Dear Universe, thank you for allowing me to grow up with my childhood dreams.
While I was a little child, I dreamed many dreams.
What were your childhood dreams?
Children can help us to re-discover our childhood dreams, through their innocence and curiosity. “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” via Tiny Buddha
Sometimes, we can reframe our childhood dreams and they are realized in unexpected ways, especially for those that the grown-up perceived as being unrealistic.
Now as an adult, I do my best to allow my inner child to continuously explore, discover and celebrate. I enjoy
- playing (i) dress-up e.g. as a generous Santarina (Xmas 2013) or a loving angel (Xmas 2014), (ii) with Little Prince who enjoyed playing grown-up by wearing his father’s shirt, played dress-up as a Superman (20140615), a dragon kungfu master (20140705), an (almost) Bedouin (20140707), and many heroes in the future.
- exploring (i) new places for eating, praying, playing, and learning and (ii) at different time: spring, summer, autumn, and winter
- doing #pandaHappyProject
To re-discover our childhood dreams, we can also ask questions, especially those of high quality. For example, what challenges/problems are likely to most affect the future of humanity? What would we learn, pursue and do, if $ is not an issue? Can we just do it, just pursue our dreams without fear and concerns?
Periodically, I reflected on my childhood dreams and used pomodoro (eight between 20160703 and 20160705) to create this post as a time capsule.
As of Summer 2016, I am tremendously grateful that some of my childhood dreams have been fulfilled beyond my wildest imagination. May I use the blessings from the Universe to live a meaningful life and enable the dreams of others . Listen also to 201601_voicenote_*_childhood_dreams.amr
What were your childhood dreams? I love hearing from you. May you always have the childlike wonder.
Besides dreaming of doing things as listed in my bucket list (see Asia2016/discover_dream_do*txt), I have also been dreaming of being the following identities.
Adventurer. As a child, I love reading about adventures (e.g the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton and Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators) and collecting outdated travel brochures and used that as visual aids to imagine our wonderful world. I read about the history and geography of places. Places shape people, people shape places. As a grown-up, I find people fascinating and am grateful for having known, interacted, learned from and worked with people from different backgrounds in America, Asia, Europe and Middle East. While I have not been a traveler who is paid to travel, create visual documentations (e.g. photographs, documentaries, etc) or write travel articles, I have been fortunate to see the world, as the benefits of study and work. I am still dreaming and planning to visit my dream destinations, either solo or with our family. In 2016, we did not travel to new countries much as I planned in the beginning of the year, but Little Prince and/or Honey Panda were still having fun exploring locally, seeing things from the eyes of a traveler, through our learning, playing, and food adventure.
Architect. The little me loved drawing and I gained inspirations from the new launch layouts. I designed and drew my own home on papers while I was a primary school. When I travel, I always feel the efforts and emotions (love, dedication, frustrations) that the architects, builders, construction workers, glass masters, painters, plumbers, sculptors, and stonemasons poured into creating awe-inspiring ancient and modern buildings, including places of business (CBD of cities), defence (Great Wall of China) learning (schools, universities), playing and praying (churches, mosques, temples). Now a minimalist, I desire less for our own home, but appreciate more of what our world is offering us.
Educator. While a primary school goer, I set homework questions and created an imaginary list of students’ name and took their attendance as a teacher. While I was an undergraduate student, I served as a voluntary tutor to children who performed poorly and those with hearing impaired. Yes, I learned sign language, but years of not using it had a consequence of forgetting it as of Summer 2016. While my father thinks highly of a career as a professor and was joyous when he was thought as one of them, in his Shanghai-collared suit and mellowed fierce grey-haired look (see Asia2016/gratitude_20151113_lunch*.jpg), JediZ2015 shared that in ancient China, teachers and traders were looked down, but officials were looked up. Unfortunately, many of today customers (students) are demanding high grades with less appreciation of efforts , which has contributed to grade inflation and less confidence in hiring solely based on academic performance. When I hire someone, s/he needs to show her/his commitment (initiative, diligence) and capability (e.g. coding, writing, presenting, etc).
Entrepreneur. Our father was a farmer-turned-entrepreneur, who started from zero to become a hero at least for his family and his customers and suppliers. I remembered how his honesty and reliability earned him opportunities to make a fortune, because the suppliers trusted him. Behind every great/successful man there stands a woman, that woman was our mother . Nevertheless, my father did not wish his children to be entrepreneurs, because he has encountered dishonest people, who are willing to sacrifice family and friends, for their own personal gains ($). However, my efforts to visit Switzerland in Summer 2010 without spending my savings, have allowed me to learned that entrepreneurs can create jobs for themselves and others, new things/products/services that transform how we live (think of AirBnB, Google, Instagram, PayPal, Samsung, Taobao, WordPress, Xiaomi, and the list will grow exponentially), grow their income non-linearly and live meaningful lives.
Fashion designer + fashion model. I love beauty  and creating beautiful things . I spent some of my secondary school pocket money to buy magazines, ripped off the pages that I find inspirational, tried to copy and innovate based on them. These days, I no longer spending money buying hard copy magazines and books, I collected visual inspirations in soft copy. I also remember the joy when I completed a handmade grey tutu-like skirt (and other clothes) for my only Barbie, using rags and left-over clothes from a nearby factory.
Photographer + movie maker. Many things in life are relative. In comparison to the age of our mother earth, human lives are extremely short. Since we come to this world bringing nothing, why don’t we leave something tangible for our children and children, the current and future generations. For a visual learner like me, photography and movie look so real and they beautifully  and eternally tell stories of people, faith, hope and love, success and failure, joy and sorrow.
Physician. Medical doctors have always been respected and seemed so noble, trying to save people’s lives. During my child play, I abstractly imagined a hospital with doctors, nurses and patients, based on what I learned from the TV series ER. Unlike my nieces and Little Prince, I had no doctor toys, no stethoscope, no white coat, but I pounded fallen leaves and wrapped them using small pieces of paper as medicine. To be a physician, one needs to be academically strong in scientific subjects before completing pre-university education. I did, but I was concerned of not being able to secure a scholarship , hence I chose less competitive subjects. Later, I witnessed how medical students and those who just graduated  need to be not only academically smart, but also physically fit to serve patients .
Pilot. Yes, I love flying. I always remember (1) my first overseas flight was not for holiday, but for survival, akin to the one-way voyage that our ancestors did to find a beter life, (2) my first flight to UK and the subsequent land journey to Europe, (3) my first flight to North America via Japan, (4) the flight to visit our cherished family members e.g. the Spring 2009 flights, (5) our first business class flight to Middle East, and many exciting flights. While I have not flown a commercial plane as a pilot, I have attended a flying lesson to fly a plane (C-GZSA) and a glider/sailplane. I also did paragliding and skydiving in Europe and North America, respectively.
Scholar. Yes, I wanted to be a scholar because I respect and admire kind and intellectual people. Moreover, scholarships seem to be prestigious, they have really eased the economic burden of parents and served as a social enabler for children from poor family. I am forever grateful for opportunities to learn at world’s best universities.
Scientist. While I was a primary school student, I enjoyed watching SeaQuest, MacGyver and Knight Rider episodes on local TV. Perhaps, these USA-made dramas have incepted in my mind the coolness of being scientists who are perpetually curious and discovering new things. Later, I have encountered many excellent engineers, who are technically strong and innovative. Interestingly, these engineers want to be referred to as scientists, for example data scientists. There are also a combination of scientist + engineer, think of astronaut , who must be both brainy and brawny.
Writer. I love to read, ponder , diarize, and log. While a kid, I wrote season greeting and birthday cards and letters of encouraging words to my friends. While a teenager, I also wrote about my daily experience to Mom when I lived overseas on my own. In Summer 2016, Little Prince started to appreciate the moments we spent reading together and I want to learn to be a better story teller.
 At the end of a busy day in Fall 2005, a friend and I shared what our dreams were, if nothing is impossible. He wanted to grow bacteria that can produce gold, and he became an Executive Director of Goldman Sachs in April 2010. I wanted to be a dream realizer for others; if my clients want to conquer the submit of Mt Everest, I would organize the trip and make their dreams a reality; if they want to go to outer space, I would plan, organize and realize their grand dreams.
 Many professions require professionals to be not only technically competent, but also psychologically adept in dealing with and pleasing customers and clients, in brief people skills.
 I pray that Little Prince will have a loving wife like our mother, who is frugal, loyal, lovable, patient to her children, practical and strategic.
 I always love colors, symmetry, and patterns.
 On a sleepless early AM hours of 20160623, I learned about a cainv who have studied/worked and lived in Paris, to be creative like her, it seems that one needs both $ and talent. She reminded me on one of my dreams to be a fashion designer. I can learn how to pose from her and many other meinv/cainv worldwide. See also ref2016/*20160623*png.
 At that time, my father told me that he would not have enough money to support my tertiary education and he still needs to support my younger siblings, but I knew that education is highly critical for a better life. I not only desire, but also need and fight for a scholarship, that led to another one and jobs.
 What they wanted most is sleep!
 One of the most inspiring talks I have ever attended physically and listened to (in Spring 2005) was by Dave Williams, a Canadian doctor, astronaut and aquanaut, who did scientific experiments at the outer space.
 In Summer 2016, the favorite page of Little Prince from the story book Let’s Play by Gyo Fujikawa, is a boy sitting on a tree, gazing at the full moon. He remembered the phrases “At the end of a busy day, it’s good to be alone to think about tomorrow”. Hopefully, he will grow up appreciating the value of planning and solitude for creativity.