My dream

by Kim on August 29, 2013

It’s been cool reading everyone’s I Have a Dream riffs from yesterday’s Dream Day campaign by NBC.

There’s a lot about equality, the hunger crisis, and education, along with a few gems about higher morality for people in power and longer, healthier lives for our children and grandchildren.


Since I’m a sucker for bandwagons and jumping on them, here’s my contribution:

I have a dream that we would all teach those around us how to love, respect, and take care of themselves by showing them.

Everyone gets self-conscious now and then, but dangerously low self esteem is practically an epidemic in this country, and it bothers me. I say dangerously because I see it as a source of all kinds of other societal plagues—bullying, suicide, eating disorders, shootings, etc.

It’s not always the people you think, either. I’m still pretty rattled about reality star Gia’s recent suicide (remember her from the Bachelor?).


This girl was insanely beautiful, probably not broke, and running around dating NBA players. And she hung herself with a vacuum cleaner cord after a fight with her boyfriend. (Sorry for the morbidity…)

I’m not saying that she had no reason to be upset—obviously I have no idea what was really going on in her head—I’m just saying that you never know who could be struggling, and you can’t easily tell how much they’re struggling. No one is immune to this and no one can be written off.

This whole phenomenon has bothered me for a long, long time. In high school, I wrote a story for a local writing contest about two cousins—one, the head cheerleader with the perfect hair and the perfect boyfriend, and the other, the weirdo outcast with strange hobbies and no friends. The beginning of the story was all about the outcast’s jealousy and contempt for her cousin, and how she would go out of her way to be as different from her as possible because she thought she couldn’t possibly be like her. It was only after the cheerleader committed suicide (kind of dark content for a teenager, I know) that her cousin learned the real story—the tragic rape story, the little sister who was actually her cousin’s daughter, and the recent news that the perfect boyfriend was dying from cancer.

Even at that age, when I was going through self esteem issues of my own, I knew that it could be worse, and that it could be anyone. Even the least likely people.

Quality: Original. 
Film Title: Mean Girls/Lacey Chabert, Rachel McAdams,Amanda Seyfried, Lindsay Lohan. 
Copyright: TM&Copyright ©2003 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. For further information: please contact your local UIP Press Office.

(I won that contest, too, which meant I had to read that entire, hugely emotional story out loud in front of a group of strangers at the award ceremony…I’m surprised, to this day, that I survived it.)

We might not feel like we have a lot of control over society’s education issues or the hunger crisis, but this is a dream that we can all participate in, starting right now. You never know who’s watching you, learning from you, and secretly molding their lives into a reflection of yours.

This especially applies to all of us parents, who are tasked with the monumental job of being positive role models for our kids. You can tell your daughter she’s beautiful all day long, but if you can show her that you think you’re beautiful, that’s going to be a thousand times more powerful.

On a lighter note, I also have a dream that I would learn to like black coffee.

black coffee

Both to impress people (of course) and to not be so reliant on sweeteners, in general.

I’ve been trying to ease up on the sweeteners since I cut aspartame out of my life, but I still like a little somethin-somethin in there. I’ve been going for almond milk or natural creamers lately, but I wish I could break up with them, too. Has anyone else successfully trained themselves to like—legitimately like—black coffee??

The anti-Diet Coke campaign is going great, though. I haven’t touched the stuff and have no desire to—when I see a can of Diet Coke, I just think of those headaches I used to get, and suddenly it has zero appeal. I was actually even more embarrassed that it took me this long after reading your comments on my original post, haha—I guess everyone else dropped it decades ago. Where have I been??

I’m experimenting with different alternatives, though, just for fun. This is sitting in our fridge right now:


It’s very plain, and I didn’t immediately like it, but it’s a perfect little super-light refresher for those times I want something other than water. It’s definitely growing on me.

What’s your dream?

Favorite non-water refreshment?


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon September 1, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Absolutely great post. I can’t imagine writing a story like that back in high school. Being a positive role model can’t always be easy, but it is defiantly worth it in the long run. Great reminder.

Is it even possible to drink coffee black :)


char eats greens August 30, 2013 at 7:35 am

You are seriously such an amazing writer, so it’s no wonder you won that contest (PS – I would have died reading it out loud!). I love me some kombucha, but I seriously am the most boring person and only drink water, unless it’s almond milk and in my coffee (I buy vanilla almond milk, so yes, no black unsweetened coffee over here!) or in my cereal. I’m such a party animal.
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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome August 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Great post! Sounds like a very emotional but good story you wrote in high school! You are such a great writer in general so I’m sure it was awesome!
I’m sure you know I used to use creamers then switched to stevia and coconut or almond milk and now I just use a little coconut milk. Still can’t do full black all the time but with a really good coffee blend I can hang for a little bit. Have you tried a flavored coffee? I find that those are a little easier to drink black than others.
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Presley @ Run Pretty August 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm

The day I drink black coffee is the day I quit drinking coffee. haha for real, though.
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Kim August 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Great post!! Love the story you wrote – so much truth in that!
And, I guess I live under a rock – I had no idea about Gia – that’s awful!!!
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Melissa @ Fit 'n' Well Mommy August 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Love this post! I agree with you about low self-esteem issues being being the cause for a lot of our society’s problems. If people respected and loved each other more, I think this world would be a much happier place. Love goes a long way. With our fast-paced and jam-packed society, we often forget to slow down and cherish each moment, telling and/or showing the people we care about that we love them. We are so in a hurry that those precious things slip away, when those should be the most important.

On a different know, have you tried Perrier water? It is just sparkling mineral water without any sodium, but they make it in different flavors that are very refreshing.
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Ali August 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm

That was a great post! Gia’s death rattled me too and I couldn’t help but think, “what made her do something so extreme?” She seemed to have it all like you said, but I guess we can never tell. My dream is for companies to stop putting poison in our food sources and household products. I wish people could be more educated about toxins and what they are putting into their bodies. It’s kind of a weird dream, but I want health for our society!
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Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate August 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Wow, had no idea about Gia. Totally true how you dont know what people might be going through. Great post. Oh, and I cant drink black coffee either…ick. I have, however, switched from adding a ton of creamer to just adding a dash of skim milk or almond milk over the last few months (its a marathon not a sprint, right?)
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Katie @ running4cupcakes August 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

Love this post Kim. I really have nothing to add, other than you really never know what is going on in someone else’s life, ever! On a lighter note, I don’t like black coffee either, but wish I did! Let me know if you have any success and nice work kicking the diet coke habit!!! :)


Jennifer Hutchinson August 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

I drink Black coffee. My mom actually taught me to start drinking black coffee. What helped is that we would get a lot of flavored coffees (not like the liquid flavor you add in). I think coffees like Santa’s White Christmas from Barnie’s and Chocolate Godiva coffee helped me make the transition. The more you drink black coffee too the more you’ll get use to the flavor. I hope this helps.


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