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Bright Lights

When I was a kid, I dreamed of one day becoming a professional tennis player. To be like my childhood idol, Michael Chang, who ranked as high as #2 on the pro circuit.


I had a lot of big dreams when I was a kid. Going up to high school, college, and even upon graduation.


I remembered thinking about making enough money to buy a nice summer home in France. That would be my ultimate luxury vacation hope and dream.


I still dream about making enough money in my family business to live and work comfortably. To make a million dollars each year sounds like a nifty goal to aim for.


I daydreamed about being a basketball player like Kobe Bryant, often mimicking his basketball moves in the comfort of my home.


All these hopes and dreams that I listed, predictably, as you can imagine, none of them came true. I am not a tennis player. I don’t make a million dollars a year. And I certainly don’t have a luxury summer home along the sweet beaches of France.


All these hopes and dreams, and none of them actually came true. It seems kind of disappointing, come to think about it. But, at the same time, sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise.


What will it be like as a professional tennis player? Yes, I’ll be making more money than I currently am. But, it also comes with a lot of astericks. I’ll have to deal with the lack of privacy. The need to be more responsible in society. All the social pressures that come with the job with increase multiple times over.


What about making a million dollars a year? That sounds swell. But, it also comes with its own roadblocks in life. Perhaps more hanger-ons will follow me around. More money to manage. More worries about taxes. Also, the increased scrutiny of the government.


We were always taught to dream big and to aim high. To be the President of the United States. To be an astronaut. To search for the bright lights that come with the glory.


To aim high and never settle. All that is nice. But, in reality, most dreams don’t come true. Most people in America will not earn a million dollars per year, it’s safe to say. Not everyone can afford a luxury summer home in the Hamptons. And certainly not everybody can become a #2 tennis player of the world.


But, sometimes, it’s a blessing to not have it all. To not be overwhelmed with the riches and glories of the so-called successful and wealthy lifestyle.


The bright lights are not what they seem to be. It’s not all just glitz and glamour and happiness and relaxation. Making dreams a reality takes a lot of hard work.


And when they come true. It’s usually not as glamorous as it seems to be. There is still a lot of work that comes with keeping up with that image. With crafting your own brand. Your own style. It’s an unfinished product. It always is.


Getting that nice summer home in the Hamptons, comes with a lot of maintenance. A lot of nitty gritty work. A lot of stuff that doesn’t come with the ideal image of simply owning the home. There is still a lot of work in-between that needs to get done.


So, sometimes, I’m actually grateful that some of my childhood dreams didn’t necessarily all come true. After all, you can’t have everything in this world. I honestly have enough.


Loving parents. A wonderful family. Wonderful friends. Wonderful community. Keeping busy with extracurriculars. An awesome girlfriend. Simple air to breathe. A roof to keep me dry. Clothing to keep me warm. Food that can be put on the table. What’s not to like about my life as it currently is?


What’s with this obsession to continuously dream big and chase after the bright lights of the wherever and whenever? The need to constantly chase after more and more and more can be alluring. But it’s also tiring, and often times the result is never the ideal of what you originally envisioned.


It’s okay to chase after your dreams. To accomplish more goals. Of course it’s okay. Just realize that often than not, accomplishing something is not the end. It’s the beginning of more.


More work. More grit. More dirt. And all the side effects that come with achieving glitz and glamour. It’s never what it originally seems. So, for those who want to chase the bright lights, that want to go after the big fish, by all means go for it! You do you.


Just once in awhile, I hope you can take a step back from the chase. To appreciate everything that you already have on this planet. Everything that doesn’t need to be chased. Everything that’s already here in the present moment.

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