Follow Your Dreams: Some Words of Advice for the Passionate

Photo Credit: @Bhampton

There are many sayings that elude to the fact that if your passion and gifts live on throughout your life, it means that the child in you survived. If you have managed to keep the child that loves to paint, craft, write, sing and compose, build or whatever is your chocolate thriving and jumping for joy. Cyber fist bump for you. I love seeing people take the next step and moving it from the “happy” place to the only place. No doubt the realities of the world and maintaining independence within it can chip away at the things you do well and enjoy. Figuratively speaking it appears as a cloud that lingers over us that we believe rains “reality.” Between the light bill due three days before your next payday. The shoes that are wearing out on your baby’s feet and the many demands of your boss who needs you to be three steps in front of and behind them at the same time.

Nothing is more real than what comes natural to you and makes you the best version of yourself. If you have figured out that much now it is about making the shift. Letting that passion seep all the way through, whether all at once or in controlled doses. Regardless of how you begin to apply it, it is a tidal wave approaching shore and ready to wash away the mundane and familiar. You’re starting over. Now the task becomes building and all you have is what that passion has brought in and it's fair to say. You better get ready.

Pursuing a dream, making goals around it and playing it out is a challenge that promises to teach you more about yourself then conceivable in a short amount of time. Some of this new found knowledge is encouraging but the work is dealing with the uglier traits exposed.

I decided to go for my writing. It all started when I was asked something I never have been asked before. “What’s your story?” At the time it was like a whirlwind of information and I had to ask myself what part of this story of mine best defines me? My kids are a given but beyond that. I didn’t know this person well, but if I could share who I was… what story would I tell?

From there, I started to read and stir in my thoughts. Soon after that, I began to pick up the pen again and think about my story. I read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the craft. True to King’s reputation, (he is one of my favorites) I was immediately drawn in and soaking up the story behind all his stories. Fast forward a few months later and I was in a writing class. Moving steadily toward clarifying my own story. Sorting things out. Flexing this muscle and cultivating a change. I found myself for the first time actually reading the street signs along the road that I was always meant to go down. I began to think harder about not only what my story was, but what I wanted it to be. It was revolutionary for me because all revolution begins first in the mind. However, it also exposed my time management ADD, my over commitment issues without strategy and tendency to twist my brain into knots over analyzing what comes next. So in that moment on the road I had been so elated to discover, I remembered another favorite of mine. Dr. Suess in all his glory says

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.

I am currently in the mode of learning to stop the room from spinning and making a mental note of what peace feels like. Book marking it so I can pull it out anytime I want….ideally. I believe it can be done and seek counsel from those that have it mastered. It’s hard and it takes time. That peace keeps the passion focused. We can become our own worst critic. Tripping ourselves up expecting what is new to always come together as we first envision. In the back of our heads we know better, but the in forefront of our minds we want gratification after we have worked for a result...on our time. Passion misdirected by impatience. It is a waste and easy to fall into but as King reminds us in On Writing

Life is not a support for art, it is the other way around.

I have acquired a piece of this knowledge and it grows through the trails and the racing thoughts that come to me through the tidal waves of passion. I still have much to learn between the To Do lists and the stack projects next to my bed. What is clear to me is the baby steps that you take on your way are enough for your goals to propel you into flight. Give yourself credit for having the fortitude to step out. Take the time to find peace. Hog tie and drag it home with you if necessary. Keep a running tab of all your accomplishments since you began to move on your dream so that when you are ready to close the laptop and curse it (guilty) you can remember you took a step and through that step a desired result was achieved. Your sleep pattern may suffer, your social life might change. You might drink a bit more than usual.  It is not going to be perfect. Nonetheless you planted a seed.  Recognize and embrace your seasons and focus on the passion that you are prepared to reap.