I write a lot about my hopes, dreams, failures, moderate successes, fears, desires and needs. It started me thinking that my blog self is not really a true reflection of my human self. I think I come off far more confident and focused than I do on my blog. What I write here is raw, it is true and I believe it’s the place I try to get to the core of how I feel. Who I am without thinking about all of it is a little different, more easy-going, but ever critical of myself. That being said, I started thinking again about why I started this blog. It became something cathartic for me, but started out as a way for me to share with other women what I had learned. I’m still early in my walk into the unknown and for those who have followed my journey, you know it hasn’t been easy. I’m not completely surrounded by darkness, but I’ve had little light guiding my way. I wanted to write just a few words to encourage you, the one reading this, to strike out and do the thing that always frightened you, but always tantalized you.
The life you wanted to live doesn’t have to conflict with your love for your family or your obligations as wife and mother. If you really want to live on a farm in the Midwest, but you’re stuck near some city because you never made the move to buy your own farm, or you don’t have any friends in that area, or you’re not sure that there is a book club for you out there are simply just excuses you make so you don’t feel guilty or remorseful about giving up on yourself, on your dream. Again, I don’t like to split hairs so if your dream is to be a drug runner for some large cartel, then yes, I think you have significant conflicts and it is unreasonable to assume that you could live the life you want and fulfill your obligations as wife and mother. However, if owning a bookstore, or working in a bakery is your true dream, what holds you back?
What held me back for a long time wasn’t one single thing. It began with laziness. I wasn’t happy, but I was comfortable. I made good money as a teacher (if you can imagine) and I didn’t really want for anything. Then I stopped being a teacher. My new reason became fear of a failure. I had a career that I could go back to even though I knew I didn’t want to, but I nowhere to move forward. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and it was really frustrating to be approaching 30 without any idea of the direction I wanted my life to go. Then when I finally figured it out, what held me back was what other people thought. There will be people who say it can’t be done, it’s too hard, a person can’t survive that way, or a variety of different negativity. I had a feeling that there were people in my life who had no stake in whether I succeeded or failed and therefore supported me simply because it wasn’t a risk for them to do so. I was very nervous about my parents, my sister, my close friends. What would they think? I had a vision. Many people have visions of what they want; not everyone tries to achieve it and of those who do try to achieve it, many fail.
A friend recently reminded me: Those who gave up on their dreams never knew how close they were to getting achieving them. If you’ve ever read Paulo Cuehlo’s book The Alchemist, you’ll know what I mean. He said it better, albeit allegorically, than I ever could. If you’ve not read this book, please, for your sake and mine, it’s wonderful and you will love it. It might change your life, even just a little bit and that change is so worth it.
I’m telling you, following your dreams is exhilarating. Put aside the fear, silence the voices (real or imaginary) and go.