One of my favorite blogs (The Girl Who Loved To Write) posed a journaling challenge at the beginning of this year with 52 awesome prompts to get you started–or in my case, through a huge writer’s block.
If you love to write, or hate to write but really want to take inventory of what’s going on in your head, this is a really great way to start this oh-so-healthy practice. I love to write and I desperately need to stay connected to my thoughts so I can sort them out before they turn into anxiety and confusion. It’s really a service to everyone I encounter. Truly.
Anyway, I may be posting my responses to a lot of these prompts in the future, but there is one in particular that I really want to share with you now:
The one dream you have that you just can’t stop thinking about.
Let me begin by telling you a little bit about what my life is like right now:
I have a really good job in my field by most standards. Each spring, graduating seniors in my field dream of finding a job in a company that is secure but growing and interested in new ideas, pays decently well, and allows us to do what we were taught in school–design buildings. I have that job. Plus, they let me come in at the crack of dawn and skip lunch so that I can keep my already 45-minute commute at a minimum. I realize that it is a huge deal and without the benefits and pay, I’d be starving somewhere in poor health. Plus, I get to learn a lot and do new things all the time. So I’m really grateful for all of that.
I am happily engaged to a pretty swell guy. Everyone from close friends to people in line at the grocery store want to know when we’re getting married and my answer is always this: We are single for a really huge portion of our lives. We are then married for a really huge portion of our lives. I have this opportunity to enjoy a moment where we are simultaneously single and committed and it is really fun and full of great moments–why on earth would I want to rush that? We have already chosen each other–now we get to dream a little before we lock it all down.
I own (okay, the bank still owns most of it) a house. If you’ve been around the blog at all, you know all about the ongoing house refurbishing projects. It’s a good place though and filled with love and kittens.
This is the short list.
So I’m living the dream, right? Yes and no. I am really grateful for what good things I have in my life, don’t get me wrong, but the dream I am living is not my own–it’s a dream, but it is definitely someone else’s dream.
Something else you should know: In advance, I’m sorry if this shocks you or makes you uncomfortable. Barring any unforeseen miracles, Mark and I are not planning to have children. We love all of the little faces that our friends and family are raising and love being in their lives, but we’re going to be happy with being the cool aunt and uncle that will give good advice to your kids when they’re too weirded out to talk to you. Please continue to invite us to help with school projects–they are my favorite–and letting us be a part of your families. It’s the greatest!
So why are we living this life that looks like we’re on the fast track to PTA meetings, minivans, and chronic burn-out? Somehow we got caught up in taking all the “right” steps and making all the choices our friends have been making and we forgot that we have some pretty crazy ideas that we’d like to follow. (Nothing against our friends–they are very happy with their choices and seeing that makes us happy too!)
That’s when I realize I can’t stop thinking about this one dream that we just so happen to share.
We’d love to start and grow a business that will enable us to move away from our traditional careers, embrace things that make us happy, and have more time to be generous with our talents, resources, and energy.
What does this mean? We’re not entirely sure yet. And that is totally okay because we want this to be the really right thing that gives us the kind of frustration and joy that makes us want it for the rest of our working lives.
One thing, if I’m allowed to dream big, that would make me so happy would be to live much closer to the ocean. Mark has held this dream for years, but I only just discovered it for myself during my whirlwind 36-hours in Puerto Rico (story about that later). I have health issues that have been a part of my picture since birth and will continue to be with me for life–and while I’ve accepted that and deal the best I can, I found that after walking along the late afternoon tide on a beach in San Juan, the rhythms of the ocean do a whole lot for my body and spirit. We both confess that we feel a lot healthier near the water–so if we get the chance to make our dreams happen there, we’re going to take it!
Being able to work more creatively and have more authenticity in what we do is going to be key. We want to be proud of our work, but we also want to be challenged by it and inspired to do more.
All of this is why I love the above quote by Uta Hagen. I have never felt like a “regular” person so it is time to put to rest chasing after that supposed normal and commit to risking mediocre for what may be extraordinary. I’m so excited for what the future holds for us!
In the mean time, we’re being patient. We’re embracing this time and doing a lot of soul searching and listening for how we will be a part of what we and the world need in this moment and beyond.