I can’t remember when I came to know the phrase “Living your dream” when I started learning English. The phrase doesn’t have a precise meaning in Vietnamese. It implies that you have obtained what you have dreamed for, have tried and worked to make it come true. For that, you are living your dream.
Do you have a dream? Let me tell you the stories of my dreams.
When I was a little girl, I had a wish (let call it a dream) to own a telescope since I loved astronomy. I then made my own telescope while in junior (?) high school. My self-made telescope costed me about 15USD. Though the telescope did not work as good as I expected, it brought me enough joy. A couple of years ago, I spoke to my professor of nuclear physics about my childhood achievement. The professor said, “I’m pretty sure your telescope probably as good as the first telescope version made by Galileo”. But I honestly did not think so because the materials were different.
During high school time, my schools did not have laboratory facilities for science subjects and I dreamed of playing with colorful magical chemical substances in a special laboratory, just like what I saw in science movies and animations. Eventually I had many chances to experience myself mixing many chemical substances in the laboratory, for I studied various chemistry related subjects during my college time.
Once in the lab, I mixed few substances and got results with blue-sapphire like colors. I showed them to my lab tutor to make sure what that substance was called (I can’t remember what it was). She explained something, then raised her eyebrows and said, “But these colors are not supposed to appear in our today lesson”, which implied, you did something different?
(Yes, I knew it, I was not supposed to produce this color in today lesson. I then just quickly said, “Oh, right, maybe I just made a mistake,” and turned away to wash the test-tube. This actually was my secret 😉 for the fact that students were not allowed to do experiments other than following strictly guidelines in each lesson, for safety matter when working in the laboratory)
My laboratory work went well… until… I felt that was enough. I wanted to do something else when I graduated from college. My dreams of playing with those toys of self-made telescope, mixing fancy chemical substances or related “experimental science” were, say, mostly completed! (For I am still working very much with subjects related to science and technology)
I still had many more dreams. Since I was a little kid, I dreamed to travel the world to explore the beauty of this world. I loved Geography in school. I read books about countries from all corners of the world. I dreamed to visit Europe to live in beautiful cities and legendary pretty towns just like I imagined when reading the fairy tales written by Andersen or the Grimm. The Lords fulfilled my dream one more time. I am now living in Europe. Yes, The Lords have paved the way for me to see small parts of the world. And that has made part of my world-travel dream come real. I am deeply grateful for having the chances to meet amazing people and experience precious moments along my way.
I dreamed to create a sound education environment for kids, for I was not satisfied with the education system that I had undergone during my school time, yet I have never been more grateful for that education I had. Again, the Lords have given me the chances to meet friends who have the same dream – making better education for kids. And our dream is on its way when we have recently opened a school for kids to have an educational environment that we wished.
That was not all…
I dreamed of being loved, more and much more. I didn’t know that I had been subconsciously, like anyone else, longing for living in a cozy family and being surrounded by loving people. For I am too, afraid of being lonely, probably the deepest fear of human being. And yes, the Lords heard me. The Lords gave me a good family with sisters and brothers and many loving friends who were also my family. The Lords have opened my eyes for me to see that my dream is fulfilled for I have never been alone, I have never been unloved at any single moment of my life.
Now then, I have been dreaming for a home, a happy family to share with one to whom I will entrust my life, whom I will love with all my soul. And so will he, who will equally love me with his life and by all his heart. I believe the Lords will be with me on that dream as the Lords have never given up on me.
Before my dreams continue I want to recall for a while the time when I was in school, the questions of “What I want to be, what I want to do in the future, or what my dream is?” actually never came up. I didn’t think much of those questions and neither asked them myself. I simply enjoyed whatever I was doing without dreaming to do other things. I enjoyed who I was without wishing to be someone else.
The question of “What I want to be, or what I want to do in the future” came up again in my first PhD year.
Once, I had a bike trip with a group of friends in a mild drizzling morning. Biking alongside me, a friend asked: “What do you want to do after your PhD, Hang”. I said, “I am not sure yet, I actually don’t have a fixed plan for my life. I just feel like I want to help people as much as I can.”
My friend seemed surprised and kept asking: “No, I mean what kind of job do you want to do.” And I repeated: “I just wish to help people as much as I can, whatever my job is”. We kept talking for a while then we started speeding up for we were a bit left behind the group.
To summarize the long dreamy stories to cut short, I am still not sure what jobs I will certainly do in the future. I honestly don’t know, and I seriously think I don’t need to know what exactly it is in the future. But one thing I know, The Lords have reached out their hands to me so that I´ve realized I can be a great helper once I realize what my true dream is. To see what my true dream is, I just need to listen to my heart’s calling.
I did not know what my heart’s calling was, what was it like being a good helper?
Until, I learned that the job of a helper could be called “servant”.
Over time I’ve realized that I have many friends who are great helpers, who are also good servants – the servant leaders, who lay down their lives for friends whenever needed. Some of them I call angels. My servant-leader friends and the angels are no different from us, just ordinary individuals like anyone.
I believe The Lords Jesus and Buddha have brought me “servant friends” so that I can see: I can be a good servant, and anyone can be a great helper.
I believe, I am working on my dream means I am living my dream – being a good servant – helping myself and helping others with the Lords’ blessing.
I believe my dreams would never end, for this world is still full of suffering, the poor need more helpers, the underprivileged need more givers, the broken-hearted need more healers,… yes, the world needs more servant dreamers.
I am living my dreams, so you are – my fellow dreamers.
Đào Thu Hằng