by Melissa Brunner
After hanging out at Topeka's first-ever Big Dream Gathering on Tuesday night, all I have to say is, "Wow!" Some 300 people made their way through the Ramada Hotel's ballroom. By the end of three hours, the walls were papered with dreams.
Some of the dreams were the whimsical thoughts of children - dreaming of being a dragon, an NBA player or owning more Legos! Some dreams might end up on your bookshelf someday - children's stories, business advice, sci-fi novels. Some dreams involved travel to exotic places. Some dreams aim to inspire others to rally around a cause - find a home for neglected animals, create resources for people with disabilities, have Topeka host a marathon. Some dreams would break your heart - one woman wanting to get out of an abusive situation, but searching for the resources to make it possible; another woman wanting to get her family out of a neighborhood that's seen its share of crime lately.
What I loved most about the event was learning new things about people I've known for a while. Take Sally from Safe Streets. I joked that her big dream must be to have everyone take their valuables out of their cars! While that was among them, her other dreams had more to do with how she and her husband might enjoy retirement. My friend Joe works in the physical fitness, but he and his brother have dreams centered on "spiritual fitness" - starting a new church in North Topeka. And a young mom who is in the financial industry wants to start an event planning business.
It was an energizing atmosphere and one that has me inspired to carve out some time to pursue other interests. How about you - what steps can you take to pursue your big dreams? Oh, and apologies to my friend Tara if she now has to pay for popcorn in her own living room while her son pursues his robot Lego collection dreams :-)