Just to give you an idea, here is a random sampling of the "Dreams" thus far in my life (in random order):
- NASA Astronaut (never worked out mainly because I have an incredible fear of heights)
- Physical Education Teacher (I realized my true love was physical therapy)
- ESPN Sports Analyst
- Obtain Pediatric Physical Therapy Specialty Credentials (this still might happen)
- Play for the Lady Razorbacks
- Play Softball for the University of Central Arkansas (this happened after the aforementioned failed to come true)
- Be a Rodeo Queen (my Mom was and in a lot of ways, I really would be thrilled to just be half of what she is)
- Emcee An Event (mainly because I'm self proclaimed to have the "gift of gab"...not that anyone would want to listen HA!)
Let me throw out one disclaimer before I get on a tangent: If you've been following along with this blog (I do have 5 faithful followers; Good thing 'Famous Blogger' isn't on the dream list), then by now I am sure you are thinking, "How does someone who took a beautiful picture of a waterfall in the open country turn around to post a picture of a stuffed animal, a pillowcase, and a name tag?" Well, I'll tell ya! This girl is busy saving the world-one pediatric physical therapy patient at a time!
Now, on the quote at the bottom of the picture and the reason for the post. When I was 12, my best friend and I made a pact that we would play basketball for the Lady Razorbacks when we graduated high school. At this point in time, we were in the 6th grade, played pee wee basketball and ruled the world (so we thought).
As we grew up, we continued to be best friends and teammates and our dream was still somewhere amidst boyfriends, SAT 9 testing, and high school drama. We started most of JV and Varsity seasons. My junior year of high school, our team was invited to play in the Lyon College Invitational Tournament. Not the U of A of course, but it was still an opportunity to be noticed by a few college scouts. That night did indeed change my life, but not at all how I thought it would.
I'll spare you the intricate details but that was the night that I tore a ligament in my knee called my Anterior Cruciate Ligament, ACL for short. This wasn't just any ole ligament I would later find out. It was the ligament that would have to be reconstructed, intensely rehabilitated, and cared for in the many months ahead. I will never remember the day my world came to a screeching halt when I got the news that I wouldn't be returning to play basketball that year. I also remember who was standing in the room next to me, holding my hand, and who shared my tears that day and in the days to come: my Mom.
Throughout the next 6 months, I went to physical therapy to work on getting my knee back so that I could return to play before my senior year. It was hard, it was frustrating, and I was mad at the world. I didn't understand why this had to happen to me--especially since that was the year I sat on the sidelines and watched my team go to the State Tournament for the first time in 11 years. It was also the time that I began to think about my life after high school. And I thought that PT might be a direction to go...besides, all they really do is count to 10 anyways right? I'd been doing that since single digits!
It took a while, but I realized that through that tragedy, I gained quite a few blessings. I had the privilege to coach a little league softball team composed of 7-8 year old girls. Those girls helped my rehab more than they will ever know and I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through that without them. Several of those girls will graduate high school this year...crazy how time flies. I also found my passion and true calling (I believe anyway). I learned that year that God prepares us in many different ways.
For the most part, the dreams we have throughout our lives seem to be free. Dreams are not taxed and they aren't bought and sold like commodities. But those dreams to become reality, whether they be Dr. King's, for freedom, for happiness, or most importantly eternal life, the price, or the journey, are not free. A price has to be paid. In my case, lots of time, sweat, tears, prayers and money went into my dream of gaining a doctorate degree in physical therapy. And I can honestly say, even though the journey wasn't free...it was completely worth it.