I was not a dreamer, in my school days. I was just trying to survive one day at a time – waiting to grow up. I did not know what having dreams or ambition meant. I was trying to be a normal and happy school goer, while my sister had already flown towards her dream to London.
I would see her pictures of traveling what seemed like the world – and think to myself, ‘Maybe, just maybe, one day, I can do that too!’
For the first time, I felt like my life had some meaning.
While I would be scared to even take the public bus alone, she would tell me that the world is much bigger than what we imagine it to be. I would lose my way (literally) multiple times in a simple city like Kathmandu, and she would go places and just adapt. She made it look so easy. She just found her way.
She would tell me it’s difficult for her, but even during those difficult times, something about her was much more alive than I had ever seen. I knew she was struggling. I knew she had her hard days – but I had also not seen her be so happy before.
I would think – maybe that is what people who fought to make their dreams come true must feel. She seemed different. She sounded more confident, and she became the most independent person I knew. And I’m not sure if I even knew what independent meant till then.
My sister went to London when I was in eighth grade. I was a super underconfident, studious and loner kid back then. The most exciting thing about me was that my sister went to London. It felt like a really big deal. A small part of me felt missing while she was gone, but if she hadn’t, I would probably not have found a big part of me!
When my sister went to London, she set an example for me. She painted a picture of a world that felt big – and that felt beautiful, that I didn’t know existed. She taught me, without even knowing, that struggles are a part of life. But they are the only way to your dreams. She taught me that one must dream big dreams and work hard to make them come true.
My sister dreamt of traveling the world. And soon, I did too! My sister worked hard no matter what she did. And now, I do too. But I didn’t know what getting goals meant. I didn’t know what a bucket list was. But because of her, I learned. My sister took big steps for herself. My sister put herself first. My sister loved herself. And I didn’t even know that was possible.
My sister inspired me to dream. Dream big dreams. Dreams that might seem impossible to the underconfident version of me. Dreams that would challenge my fears. Today, I have a really long bucket list and I plan to tick off each one of them. None of that would happen if she hadn’t chased her dreams. None of that would happen if she didn’t set an example. Because my school had conditioned me to believe that if I didn’t get good grades, I was unworthy of anything. And I was devoted to always get good grades. She showed me life was much more than just good grades.
My sister made me believe in myself. And I believed in her. A great part of what I am is all because of her. I have not travelled as much as her – or taken as many risks as her. But I am definitely getting there!
This February, we took our first trip together. We saw a new place – we took in a new experience. Even when we never actively planned to see the world together, it felt like a dream come true.
Who gave you the courage and inspiration to dream?