For those of us not pursuing our lifelong dream, we’ve probably succumb to one of three ways of living. Either; we think about our BIG DREAM often and let ourselves and others talk us down and out of chasing it, we do everything surrounding the dream instead of the dream itself to keep ourselves safe, or perhaps like me, you try to avoid it at all costs, because of politics, challenges and sacrifices that comes with the territory.
With extensive experience in each phase, I’ve learned that burying a passion so deep only ends up burning your insides. Every job you do, every opportunity revolving around the dream will leave some part of you unsatisfied.
After discovering the beauty of music, for years I’d tell myself I wasn’t interested in being a writer – even though English was my favorite subject and I’d scribble every type of subject there was. I started writing letters in elementary school, short stories, poems and songs at eleven years old, essays shortly after, and every single day I strategize with a pen on paper. For twenty plus years, writing tools have clung to me like fleas on a dog. No matter how much I try to shake it off, internally I itch to write.
Eventually, I embraced that words was who I am and thought about pursuing a career doing the easy stuff; writing memos, structuring emails, brainstorming my life on paper and practicing my autograph. These mundane jobs and habits kept me safe from big financial crisis, but got me nowhere, except closer to the next phase of where I didn’t want to be, avoiding the sacrifices.
Ten years of doing brainless administrative work, I decided to quit the office and move away from my old unhealthy habits and ended up in San Diego. A year later, I became pregnant and torn between pursuing my new dream of working hard to be a great (and paid) writer, or suffering behind a desk to help support my growing family.Shortly after my baby girl was born, I was growing a sort of hate from the idea of reverting back to my dreadful working ways, long hours and no real growth potential. Grateful for my supportive hubby, I explained to him what my dilemma was and he assured me of my talents and the possibilities.
Naturally, I started to wonder and worry about what type of life I wanted my daughter to see. Either her mother would be a role model and her motivation, or a reminder of someone she’d never want to be. That’s when reality kicked in. If I was going to have a life and be in business for what I loved, I was going to have to nurture the special gifts that only I had, (thanks Marie Forleo for the embedded statement). Again, I needed to prepare myself (and my husband) for the financial sacrifices, and enjoy indulging in hard work to brand myself and get noticed.
Then, I took my question to the streets (a.k.a. Facebook): What would you do if you weren’t scared?
Lexi said she’d own her own daycare, as she loves working and being around children.
Krystle said she’d open her own law firm, as she recently passed the bar and want to build a successful team of justice seeking individuals.
Monica said she’d get a Ph.D. and face her fears of public speaking.
Ashley said she’d open a hair care business and I assured her that I’d definitely support it!
Linda said she’s still narrowing it down… and that’s ok!
It took more than a decade for me not to be on the opposing team of my dreams, and every day I have to recommit; and each time that I do, I feel I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to. I get tickled by the creative potential living inside of me. It’s one way I know I’m being my truest self.
Recently, an article on Penelope Trunk said, “that you don’t have to get paid to do what you love”. You do it out of pure love and happiness. Should this end up being my reality, it’s great to remember that you don’t always have to be paid for having fun!
Do you often feel that you should be giving more of yourself? Or, that you have a skill or dream that you need to share with the rest of us? If so, what’s holding you up? Or, who’s in your way? Is safety, criticism or laziness stopping you from pursuing your love or your happiness? I’d like to hear in the comments…
Thanks for reading…