When I was eight years old, my dream was to become a world-famous actress. To this day, my 3rd grade teachers remind me of my aspirations to excel in “movie star college”. I’m sure I am typing to a crowd of former astronaut hopefuls and prospective Presidents of the United States, and I think I speak for all of us when I say we were willing to do whatever it took to achieve our dreams. The sparkle of our exciting futures gave us the passion we needed to become whatever we wanted. Unfortunately, as I grew up, my sparkling dreams began to fade as passion became a distant concept in my crazy high school life. Luckily, on an everyday coffee run, I met a Starbucks Sparkler that brought that 3rd grade sparkle back to my dreams.
AHHHH, Winter Break, I thought. It was after school on the first day of my winter break, and I was looking forward to resting. After a stressful semester of applying to colleges and searching for scholarships, it was nice to finally have some time to just hang out at home.
As I walked into my house and dropped my backpack in the kitchen (hoping to forget about my homework during my two week vacation) I could only think of the hours of sleep I would be recovering. Sinking into my couch, I fantasized about the five hour nap I was planning to take until I realized I had promised one of my friends to meet for coffee. Oh five hour nap, we were so close, and yet so far away! I thought. Well, at least I’m getting to see an old friend, so sleep can wait….for now. So, grabbing my keys and sliding on my red sunglasses, I hopped into my car and drove to the nearest Starbucks.
“Oh my gosh, it’s been too long!” I exclaimed when I saw my buddy. He had just returned from college, and I couldn’t help but be excited to see him.
After ordering our drinks and asking each other the usual questions (“How’s school? What are you doing now? Are you so excited for break?”), we started talking about college. My friend described to me his experience as a college student. While listening to him, I realized that in the hustle and bustle of senior year I had not been enthusiastic about my future in college. Don’t you remember how excited you were freshman year when you realized college was only four years away? I asked myself. Now, here you are, three months from decision day, and where’s the excitement?
As if he was reading my mind, my friend asked me what I was looking forward to in college. “Well, I’m pretty excited for the independence, new environment, and new things to do,” I responded unenthusiastically. Whoa there, Abi, don’t be too excited now, I thought. “I guess it seems a bit too far away to seem real to me.”
Enter my Starbucks Sparkler, a woman grabbing a midday coffee, into my deflated expression of my emotion toward college. As my SS was adding sugar to her coffee, she overheard my conversation and jumped in, saying, “Excuse me, dear. I heard you say you were going to college next year, and I want to encourage you to pursue whatever dream you have. Honestly, if you are lucky enough to have your dream at your young age and have the means to achieve it, go for it!”
My SS continued to tell us about her own experiences as a young woman attending college thirty years earlier. She told us she was passionate about studying astronomy, a field that had been previously untouched by women. Her passion motivated her through society’s pressures and even the pressures within her own family. SS advised us as young people today to use our passion for our dreams to propel ourselves to success.
After sugaring her coffee to perfection (and returning to our table a few more times to give us more advice), my SS left Starbucks. That was a pretty interesting situation, I thought. Why did she insist on telling us to be passionate about our goals?
Now, significantly more rested and eagerly awaiting my future university life, I realize my SS wanted us to understand that passion, a true desire and commitment to something, can motivate you to achieve your dreams, regardless of what obstacles may stand in your way. SS taught me that anyone, from the eight-year-old dreamer to the slightly unconventional astronomy student, can have the passion needed to make any dream come true.
Lesson Learned: Just like an actress cannot star in a film without a script, no one can truly achieve their dreams without passion. Passion is the point of reference to which you can look when you are discouraged, stressed, or even exhausted with your lives. When the wildly emotional scenes of your life’s movie threaten to pull you from your dreams, it will be your passion that reminds you to stick to the script. Take it from the almost-premiere actress of our time, having passion will help you win the Oscar of your dreams J.
“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” T. Alan Armstrong