You deserve your dreams. Let’s say that again: YOU DESERVE YOUR DREAMS.
I feel a real sense of urgency to encourage you to follow your dreams – and to follow them now – because I learned the hard way that life is just too damn short to wait.
On Valentine’s Day of 2018, my healthy, strong 40-year-old fiancé was diagnosed with cancer. Not even four months later, he was gone.
Grief did what it does to people: it brought me to my knees. Down there in the depths of grief, I remembered some things about myself; I remembered my long-forgotten dreams.
Even though the days were dark sometimes, I committed to living like there may not be a tomorrow. I quit my soul-sucking corporate job to travel the world. I formed my own little freelance business, and now I’m writing a book just like I dreamed I would do when I was a kid writing a “novel” in crayon at the dining room table.
And now I can’t even imagine going back to the life that I led before Jeff. I think that’s the thing about following our dreams. We come up with a million reasons not to follow them. We procrastinate. We let the fear win.
But once a dream is pursued, we never look back.
I miss Jeff every day. But I’m so grateful for the lessons that he taught me in life – and in death.
And I want to make sure that you don’t delay your dreams as I did.
Now, am I suggesting that you quit your job to travel the world? No. Not unless it’s your dream to do that.
What I am suggesting, though, is that you deserve your dreams. And dreaming isn’t selfish or reckless. It’s soul-activating.
I think we tend to get so caught up in obligation, that we sometimes bury our desires and our hopes for our lives.
After a while, the idea of following your dream seems like a self-indulgent risk rather than what it is: a door-opening, life-altering opportunity. You may even be embarrassed to say your dreams out loud. That’s wild!
Say your dreams out loud. Scream them! Nurture them. These are your DREAMS!
Or better yet, write your dreams down. And write them in the present tense.
Now ask yourself why you aren’t pursuing those dreams.
If you are struggling to identify your dreams, check out these life-changing books that might help. I’m particularly thinking of “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron but go with the one that speaks to you most.
Dreams are sometimes uncomfortable because they reside outside of your comfort zone. They sometimes live outside of societal norms (like my dream to travel full time and live a nomadic life as a writer).
But life begins outside of your comfort zone.
That’s also the place where new dreams evolve. For instance, I used to tell my partner that I would never hike or camp. After he died, I purposely started to say “yes” to things like hiking and camping that he wanted me to do, but that were outside of my comfort zone.
I now love to hike some much, that I walked 500 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. And, guess what? I now have a dream to do it again.
It’s the first step that’s the hardest. That first step toward your dreams and outside of that comfortable place where life is safe but incomplete. That step is hard. And then you just start running.
Take it from me, there is no reason to wait for a tragedy to start seeking more from the time you have on this planet.
But if you are grieving, please know that – as much as it sucks – sitting with the suck is transformative.
Grief strips us to the basest self and then asks us to rebuild.
Western society encourages us to “move on”. I am encouraging you to transform. To listen to that base self. To take this terrible thing and make it worth something.
If you take one thing from this blog and these pages, please know that you are not selfish for seeking more from life. You deserve to dream and to dream bigger. When you are fulfilling your desires, you are a happier person who is better able to love and support the people who depend on you.
You. Deserve. Your. Dreams.
Please tell me about your dreams. I would love to encourage you to reach for them.