Dreams Don’t Always Come True

RABIAN GULF (Dec. 14, 2011) Final checkers give the safe for launching signal to an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Warhawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97 on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). John C. Stennis is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)
ARABIAN GULF (Dec. 14, 2011) Final checkers give the safe for launching signal to an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Warhawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97 on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). John C. Stennis is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

By Tonya Anderson

Dreams don’t always come true.

I wanted to be U.S. Navy fighter pilot. I wanted to be one of the best.  Flying at mach speeds, twisting and turning a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art aircraft in precision moves. 

I had no doubt that I would be one of the best, nor did I comprehend that I would be a rare black female pilot.  All I knew was I wanted to be fighter pilot and serve my country. 

I entered boot camp and I remember reading my medical report, destroying my chance to go flight school.  No, not just destroying it , obliterating it. I was so crushed that I did not even question, fight or appeal the medical decision.

My life took  a deep dive and crashed. I ended up a flight attendant, spending 13 years traveling around the world and serving people.  Time moves on, I survived the heartache of not flying jets.

It has been years since I was a flight attendant, and I was just contemplating my life, reviewing all of my dreams. In the years since, I have made peace with not being a fighter pilot.

On the one hand, many of my dreams have come true.

Why is it that I focused all of those years on the dream that did not come true?  I was focused on the material aspects of the dream, not the essence of the dream.

Sometimes, what we want is the essence of our dreams.  I wanted a fast-paced life, to believe and belong to something bigger than myself, a fast-paced life and to be part of something magical. Most of all, I wanting to be on the cutting-edge of life and to touch the sky with my fingers. 

This morning I woke up and realized I am a living my dream. I am touching the sky with my finger. It is not the same dream as being a jet pilot, but my life is exhilarating, taking life’s twists and turns at  mach speed, serving people and exploring the exquisiteness of life with precision moves.

My dream did come true. It just looks different.

What is the essence of your lost dream?  Does it look different?