My life has changed pretty significantly in the last year. My television viewing habits for instance. I watch more FOX news than anything. Although I did tune in to LOST and a few other shows. But, my eyes have been completely opened to the nature of the media. Once LOST is over next season I wonder if I'll watch any of the basic channels at all. I want to know what's going on, I want to know it from the least biased sources I can.
My reading habits have changed. I was on a set course for reading the Harry Potter series several times over, and even had started them in Spanish (a project I would still like to finish, I'm on the 4th one :) But, now I find myself devouring books like the 5000 Year Leap, Liberal Fascism, Liberty and Tyranny and Applied Economics among many others. Now, that my eyes are open I have every desire to fill my mind with principles of freedom and knowledge of the past and the possible future. I've always loved history and it has come back to life for me. I am more passionate about it now than when I was studying it in college.
One of the things that has drastically changed is the state of my dreams. I'm not talking about dreams when you're asleep. Although I do have to admit that I lost quite a bit of sleep during last years elections, so those types of dreams quite likely were affected.
No, I mean the type of dreams that are the answers for 'what do you want to be, or what do you want to do when you grow up?' I will share some of mine with you, not in the hopes of broadcasting any accomplishments but rather to sort out my own thoughts and maybe encourage some thinking for anyone who reads this (I’m well aware that it might not be very many people:)
I'm someone who firmly believes that if you really want to do something there is a way to do it. Dreams absolutely can come true. The reason I know that is because some already have for me. Growing up I dreamed about going to WSU and graduating as a Cougar. Now, that might not seem like a big deal for some, but it was for me. Graduating college with a degree in History was really important and laid some groundwork for my life.
I dreamed of one day going to Israel. And yep that one came true also; I spent a semester of college there and fell in love with the place and the people. Again, that might not seem like a big deal for some, but growing up I did not know anybody who had done anything like that. It was for me an eye and heart opening experience that I still cherish.
I dreamed about going on a mission for my Church. Check, that one came true also. I served a Spanish speaking mission in the exotic land of (wait for it, wait for it. . .) New Jersey! That's right; I served here in the states. That gave me the opportunity to interact with the Spanish speaking population here in the United States and gave me insight and appreciation.
I dreamed about working in sports somehow. Well, I got a Master's degree in Sport Psychology. Some of my funnest memories are of my practicum with a women's soccer team and than a track team for a junior college in Phoenix. One of the things this degree did for me was to open the door for another big dream for me.
I have dreamed for a long time of living a life of service. The Sport Psych degree led me to get another degree in Counseling and I have been working in this field ever since. It is definitely tough some time, but for the most part very rewarding. I have eventually found my way to a practice that I have intentions of sticking around along time with. In fact it would be nice to eventually head the place myself (a good time from now). But, I also have dreams of one day running some kind of charitable organization that meets the needs of poorer populations, not only current needs, but also teaching skills needed to maintain and progress positive changes. I have dreams of working particularly with adoptive families on strengthening their bonds. I have dreams of returning to the Middle East and delivering much needed supplies to a Palestinian children's hospital I visited. I could go on and on. This is the type of service I always envisioned for myself. I think of it as ministering service, where I would get to work with my spiritual brothers and sisters and do what I could to help heal.
But, the question is why am I going on and on and what does this have to do with a Conservative Independent Rant? Well, like I said initially things have changed significantly for me this past year. I feel like those dreams of ministering have had to be somewhat put on hold. Why? Simply put the land that gave me the opportunity to dream all those dreams and to have them come true is slipping through my and your fingers. I feel strongly that before I can completely and heartfully turn to ministering service I have to do my part to bring this country back to what it is supposed to be, a land of endless possibilities for anyone willing to put forth the effort.
This was not who I envisioned myself to be, in fact I could say along with many other people right now, this is not who I want to be. I never had any intentions of losing sleep over politics. I never had any intention of even considering a run for some political office (no I'm not making an announcement or anything :). But, I feel compelled to be politically active now. I think part of the reason that I am compelled to do so is for the benefit of others.
I know I've talked a lot about my nieces and nephews and about the nation's children in general. But, I feel strongly about it. I have got to do my part to make sure that this beautiful nation, which is still the best nation on the planet, is a land where they can know that anything is possible, that they can dream and work to make those dreams come true.
It's not who I want to be, but I've got to be true to what I feel compelled to. I wonder if those previous experiences of learning and loving history, of knowing about and loving other lands and the people who inhabit them, of serving a diverse mission in the states and learning another language and of ministering to others has put me in a position to try and do what I can to better this country.
I trust in the Lord's promise that He will sanctify our experiences for our own and for the benefit of others. I have certainly felt the reality of that. I certainly hope that whatever paths I'm headed down now will also be sanctified as such. Perhaps it will lead me back to dreaming of ministering rather than administering service.
I'm not completely sure where I am headed but feel like I must continue on the road. I'm not sure what all I will try and do, but feel compelled to do something. And I wonder how many more out there feel exactly as I do? What about you? What will you, what will I do to put ourselves in the positions to better our nation and in turn our chances to engender not only our dreams but the dreams of little growing hearts and minds? This is the land of my dreams, may it ever be so for the citizens who choose freedom.