Her Childhood Dream: A Collection of Women’s Stories

Little girls are made of sugar, spice, and everything nice. They dream of being princesses, the fairest in the land. And maybe one day their prince will come slay their dragons and rescue them from real life.

I don’t know about you, but that was never my narrative.

I grew up dreaming of saving the world and living to tell the tales. When I was young, everything was possible. But eventually, all children grow up, and dreams change. All women have unique dreams that mature just as they do, and it is even more important to tell their tales than those of damsels in distress.

I made it my mission to tell the untold tales of real women. Real women don’t live fairytale lives, but they sure as hell have some good stories to tell. These inspiring ladies range from ages 15 to 73, so we’ll start with the youngest and work our way up.

 

Lauren

Age: 15

Occupation: High School Student

Childhood dream: “I wanted to be a food critic for as long as I can remember.”

Effects: “I think my life has affected what I want to do rather than the other way around. Sometimes I feel like my entire existence revolves around trying new food and cooking new recipes.”

Adulthood dream: “My dream is still about food. I want to travel the world and try awesome food. Simple.”

Define yourself: “I am awesome.”

 

Amanda

Age: 15

Occupation: High School Student

Childhood dream: “Wildlife photographer.”

Effects: “I was constantly carrying around a camera and taking pictures of insects and any animals that scurried my way.”

Adulthood dream: “College. I know it’s boring, but I don’t really have a big dream right now.”

Define yourself: “I am Amanda. I guess just by my name. I can’t really put a label on myself.”

 

Kaitie

Age: 19

Occupation: UT Austin Student

Childhood dream: “Ever since I was little, I was always really passionate about biology and physics.”

Effects: “I hadn’t really done anything to help with those until my senior year of high school where I working with a subcontractor for NASA. I also went to Germany this past March to attend a social ambassador meet-up concerning ESA’s launch of their Sentinel 2b satellite.”

Adulthood dream: “Right now I’m focused on becoming an astronaut which is pretty ambitious but is honestly my biggest dream.”

Define yourself: “I try to define myself by being as compassionate as I can to as many people as I can.”

 

Katelin

Age: 20

Occupation: University of San Diego Student

Childhood dream: “As a child, I admired my grandfather’s seeming ability to do anything. He had to catch his own fish to feed his family. He managed to become a doctor despite being at the bottom of his class. I wanted to be successful like him. To me at the time, the only path to true success was to be a doctor.”

Effects: “I took AP classes in high school which made me feel smart, capable, and powerful. I truly thought that was what I enjoyed doing. However, I didn’t realize my naivety until I got to college.”

Adulthood dream: “A philosophy course in college changed my viewpoint of the world. I realized that nothing mattered and everything mattered simultaneously. My freshman year was when I first understood the fragility of life. Because of this I changed my major to political science and environmental science because I want to contribute to the preservation of this planet.”

Define yourself: “Malleable. I am easily influenced by the surrounding environment. This is something I would like to change.”

 

Amulya

Age: 20

Occupation: Northwestern University Student

Childhood dream: “I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast and then a doctor because I really wanted to help people. My quote in 4th grade was ‘I want to be a doctor and travel the world.’”

Effects: “I still do a lot of service and counseling because I like talking with people and helping them. As for the traveling part, I just went to Bonaroo so I definitely still have the exploratory drive.”

Adulthood dream: “I plan on travel-backpacking in the next few years. My career aspirations now are working in the tech industry with people or helping people with technology.”

Define yourself: “Bubbly, sweet, sketchy, annoying, adventurous, messy, flighty, and occasionally smart, too – I guess.”

 

Kaci

Age: 24

Occupation: FOCUS Missionary at Harvard University

Childhood dream: “I am organized, I have an eye for aesthetics, and I am a proficient communicator. These gifts opened up a world of opportunity and so my childhood dreams changed almost on a daily basis. My concern was not so much what I was doing, but whether or not I was employing every single gift to the best of my abilities. I wanted to live excellently, regardless of the career.”

Effects: “The same drive exists today and plays a hand in why I am a missionary. As a missionary, I am able to take these God given talents and use all of them in a way that serves others. On a daily basis I feel as if I am thriving and reaching my full potential.”

Adulthood dream: “My current dream is to continue employing my gifts in this role, and for as long as God calls. I have a found purpose in using my gifts to help others, and to share my Faith. My concern is not what role I am carrying out but whether or not I am thriving and helping others while doing it.”

Define yourself: “One way I would define myself is humbled. I am so appreciative of all the blessings I have, all the wonderful people I know, and all the purpose I recognize in my life. I feel like I haven’t done anything to deserve these gifts, and they were handed to me. I am so lucky to experience these things and am in awe that they are available to me.”

 

Nancy

Age: 52

Occupation: Manager

Childhood dream: “My childhood dream was in the literary world. I loved to read and write. I wanted to be a writer or editor.”

Effects: “My college courses were geared towards this purpose, but life gets in the way.”

Adulthood dream: “The dream is the same. I read a lot, write poetry, journal, and still aspire to write a bestseller. However, I am satisfied with my life and content.”

Define yourself: “I am a kind, loving, giving person with darn good vocabulary and spelling ability.”

 

Maria

Age: 52

Occupation: Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Childhood dream: “It wasn’t that I had a childhood dream. It was just expected that you make your life better by doing whatever it took to get there – primarily an education, sacrifice, living within your means, and hard work. My mom was my role model. How could I not try my best for all she did?”

Effects: “The bottom line is, I was never a rocket scientist, but I never gave up and got a college degree and worked hard. I kept going and never settled. I surprised myself.”

Adulthood dream: “I found a career I love and am really good at. I’m living the dream.”

Define yourself: “When I think about it, I have a lot: my family, career, love, health. But I still have more to learn and do.”

 

Paula

Age: 73

Occupation: Domestic Goddess (aka Grandmother)

Childhood dream: “I wanted to be an archeologist. I loved history. My dream was to see the pyramids.”

Effects: “I went to school for archaeology, but unfortunately I have never been to Egypt.”

Adulthood dream: “Family is the most important thing to me. I guess now,  I would love to live long enough to see my great grandchildren.”

Define yourself: “Oh I don’t know! I am an avid reader and am very patient. But I have to be because my husband is always forgetting things.”

 

I suppose our aspirations take on the importance we give them. As children, we could dream without the responsibility of bringing it to fruition, while as adults, our dreams are tainted by reality. Nevertheless, dreams inspire hope in people. They play an important role in how we make choices in life that define who we are. An important distinction, our dreams do not define us; we define our dreams, and we define ourselves.

Rachel Cook

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