Dream Loudly.

I love to crack jokes with my 9-year-old niece.

Ok, ok, fine. More like pick on. But it's totally not my fault -  I blame it on the fact that I was once the older and bigger sister of two siblings. Why be an older sibling if you can't have any fun with it? I think God's got a sense of humor though, because my once "little" siblings now tower waaaay over my 5 foot something/mini-human frame.

Sitting around talking about everything under the sun with a 9 year old really has it's benefits. You get an honest opinion, simple and clear perspective and get to discuss all this while scarfing and oinking down lots of ice cream and with no reminder given about how you're on a diet from sweets.

One evening hanging out with her, I was asking/heckling her with all sorts of animal-related questions that I knew made absolutely no sense, just to see if I could stump her. (Because, really, this kid has an answer for errrrr-thaaaang!) And over and over again, she'd still smile that same toothy grin and tell me that she still wanted to be a vet and that's why she knew all about animals. Despite my grilling, her confidence never wavered on what she wanted to be.

As a younger tot, my niece liked animals. No wait, that's not true.....she loooooved them. Even once declared to be a vegetarian once she realized that a good steak came from a cow. This kid loves animals so much that she continues to declare to anyone who will listen that she's going to be a vet some day. Yep. Whenever she's asked that all-too-famous-kid-question of "what do you want to be when you grow up", her response is always the same toothy grin, oozing with confidence (and ice cream on her face) "I'm gonna be a VETERINARIAN because I loooooove animals!"

Despite the fact that yes, there's still school and training, and stuff to learn and aunties who try to stump and grill you with nonsensical questions about animal care and animal facts, yes, she is still gonna be a veterinarian because she loooooooves animals. And I love that confidence she has, that toothy grin that still declares her dream, boldly and proudly to anyone who'll listen. It reminds me to dream, boldly and loudly, "I'm gonna be a professional photographer full-time because I loooooove photography and being able to share my art with the world." Boooo-yah.

Dream big. Dream loudly. Even if others try to turn down your volume.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend ahead of you. Happy Friday!

Oh, yeah, and this cartoon? I LOL'd too much when I found it. Ladies, you know you can relate. I know I can. =)