathy says:

    Wow, bw, thanks so much for your kind words. I know that I didn’t dream to be where I am right now…I think I sort of just drifted into it without exactly knowing from the start where I’d end up.

    Thanks for sharing those words of wisdom. Something to do, something to love, and something to hope for – truly these are the elements that make our life worth living!

  13. kathy says:

    I’m happy to know that you are enjoying the entries I’ve been writing lately. 😉

    I think we both had parents who motivated us to strive and make our lives better through education, hard and honest work. But there also comes a time when we should strive to fulfill our own personal dreams, not those given to us by our parents, di ba?

    Let’s chase those dreams, Verns!

  14. kathy says:

    Way to go, Rowena! It seems that I was too focused on myself…there are indeed dreams that benefit society in general, too, like the one you wrote. I think we should strive for those kinds of dreams as well.

  15. kathy says:

    That may be true, Abaniko! :) Indeed, what’s wrong with sitting back and enjoying the fruits of one’s labors instead of continuously sweating it out there in the field (of dreams, hehe)?

  16. kathy says:

    lol @ Gypsy. How I wish I could say that, too. 😀

  17. kathy says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Belle. I’m far from being recognized that way, but hey, you’ll never know. I’ll keep your words in mind.

    Sabi ng Mom ko, marami nanggigigil sa akin nong baby pa ako, hehe. 😛

  18. kathy says:

    Thanks a lot, Julie! Both for your words of encouragement as well as the Friendly Site Award you gave me. I’m truly honored.

    I’m happy to know that this post made you reflect. :)

  19. kathy says:

    Very true, Dimaks. Sometimes we just need to sit still and enjoy the things that life can give. Thanks for the reminder!

  20. kathy says:

    Just like the song, eh?

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