Follow Your Dream

Do you still remember the time when you knew that when you grew up you would be a ballerina, a princess and a jockey? Or an explorer, a millionaire and a deep sea diver?

In your mind you had no doubt about these things becoming reality.

Then life happened. Reality check: your parents could not afford your ballet lessons, you were not born to a royal family, horses were too expensive to keep. Everything seemed to have been explored already, money did not grow on trees and you could not get a vacation to go deep sea diving - and you had no time for a diving course.

Sound familiar?

Same happened to me too. I wanted to be an artist, an Egyptologist, own my own horse - oh and of course be a millionaire.

I went to a university - because I got in at first try. I was to be a translator and an interpreter. Well - here where I live university studies are basically free. But you have to pay for your living all the same. My parents were not rich. So eventually I dropped out of the university and went to work because we needed to pay the rent.

I did not feel bitter because of it - life was so interesting anyway, and I had always studied things I like on my own. (Hence the vast amount of books I referred to in my last newsletter).

You know what happens after a few years? The dreams you thought you had safely buried as nonsense refuse to die. One day they come back. And that's when it gets interesting.

You see, we don't like being reminded of our old dreams. After all remembering them makes us realize how many years have gone by. Years we could have used to pursue our dreams. If we had the money, the time, the teachers, if we lived here or there, if we had the brains...

And so many of us, seeing the door of our old dreams trying to open, slam it quickly shut. But our minds can't forget and it feels like a little sting in our minds. Slight pain, uncomfortable.

Why do we do this? Deny our dreams?

I think one of the reasons is that we see our dreams as too big a project.

Take dancing, for example. So you wanted to be a ballerina, but never had a chance. And now you think that "I can never be a ballerina again, so what's the point?"

Or studying something that interests you. "It doesn't bring in money, so what's the use. I will never be a professor, so why bother?"

But what if we took another approach? What if we would follow our dreams only because it feels good to do so? What would happen?

You might not be a professional ballerina anymore, but they do have adult ballet lessons these days. And the fact you are interested in studying something is your subconscious telling you there is something in the subject that feeds your soul.

When you follow your dream, and give yourself the gift of doing something you love just because you love it - you'll be surprised how happy you can feel as a result.

I've done this myself. After years of not painting because I was "not good enough" I took the brushes and canvas out of the cupboard and started. I painted horses and eventually had art shows and my art exhibited (and even auctioned for charity) abroad. So obviously my soul was trying to tell me something when year after year I felt such pain when I did not paint.

I had always loved writing. After having success with painting, I realized I could be a writer too and publish my stories - on the net. I opened my story website spring last year, published my first stories and wondered what would happen - and now I already have over 17.000 pages read each month!

And last year I decided to do something about my lifelong dream of studying Egyptology. I work full time so full time studies were not an option. There were no Egyptology courses in my home town.

But then the thought hit me - in this day and age it should be possible to study anything online!

I wanted to study in English and I wanted to study at a serious institution, preferably a university. So I looked at the map of England, and started seraching for universities in the major cities.

I wrote to them and asked if they had online Egyptology courses. "No, sorry". "No, we used to but no more". "No, haven't heard of any university here that would have such a course".

It seemed hopeless. I looked at my books about Egyptology. Whose books did I have the most? I decided to search the net with the name of my favorite author. I found her on Wikipedia, found mentioned the university she taught in and wrote to her there. And she answered, telling me her university had the exact course I was looking for. I would have to wait for nine months to apply and the course was not free. I got a list of suggested reading.

So I read, read and read some more. Every week I put a little money aside so that if I would get into the course, I would have the tuition fee already saved.

I sent my application papers - and to my amazement I got in! I was totally out of breath when I read and reread the email that told me a childhood dream was coming true.

It will take three years of hard work, but oh boy does it feel great to study something I love!!

I started looking at the people around me. There are those who deny their dreams and seem to go more bitter each passing year. And then there are those who started to follow their dreams only as adults.

The father of our godson became an actor. And now he not only acts but also writes manuscipts and directs plays. This summer he got his first film role.

My own mother became Master of Political Science in her sixties. Since then she has written two history books and is planning a third one.

My husband is now a Bachelor of Engineering - he studied for three years in the evenings. And is studying further even now.

They all did it because it was a dream of theirs, as I am now following a dream of mine. There are more dreams I haven't worked on yet, but you bet I won't forget them!

And you can do the same. What is it that interests you most? What if you opened the door and let your dream come out into the daylight? What little step could you take to make this dream a reality?

What if you took that step?

Leena :)

P.S. If you are interested in seeing how I combine Egyptology and painting, you are welcome to see my Ancient Egyptian Art blog

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Leena Pekkalainen is a writer who specializes in inspirational short stories that uplift the reader. You will find her stories and positive attitude tips at

This article about following your dream was first published in Inspirational Short Stories newsletter.

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