I was sitting in church this morning and this question was raised, “What was the dream you had for yourself when you were a child?” Then the follow-up question, “Did you attain that dream, or do you still have that dream?” This really weighed on my heart because my answer to the follow-up question is, “No.”
At the time I graduated from High School in 1993, I set out to conquer the world as a singer. I knew my talent wasn’t at the level of those on the radio, but I knew music was one of the only things I had been consistently passionate about since I could talk. My first vocal solo was at the age of 2 singing Jesus Loves Me in front of the congregation. My parents could barely keep the microphone from me from that point on. Choirs, musicals, church solos and music competitions became the norm for me. I loved stretching my vocal range, vocal styles and tested my stage fright in various sizes of audiences.
One of my favorite places to sing was any sporting event. The roar of the crowd would come to a hush when the announcer would say, “Now please rise as Keri Deike leads us in the singing of our National Anthem.” With the crowd quiet, the air crisp and the teams focused on the flag, with no band or recording to back me up, I focused on the pitch of the first note. The chills rushed down my spine as I started the beginning of the song, “Oh say, can you see…” and they would continue all the way to the climax of the song, “For the land of the freeeeeeee, and the home of the brave.” The crowd goes wild! (Well, not for me, but for the team they were about to cheer on to victory. However, I secretly stole a little of that applause for myself.) The RUSH of approval and appreciation for my talent throughout my young life propelled me to major in music in college.
Why am I not pursuing my dream?
After 2 plus years of singing in college, then in various bands in the Twin Cities, for numerous weddings and many church events, I began to slow down my pursuit of a life as a vocalist. Partially because I got married, singing didn’t pay well, then needed to work full-time, then later I became a mom. My focus and my passion shifted from being a singer to being a wife and then a mom. Priorities of how I spent my free-time went from “gigging” to “gigglin'” with my family. We spent money on a house and not on travel, then evenings out became evenings in as a family. Responsibility and duty overshadowed bookings and shows. The dream became something on the shelves of my mind and currently, only surfaces when I allow myself time to reminisce of days gone by.
I read a post recently on a fitness site that is making me reconsider keeping my dream on the shelf. In the quest of obtaining overall fitness, Robin Gregory shares the importance of finding joy again in the dreams we once pushed aside. This can lead to an overall feeling of well-being. There can be many set-backs in various attempts for success in our lives, but having a goal that we are passionate about can keep us moving forward. If we could open our minds the way we did when we were younger, with no limits to our imagination, we could maybe capture excitement, momentum and perhaps, a piece of the dream that was pushed aside by adult-sized obstacles.
I am going to purpose in my heart to find the passions I once lost. My dream may look different at this stage in my life, but it is still my dream to continue to use my gifts for people’s special days, for church and yes, even the occasional sporting event to honor my country with the singing of the National Anthem.
What dreams have you let go that you would like to pick back up again?