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I wanted to be a writer and a multimillionaire philanthropist from the time I was six years old or thereabouts. I wrote all the time as a child, filled notebook after notebook with my words. Then I stopped for decades. Being a successful and profitable author was impractical and unlikely. Being a multimillionaire philanthropist was impossible.

When we hear these responses to our dreams, we typically have one of two responses: 1) go along, agree and conform with what we are told, or 2) go against the tide and go for our dreams, impractical or impossible though they may seem to be, anyway. Here is the insidious part – those who love us say these things to keep us safe.

This is even more true when somebody is ill, a caregiver or bereaved. We are encouraged to do the bare minimum, conserve our strength. David loved seeing friends and family, talking about art and business, and painting. He completed the finishing touches on his book, Portrait Painting with a Bold Brush and finished a watercolor commission three days before he died. As his energy waned, it became a question of choices, doing ONLY what brought him the most joy. As a caregiver, I had on my bucket list for 10+ years the desire to speak about my affluence code work at a live event (3) and sing solos on a cabaret stage (4). As a widow, I sing at open mic places once a week to stay whole, even if sometimes, I sing with tears running down my face. At I write every day about something.

Yesterday, I submitted a poem to a literary magazine for publication. My virgin attempt. I don’t know what will happen, whether they will say yes, but that dream of being a published writer is back within my reach. Because I was brave enough to ask.

Suspend disbelief. Fling practicality to the wind. Let yourself dream again. When you say, “I want to be a…” what is the next word that comes out of your mouth?¬†Then take one step in that direction, like my poetry submission. I dare you!