a dream is a wish your heart makes

I had a dream…last night.  There’s no real significant, earth-shattering proclamations to come out of my dream, but it definitely had me thinking about things during breakfast this morning.  It was my wedding rehearsal/wedding day- you know how dreams blur all the details together- and the wedding was taking place in Cleveland.  Which is definitely never going to happen in real life IF this girl ever ties the knot.  However, I must give my dream-filled mind credit for the rationale behind the location because it was 2 hours from Pittsburgh (my hometown) and 2 hours from Columbus (the groom’s hometown). 

Now who was the groom?  Now that’s a secret I’ll never tell.  You know you love me.  XOXO.  Okay, I was watching a few episodes of Gossip Girl before writing this so forgive me.  The groom, although he never physically appeared in the dream, all the signs and acknowledgements indiciated that it was ‘him’…the one and only guy I’ve ever even thought twice about marrying.  His friends & parents were there, as well as mine- and even random people from my past were there in attendance.  From what I remember, Libby was my MOH and Brandon was maybe in my wedding party too.  Also at the wedding were my Make-A-Wish colleagues.  I remember introducing them to the other guests and sharing that the groom was working for the Cubs.

So let’s recap.  I was getting married to my dream guy; working my dream job, and from the sound of it, he was too; living in Chicago (still); and I was getting married in Cleveland.  Okay, 3 out of 4 dream scenarios really isn’t that bad.  I mean do you understand why I didn’t want to wake up from that dream?

But I had to.  Actually I had to wake up fairly early for a Sunday because today was another Make-A-Wish volunteer day for me (!!!) at the Oncology Child Life picnic at the University of Chicago’s Wyler Children’s Hospital.  Today was another unforgettable day for me as I spent time giving children (patients and former patients), their siblings, and parents the opportunity to play, smile, laugh, and most importantly, forget their problems for a few hours. 

The happenings of today are special for me, and I have to share that I’ve never received so many ‘Thank Yous’ in this city as I did today.  Gracious parents were just happy to see their little boys & girls being kids.  Sure some kids were healthier than others and a few kids showed physical signs of chemo, but I can tell you that not one of those kids showed signs of weakness.  It was their resilience that inspired me today…and tomorrow…many tomorrows.

You’re changing that boy’s life.  No, he’s changing mine. (The Blind Side)

The quote above popped into my head during the picnic and it’s still running through there today.  Being a volunteer for Make-A-Wish and Children’s Memorial Hospital are very important opportunities for me.  Instead of stating the never-ending reasons why I feel this way, I’ll stick to the relevance of the quote above. 

Since proclaiming my admiration for Make-A-Wish many years ago and sharing my desire to become a Child Life Specialist, I have been told by many  people how they “couldn’t do that” and “ohmygosh, that would be so hard”.  As I’ve said many times before and again to my mom on the phone today, I can do this.  I want to do this.  You’ll never hear me say that this is easy work…not once.  Instead you’ll hear me say that I am committed to serving these kids & families to the best of my ability, no matter what my role may be (ie. volunteer, staff, Child Life Specialist). 

“It has taken me 26 1/2 years to figure out what I want to do with my life, but now I know and this is it.”  Now that I know exactly what I want to do, my impatience is what’s getting to me.  I’m ready to start now.  While I’m thankful for the volunteer opportunities I’ve been allotted, I cannot help but hope to spend more of my time- all of my time- dedicated to what I strongly believe is my calling.  Like I’ve said, it’s taken me a long time to figure this out, and yes, I know I’m young, but I’ve also spend a long of wasted time dreaming of what I could do and now that I uncovered my real wishes, I want to turn them into my reality. 

“Everything happens for a reason,” as told to me by my new friend, Dina, today.  After opening up to me about her journey, as well as sharing that she is a CLS and Make-A-Wish employee, I told her that I know she’s right.  I’ve heard this phrase a thousand times before, but today I really heard it.  I know it’s true.  I couldn’t say it isn’t knowing that I’m sitting here tonight analyzing what I just wrote, about 20 months after taking a chance and moving to the big city.  Everything happens for reason.  But we also cannot sit back and hope that every good thing that we dream magically appears.  Fate only takes you so far and the rest is up to you to make it happen.

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