My Dream is Not Your Dream, and That’s Okay

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

“Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.”

“What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us.” – Julia Cameron

A couple of things happened to me recently, which helped me get a clearer picture of what it is I want out of life.

First, my brother and sister-in-law celebrated their 30th anniversary with a trip to Mackinac Island in Michigan. When they started a Photo Stream of their trip, I said to Barry, “Why are they going to Mackinac Island? Why not some place exotic like Hawaii, or the Caribbean?”

Barry said, “I don’t know. Maybe they want to go to Mackinac Island. Maybe it’s exotic to them.”

Well, of course, he was right, and that got me thinking. What’s exotic to one person isn’t necessarily exotic or attractive to someone else. Also, Barry and I didn’t take a 30th wedding anniversary trip, because we didn’t have the extra cash. Granted, we took that trip around the world and that’s still good for a few more anniversary trips as far as I’m concerned. But, I had no room to talk about 30th anniversary trips since I hadn’t taken one.

Then I had to admit what was really going on for me. I have dreams of selling enough books, so that I can live the life I’ve always wanted to live, which includes travel to places I’ve always wanted to go. Exotic places, like Hawaii, New Zealand, Italy and revisit some of the places on our world tour. Everyone has a different list, different dreams, and that’s okay. After seeing all the pictures of their trip, I have to admit it looked like a fun place to visit. It’s just not high up on my list. Who knows one day I may get a speaking engagement, or a book signing there. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?

Just now as I’m thinking about how we each have different dreams, some large and some small, I realize that I’ve always had big dreams. I always thought there had to be more to life than what I was living. However, I didn’t think I deserved more. I settled for what I thought I could get. Until recently. My personal work is paying off. I’m feeling different about myself, who I am and what I can accomplish.

I have some pretty big dreams. I’ve been struggling to believe in myself for a long time. Now I think my dreams will come true. Some people may think I’m foolish for dreaming those big dreams. That’s okay. But, in turn, I don’t want to think someone is foolish if what they want is smaller.

It’s funny how Karma works, because last week, when I was at my book club group, I was telling the women that one day, Barry and I want to move to Santa Fe, New Mexico so Barry has more opportunity to sell his artwork. And one of the women said, “That’s a hard nut to crack.” In other words, “Good luck breaking into that closed group of artists.”

Now, I know she didn’t mean anything by that. Sometimes when we care about someone we want them to be cautious. We don’t want their feelings to get hurt. We want to protect them. But, it struck me that she felt the reverse of what I felt about my in-law’s trip. I may be wrong, but it sounded to me like she thought what I wanted was impossible. I’m beginning to see that nothing I want is impossible.

Barry and I’ve got bigger dreams than most of the people we know. Nothing anyone says to poo poo them is going to change my mind about seeing them come true. It’s my responsibility to do the artwork. I’ll let God take care of the rest. I want to remember that, “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”- Steven Pressfield. I’m going to give what I’ve got.

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