My first aspirational dream was when I was 5 years old and I wanted to be a ballerina, then it all changed and at 14 I suddenly wanted to be a TV presenter. Over the years, I hardly think of my childhood dreams, but raising Emma makes me ponder about them again. You want your kids to not be afraid to dream, but not to dream so big that they are exposed to crushing disappointment. You want them to be confident to believe in themselves, but not be too arrogant to experience someone or something bringing them down a peg or two. You want everything you had in your life and more, or at least that’s how I have come to see it.
The foundation of how I see life-long dreams and ambition comes from my Dad. He is a commentator and when he was 6 or 7, he would practice commentating standing on a cardboard box. His cousins who were surrounding him, would say to him “don’t be so silly, you’ll never be a commentator”. But he did it. He has given me and my brothers and sisters so much inspiration that you can do it, if you put your mind to it. Or as he tells me “Bridge, you can be anything you want to be…but just remember you have to pay the bills”. He’s wise too, you see. (As a side note, my Mum is also awesome and was running a McDonald’s at the age of 27 before we all arrived on the scene in 1977, way before the time where women would be at the top of their game).
I like to think that I have taken a lot of this inspiration and used it positively in my career. I like to think that it’s made me the person I am today. The inspiration from my Dad to be the best I can be; to work hard and be proud and confident of what I do (and who I am) has stayed with me.
Now I’m a Mum I’ve been re-visiting these thoughts and it re-affirms what I’ve always felt about dreams. So as Emma grows up, I want to pass on the baton to teach her to… Dream big, keep going, do what you believe in, live it and breathe it, and it may come true. Don’t be afraid of what other people say, it’s the easiest thing in the world to laugh at someone else’s dreams – I find it hard to shake off someone making fun of something that is important to me, but deep down what does it matter really? I know the past few sentences are uber cheesy but you know what – sometimes I need a bit of a push, a bit of cheese to remind myself of its importance.
The beauty of it, is it can be absolutely anything that makes you happy. It’s about you and only you. When I was younger, it was my career that gave me that drive and it was the success in my career that made me happy. Now, it’s totally different. What makes me happy is finding new things to make Emma laugh, seeing our family happy together. And of course my latest happy is this blog – it’s something I do for me, and only me. That’s my favourite thing about it. I suppose that’s going to continue throughout my life, what makes me happy is always going to be changing as I change. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep dreaming and chasing the happy always.