What are your dreams?

“I think what we fear most is not having the opportunity to fill our true potential”               –Dan Pallotta

I love how Ted Talks make me think. Things I forgotten about or let seep deep within come gurgling back up. This time its dreams. Its interesting, about 7-10 years ago I decided that “dreams” was a bad word. That it somehow implied something that would never happen, something that you would consistently seek but never actually reach. I stopped using it.

I swear each month I discover some belief that I had absurdly convinced myself of. This is one of them. When I think about it, the day I made this ridiculous decision is right about the time that I also stopped believing in my own creativity. I gave myself goals and tasks. I learned about business and discipline. I sought success and not meaning. I forgot what it was that made me want it all to begin with. It was the slow demised of my spirit.

I sit hear now after watching this talk thinking about how important what he has says is. I was so afraid that I would never achieve my dreams that I became one of those lost souls wandering and waiting; wanting someone to find me. I gave up a huge part of my personality. I have always been the girl who always smiles, what I became was intense. A word used to describe me quite a lot a few years ago. I didn’t like it or who I had become in that sense. That’s when I started rethinking my path.

Its not that I was mean or miserable, but I somehow forgot this was all supposed to be fun. I had this notion that I needed know everything and that if it didn’t come easy I was a dud, a failure, a fraud. This mask of security kept me safe, people thought I knew and I was happy to let them think it; at least that’s what I told myself. Everything became about knowing as opposed to exploring. As a camp counselor I won the “Give Peace a Chance Award” for my teaching style. Where did that willful, excited and incredibly inspired girl go…fear I suppose. Back then fear didn’t stop me; I would say, I know a lot, I’ll figure it out. I always did.

The past few years have been filled with growth, change and challenges. The past 2 were especially hard and yet I can honestly say this past year I have been happier than ever. I have become incredibly self aware. Now though as opposed to dissecting everything I do, decision I make, stupid thing I mistakenly said I sit with it. I question why I’m upset and think…okay, you’re okay right? Then its okay. I am more than okay, even when I’m not. I am blessed in fact.

I have begun to see that in my search for success, I lost what was important. I needed more than the idea or symbol of connection, I actually needed to connect. That part has been hard, but I’m doing it. After all, how can I change the world if I feel alone. I want to see the significance of each and every person I meet. I want to be open. On some level in some way I do want to change the world. I want to do it by opening doors and creating bridges both personally and in my art. I want what I do with my life to be meaningful. I want the stories I tell to be real stories about people who are misunderstood and have a hand in healing. I want to get over my own judgement and understand the unknown. Perhaps really its simply my world I want to change, I don’t know? What I do know is that even if that is the case, that if I change my world it will open a door and build a bridge to changing others one world at a time. A chain that can link us soul by soul, heart to heart.

My dream is to be a person who moves others with her words, her actions, her art and her life. My dream is to know and live who I am meant to be. For the first time in years I believe I’m on the true course, rowing in the authentic direction for my life. Today I dare to dream again.



Author: Finding True North

Nichole Donje is an interdisciplinary artist, activist, and leader. A philosopher and self-exploration addict, Nichole is currently working on two books of art and poetry FINDING TRUE NORTH and LIFE POEMS. She is a visual artist and photographer. Nichole founded and ran the highly regarded New York City based independent theatre company TAPT from 2006-2016. Serving as TAPT’s Artistic Director, Nichole worked diligently to support new and forgotten works that help shape the way we view the world around us. A recognized leader, Nichole served three terms as Vice President of the Board of Directors for The Players. Currently, she chairs both the Communications and Theatre Committees which she established. The Players celebrates the rich cultural life of New York City with exclusive member-only events that include live performances, readings by leading authors and playwrights, film screenings, and dining in its famous Grill Room. More information about The Players may be found at theplayersnyc.org. A key influencer of the Players current revitalization she has become an advocate for the art and livelihood of a social club. The Players not only honors yesterday’s and today’s luminaries of the performing arts but also reminds us of the necessity of building face to face relationships. Nichole is a member of SAG-AFTRA, LPTW/League of Professional Theatre Women, LeanInNYC, and The Players.

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