Heads up! This might be a little cheesy!
Do you believe in dream catchers? I never owned one but I am married to one. ❤ My husband don’t just listen to my dreams, he makes sure that my dreams matter.
Let’s go back to 15 years ago when my husband and I were still dating…
Just to give you a little background, my husband is a very driven person. When he was still in college, even if he’s still unsure of where life will take him, there’s like an imaginary straight line from his mind to his goals in life: if he thinks about something, he will make it happen – not by luck but by sheer determination. He’s a pursuer of dreams, but not in a stiff way. He knows when he’s ready. If things don’t go his way, he will continue with high hopes that whatever he does now will serve as a foundation of the good things to come.
On the other hand, I am Miss happy-go-lucky. I live by my motto: Bahala Na. Yes, I have dreams but I am very conscious of what other people will think. Are my dreams conforming? Are they normal?
So when he became my boyfriend, I was caught off guard when he suddenly asked me: “What is your ultimate goal in life?”
My hands turned cold as if I was in a job interview. I laughed and just said, “I don’t know,” thinking that it was just a spur of the moment question. But he insisted and didn’t stop until I came up with an answer. Back then my answer to him was, “To own a preschool.”
It made total sense to me as my mom is a teacher, I am a Psych grad, and I love kids. It could really pass as my ultimate dream. When I gave him that answer, I felt like I survived a class recitation. However, if it’s really what I “dream” for myself, then why am I not applying in schools? I even pursued a career in HR and practiced for 6 years. I’m not taking any further studies to fulfill what I want. But guess what, my boyfriend (now husband) had it all planned out. He searched for places where to build the preschool; he even sent me lists of requirements just so I can envision it. He dreams with me (cue romantic music) but yes it was an awwwww moment for me because somebody else tries to live my dream – how lucky can I get, right?
Fast forward to the time we got married and had kids. He still asks me once in a while what my personal dream is. My idea of owning a preschool got reinforced especially when I became a housewife. I no longer want to go back to the corporate world because I enjoy my time with the kids. It was a mutual decision that I will be the one to attend to the kids since if both of us will have the same amount of pressure at work, then our relationship with the kids will be compromised.
While being a housewife is very fulfilling, I’ve been telling my husband that I wanted to work not because I need to, but because I also want to be productive outside our home. I felt like if I have something else to do, I’ll be more effective as a mother and as a wife. So my husband told me that, yes, I can go to work only if I still have time with the kids. At the back of my head was, “What luxury is that?” so I thought: I can finally apply as a preschool teacher since some schools only hold classes until early afternoon.
Guess what again? I became a financial advisor. Hehehe! So much for having a dream, right? But, I fell in love with this – it is definitely a very noble career. While I am not very good at sales, the amount of care I have for people and their families is enough for me to love what I am doing.
In all of this, my husband is my mentor/adviser/partner; he is not the type to throw me under the bus and to castigate me for not pursuing what I initially told him I wanted to do.
Then, Neat happened.
I’ve shared in a couple of blogs how Neat started and how it wasn’t in my plans growing up, but it’s the pivotal thing in my life that allowed me to tell myself, “This is it.” It defined my ultimate dream.
It’s with Neat that I became specific and detailed with what I want. With it, I finally understood what it is to have a dream, to have something cemented in front of me like a dartboard, and focus on hitting the target, no matter how many misses I have. I now enjoy the feeling of talking on and on about something without having my husband, or anyone, interrogate me just to squeeze out an answer. The answers unsurprisingly just come out! I can now paint pictures in my head on how I envision Neat in the years to come. Every day becomes an opportunity for me to live my dream and to dream more for it. It’s the kind of passion that no amount of physical exhaustion can extinguish. I plan hard for and pray harder for Neat.
I am not saying that the things I’ve enjoyed and experienced are not my dreams in any way. My husband and my kids have always been my dream come true; Neat has just become the perfect drink to quench my thirst when I thought to myself that I wanted to be more productive. I finally found what my housewife self once longed for… and thankfully, doing it doesn’t compromise my time with my family.
Looking back, I am happy to note that everything that happened in my life prepared me for this. I never thought that all those little reminders and everyday training by my parents to be neat and tidy when I was young will have this huge impact in my life.
My husband remains to be the same old catcher of my dreams, the bearer of my heart’s desire. He continues being supportive. It finally dawned on me that whenever he asks me what my ultimate goal in life is, it was not meant to intimidate me nor put me down. It was meant to push me, however subtly, to pin something in my vision board and hustle towards getting it – not for him, not for anyone else, but for me. I’ve witnessed a lot of milestones in his life, and I admire how his successes encourage him to also bring out the best in the people he loves.
With my husband’s constant support, I realized that there are no expiry dates or deadlines on having and pursuing dreams. Mine came at this stage in my life, and I don’t regret not having it earlier. It came at the right time when I am most ready for it.
So what I’m trying to say is never stop dreaming, and never stop pushing yourself to reach your dream. It will never come fast and easy, but it will come; you know how they say “the universe conspires” for you to be in that day you’ve been praying for days, months, or even years.
While being Miss happy-go-lucky worked for me at a point in my life, now I can say it’s better to have, to pursue, and to fight for a dream, while never forgetting to recognize the people (in my case, my parents and of course my husband) who first pushed you to have one, and who are also enthusiastic to see your dreams grow to the point that more people are encouraged to dream big dreams through you.
(segue to romantic music 2)
Stay Neat Everyone!