Think of a dream you have or had. Did you want to be a firefighter or rocket scientist? Did you dream you could fly? Did you want to become a superstar or win the lottery? Everyone has dreams, whether they are just dreams or real goals. I had a dream for 10 years; I wanted to be a Foreign Service Officer. This past week that dream came true. Though it has only been a week, it is everything I wanted and more. It is truly a dream come true.
I’ve worked for so long with this goal in mind. Since I was 16, I’ve had a path laid out in front of me, by my own choice. I’ve seen the path in front of me with one giant gate at the end. Though the path was often overgrown with weeds and rocky, I never gave up my trek. For a while, I lost sight of the path, but it turned out I was just walking parallel, my view was blocked by a wall. As soon as I could I found the path again I continued on my journey. I had to walk through muddy puddles, infested with mosquitos, and hack down the tall grass blocking my way, but I soldiered on, always with view of the gate ahead. When I returned to America, I saw the gate get closer and closer, while still seeming so far away. But one day the path shortened quickly and the gate grew near. This week I had the distinct honor of turning the knob on that gate door. As I stepped through the gate and into the secret garden I’ve coveted for so long, I found the flowers and foliage even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Your dreams can only imagine so much, for we don’t know what we don’t know. Having spent just one week in the garden, I’ve discovered that there are over 200 paths leading from the garden. Each one has it’s own set of obstacles and beauty to enjoy. But, each path circles back to the same garden. The flowers may change from year to year, but the garden will always be there. But no matter which path I take, I will always stop to smell the roses.