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Courage to Dream

There is one thing that never fails to make me admire people.

The courage to dream.

It’s not necessarily the dream itself, because dreams are subjective and unlike a fair race, life puts everyone at a different starting point and therefore the extent of one’s dream differs based on that too. No, it is the courage that one possesses to acknowledge that even though they don’t yet have what they want to achieve in life, they are willing to see it come true through hard work and prayers.

I find people with dreams and passion to be admirable. It was what triggered my very first high school crush back in 2015. We were off on a school trip for a week and there always a bonfire every night. One night, we were talking about everything and nothing, until we started talking about college.

It really was a normal conversation between two people in high school trying to figure out where life was going to go, but there was something about what he said that stayed with me for the rest of high school, and perhaps even to this day, since I felt it impactful enough to want to write it.

I will keep what he said to myself for his sake, but this is what made me in awe: in a time where most high school boys only care about their reputation and climbing up the social ladder, in a time where I thought he was just the same as everybody, he shared the timeline that he’s set out for himself for the next few years. He told me why he wants to achieve what he wants to achieve, his admiration for his older sisters, and the countries he’d like to settle in for a few years to study.

It was the first time I met someone – a boy – my age (15) that not only had the courage to dream but also knew what he wanted to do in life.

I didn’t realize then that not everyone has the privilege to dream as we did.

I realize now that when you dare to dream, there must be a sense of security that it could come true. It’s not as ‘shooting for the sky’ as you might think it is. I wanted to go to school in Japan because I was raised to believe I could do it. I was raised knowing that the resources exist for me to study abroad. I had supportive parents. I have educated parents. These play a factor to a certain extent in my dreams.

I still have a dream now, bigger than the ones I had three years ago and taking so much more out of me than three years ago. Do I have confidence that at least some of it will come true? Yes. Whether things go the way I’m hoping to or not, I can imagine that I will still end up where I want to because of a number of things.

One, I know I’m not going to give up. Two, I know my family supports me 100%. Three, I have the blessing of getting a degree from a prestigious university in Japan. Four, I’m bilingual, perhaps even trilingual if I can stretch it. Five, I’m only twenty and time is in my favor. Six, et cetera, et cetera.

It was the same with him. The same as any of my friends who grew up in similar environments. We were privileged enough to have a big dream because we already started ahead. As special as it was, it was ‘less shooting at the sky’ and more ‘with a little push’ we’ll get there.

This realization came as a reality check to the judgmental me who used to look at people without big dreams and think, why?

Why so pessimistic? Why can’t you believe in yourself? Why, are you just not willing to put in the effort? Why, why, why?

It didn’t hit me until recently that people have different predilections to dreaming due to their backgrounds. Perhaps they were never raised to believe they can be anything they want. Perhaps they were raised to believe life is not all the way they made it out to be. Perhaps they never had the support they needed. Perhaps they just couldn’t afford to be idealistic because reality forced them to be otherwise.

I can’t blame anyone for this except their upbringing, but even then I can’t blame their environment too because there must be more to that story.

And, not everyone is a one in a million. It wouldn’t be called one in a million if that was the case. Not everyone manages through multiple sufferings, hell, and high water and come out unscathed. Not everyone is born with that impenetrable armor, and the likelihood is slim.

So this is another lesson for me to keep an open mind and be kinder to the people around me. I can only hope that for those who think they can’t live life the way they wish to who come across this post, I want you to at least try, okay?

I’m sorry that you came to this point thinking that you can’t. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s going to be a piece of cake, but please at least let me be the one to tell you that you can.

We might be running from a different starting line, but there is a huge chance that you’ll catch up, or perhaps catapult even further. I’ll be happy to see you shoot ahead. I’ll be happy to run after you and meet you on the limitless line. You got this.

So please, have the courage to dream. Let’s start here, at the very least.

7 thoughts on “Courage to Dream

  1. Thank you kak for writing! your writing is very deep for me. now I’m at a time where I almost, can even say give up, to achieve my dreams. you were right about the starting point. sometimes I blame circumstances. some people have privilage that I don’t. and then again you’re right when you said at least we’ve tried. Your writing made me realize that even though we have different starting points, it turns out that it’s a natural thing and it’s not just me who experienced it. once again, thank you for your understanding and motivation! it means a lot to me (“: may Allah bless you and make easier for you to achieve what you want 🤍

  2. blog ini mengantarkan saya agar lebih percaya lagi dengan mimpi, saya sempat merasa putus asa dengan mimpi saya sendiri sampai saya bertemu dengan blog ini dan kembali membuka pikiran saya bahwa hidup memang butuh perjuangan keras saya suka banget sama Kak Zha kakak keren bgt pengen juga bisa kuliah di Jepang kayak kak Zha sukses selalu kak 🤗🙏🏻

  3. Thank you for the topic you have shared to us kak Zhaf. It’s a precious moment were i can met you in my life, even though i meet you in the online platform [:(]. but that’s okay, no matter how do i can meet you right on the situation, you are giving a lot of good value to me. Especially, the insight of how do it can we pursue to study abroad.
    ohh yaa… i’m Yaffa, i am a high school student from Subang (Jawa Barat). There’s a thing that makes me concerned about to study abroad to the country that i want to settle in. I have the mediocre environment situation (at least what i have feel for this, except my parents), and for me to study as much i can to pursue (especially to go abroad) and doing some contribution to something that i want to contribute by explore the field to studying expertly on college (informatics, psychology, philosophy, and et cetera) is something that i willing to be do. What i’d like to choice is to gathering more insight from other country (and it doesn’t mean to study in my homeland was a bad choices, but it is what i prefer to explore). I think by acknowledging my support system environment that has nothing to deal with this kind of thing, it doesn’t falter my dream. But, the Pandemic was hit me a lot with a reality that made me think too hard for this.
    First of all for my family condition (dolour of losing family member and economics aspect), it push me to go on reality (choosing a regular national university). That i have to push my self from zero to relearn the subjects and drive my way from something that i was work for. Look how my family supports and i looked to my self, it is the big deal that i should choice in this way, i push all i can do in this wind, i feel like i’m kinda afraid of what i’m doing (progress) but in the other side i think it is fine to do this.
    And kak zhaf, that is just a sort of my life story for this context. What makes me concerned about is…
    Yess, there’s a goals that i’m setting in IF I GET MY SELF FAILED to entered state universities at ITB, i evaluate much new things that happen and i set again the goals to get a scholarship to study in abroad. But the concerned is on that thing. Is that worth to applying/pursue the scholarship in the Pandemic situation?

    (I think i have a little preferences of this thing kak, so it might be you have your advice to us to how much it worth to study abroad in this Pandemic situation).
    Thank you for your time to read this comment kak zhaf, have a great day. You are doing a valuable things for me to write this topics.

  4. Hello, this is the first time I read ur writing. When I was scrolling ur blog, straight away I got interested on the tittle “Courage to Dream”. I’m running out of words after I read one of ur thoughts. Idk how tell this, but now I’m at lowest part of myself cus I lost one of my dreams. More than one year I try to accept the situation, try not to giving up, and try not to hate myself. But it’s really hard. The feeling of lose, fail, tired, wanna escape from this situation just make me more uncontrolled. And it’s getting worse cus I like to compare myself with others, feel like life treats me like a shit n I’m just a dumb in this world who has nothing, even a courage to dream. But thank u for wrote this, thank u for try to putting urself in the other position, thank u for understanding us, I adore u.
    Love u tons <3

    – eunoia

  5. halo kak zhaf, as u say in this blog, let me make u happy because my shoot ahead and meet u in limitless line.

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