I’m Gonna Be a Cash Register

This week as the Olympics begin a lot of athletes are talking about dreams coming true and prayers answered. It’s always easy to notice dreams and prayers that came to fruition on a big scale like the Olympic Games. We can imagine little kids across the globe running, swimming or fencing their way onto the largest stage in sports, finally hearing their name called and holding the medal they’ve dreamed about for an odd number of years. One of the big stories this week was from sprinter Morolake Akinosun, who tweeted this last week:

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The tweet quickly went viral for its heartwarming confirmation that dreams do come true and affirmation is tremendously powerful. What a lot of us don’t realize is how many of our own prayers and dreams have been answered. Sometimes it takes a little bit of reflection to see how far we’ve come and how truly blessed we are.

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When I was young I wanted to be a cashier more than anything! I was about 4-6 at the time and constantly got things confused in my head, so I thought a cashier was the machine and a cash register was the person. Every time we left our neighborhood grocery store I would confidently declare “I’m gonna be a cash register!” To my parents’ amusement they would correct my use of words and encourage me that I could be anything I wanted. I credit a lot of this dream to two women who worked at the store and were the nicest people I’ve ever met. They would always smile and talk to us as we went through the line, and complimented me on anything from my shirt to how much I’d grown since they last saw me; one even dubbed me “pretty girl” and gave me big hugs before we left the store. They were my small town heroes, and I wanted to work the fancy register and make people smile just like they did.

Over the years, my career goals and aspirations shifted quite a bit, but I always held a soft spot in my heart for the cashier role, and a few years ago I had the opportunity to do that in my college bookstore. It was after almost a year of working there that I looked up one day and thought, “I always wanted to be a ‘cash register’ and look: here I am doing what I always wanted.” My childhood dream came true. It may not have been my biggest goal anymore, it may not have been at the same place I imagined, and it wasn’t for a very long period of time, but it did come true. Something as simple as “I’m gonna be a cash register!” came full circle.

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This year marks 10 years that I’ve been in NC and to commemorate it, I’ve been reading my diary from 2006, which was a daily journal my mom gave me for Christmas. Each day I read the corresponding entry to see what my life was like a decade ago. It’s amazing to see what kind of things I hoped and prayed for that have come to pass since then. At 13, I wanted a lot of things in life, some were big and some were small: to play golf without stressing over it or losing my swing, having healthy friendships, a stable home (as in not moving a lot), a college degree, to be a published writer. I think about it and now I can step onto a golf course without anxiety shaking in my boots, I’m a college graduate, I live in a house my family has been in for 7 years, and I’m a published writer with friends that are practically family. These are all small aspects of my life that I don’t blink at today, but there was once a time these seemed like unlikely realities-the prime subject of tears, prayers and nights spent awake fantasizing a better life.

IMG_9370No matter how small the dream is or trivial the prayer, if it’s important to you it’s worth working towards it. I also learned that it takes patience, as none of these happened the day after I first desired them, but I kept them in my heart and they came true. Whatever you’re praying for or dreaming about today CAN and WILL come true someday, and it will happen when you need it the most. One day you’ll look up and forget how difficult life was before your dreams came true. It’s really easy to fall into a rut and focus on what you don’t have now and what you want. But take a moment of gratitude to appreciate all the things in your life that have gone the right way. You’ll be surprised to see how much of your past desires are now a part of your daily life, and rest assured, you’ll be more at ease knowing your current dreams are your future reality. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t forsake your prayers and dreams. They are coming true every single day.