What I’ve learned in 30 years is that everybody is different and just like everyone is different, everyone’s dreams are different. Some people dream in black and white, some people dream in straight lines, and some people dream vividly and colorfully-- outside of the lines and even off the page. Now, this isn’t to say black and white and straight lines are a bad thing. Structure is necessary for life, but so is fulfillment. Many of us aspire to more than just what society or our parents or even our ego say; some of us have something bigger and greater flowing through our veins. And many times if we don’t listen to this pulsing and rushing purpose within us, we will either explode or wither. Not life.
I remember years ago saying that unfulfilled passion is like shoes too small: you may squeeze yourself in, but it’s uncomfortable, you’re only fooling yourself, and it won’t last long. We pressure ourselves into lives that we “think” are best for a number of reasons: security, self-doubt, or even complacency.
When I decided to move to Los Angeles to act and write, I quit my job, moved to my mother's house and purposed myself to spend the same number of hours (or close enough) writing that I spent handling tax compliance and accounts payable (which was between 8-10 daily). I took screenplay and stage play classes. I worked with some community theatre groups. I enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts in English program online. And I spent my last few months in my hometown working pro bono with a PR firm developing content, managing media, and covering events.
Of course, my salary shrank like I had never seen. I went from being in line to be Regional Controller for one of the world’s largest risk management brokers to being a freelance writer and part-time secretary.
Nevertheless, I was in my element. I was in my zone. I was in my purpose. I felt the tingle. A biomedical response. Shutters. Chills. That thing that your body does to bear witness to what’s happening inside.
What I make a month now comes well to less than half of what I made then, yet when I see that I am connected to my destiny and sowing into the greatness within me and seeing manifestation of that which has been there all along, I breathe well and smile, knowing that I am living my dream. And this is only the beginning.
Peace of mind is priceless. We regret what we don’t do, not what we do. So, this 30 in 30, I want to say, “Wake up and dream.” You’re not too old, too busy, too poor, your dreams are yours and they are yours for the living.