Aytakin Aliyeva is originally from Lenkoran, Azerbaijan (Post-Soviet country). She is a winner of 5 international programs to study in the USA. She is an alumni of Edmund S. Muskie Program and graduated Middle Tennessee State University on New Media. Aytakin is an owner of www.NurTravel.org and a Co-Founder of www.NazLimo.com In this article, Aytakin Aliyeva talks about how to reach our dreams and shares her life story about her greatest dreams.
Dreams are the one of the main factors of our life that encourage us to live, fight and become a stronger person. We believe, we fight, and we realize our dreams. When our dreams become a purpose in our life, we gain strength again and go towards the light of “a candle” that could become “the sun” for us.
Dreams can’t become true quickly: it can take weeks, months, or even years. It demands patience and consistence. There could be times that we feel tired and want just give up along the way. On the path towards our dreams we can meet various people, such as some of them always discourages us and makes us to lose our confidence, others don’t care about our dreams and success – we even don’t need to waste our time and share our ideas with them. A few people encourage us to be stronger, never give up and fight for our dream.
I have also met different people on my way to reach my dream. It took me more than ten years to realize my dream. My greatest dream was to study in the USA and be a well-educated female leader in my professional field. Yet, as a female from Southern Region of Azerbaijan, I didn’t have any privileges to study abroad, as it wasn’t accepted by that society for a female to go abroad by herself. And by that time, I wasn’t very informed about the programs to study abroad. This lack of information and the limitations of exchange programs for Caucasian countries prevented me for many years from realizing my dream. Despite those hinderances, the more I dreamt about studying abroad, the more eagerly I anticipated realizing it. In time, my dream became the goal and the meaning of my life.
I have to acknowledge that there were days when I just wanted to give up and accept my society’s idea that females shouldn’t go abroad by themselves, but rather, they have to marry and have kids at an early ages. There were times that I was even afraid to express my dream and share it with others because I was discouraged by colleagues when they mentioned that “Good girls don’t go abroad”. I had a big struggle between realizing my greatest dream and the hesitation about how I would be accepted by my society if I go to the USA. I also didn’t have enough confidence in myself by that time.
Even though I was overloaded with the unwritten law of that society, I was lucky enough to get support from both of my parents. My mother (who was a primary school teacher for many years) and my father (who graduated from two universities with an award of excellency) always supported the idea that any person, especially a female, should be well-educated in order to serve her community and country well. My father was the first person who handed me a package with an application form and a pen and asked me to fill it out and apply for an exchange program in the USA. I worked days and nights, attended various trainings, built networks, and got brilliant advice from my father in order to gain a success in this struggle. And as a result I was accepted by 5 various international programs in the USA in different years. Although my father couldn’t see my success (unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly by heart attack), his encouragement was the only reason that gave me strength to realize the dream that we shared together. I will never forget him saying, “A female should be well-educated, know how to stand in one’s feet, and has to have her own piece of bread without depending on others.”
Taking a moment to look back, I learned that the life is a fight: we fight for our dream, and that makes us stronger. The stronger we become, the more confidence we have. This confidence can bring success not only to us, but to people who supported us and believe in our success.