Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Following Your Dreams

when we are kids growing up we are told to follow our dreams.
but when we get to being a grown up, we are told to play it safe.
unfortunately, from what i have experienced, money has a lot to do with this. we have to be able to pay our bills, and we are always wondering where that next paycheck is coming from.
following our dreams is sometimes scary, it sometimes means stepping off that ledge not knowing what is coming next. it sometimes means going down a completely different path than you ever have. it sometimes means leaving your safety net of home, family, friends, whatever it may be.
as i continue to look at different options and try to determine what i want to do with my life, what my dreams are, a couple options keep coming back to me that are scary. they require me to step outside my safety net, go down a different path than i ever have, and yet, they keep coming back to me.

when was a time that you followed your dreams and did it pan out for you? i am interested to learn about your experiences.


  1. I'm guessing I'm not really who you were hoping to here from, but here goes anyways. When I was just a little younger than you are now, I made the kind of move you're talking about. I left home, and family, and job and security behind and moved to Arizona. I could do that because I had no outstanding debt, no property, no husband with needs and demands of his own, no children to whom I owed responsible and sensible decisions. And, for the most part (and discounting you children whom I've never regretted) I've regretted that decision, almost right from the start. I've missed my family - I've missed seeing their lives unfold, I've missed seeing their children grow up, my children did not get to spend time with and grow to know and love their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives. I've lived a lonely and depressed life. And I never figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
    That having been said, if you want to "live your dream", do whatever it is you feel is calling out to you, NOW is the time to do it. Before you fall in love, before you have children, before you own property or no longer have the strength to pull yourself away from friends, family, job, church and other committments. If you don't take that chance now, it'll never come again until you're old and retired and no longer have the energy to follow through on it.
    Look at your brother - the only reason he is able to commit to seminary is because he has no one and nothing holding him back. Were he married and/or a father or a home owner etc., there is no way he could have afforded to go to seminary or been free to take on a Navy Chaplaincy.
    Just make sure that what you're being called to not only comes from God, but that you can accept the loss of family, friends and security that may go along with it. Don't do something you'll regret for the rest of your life, but don't regret not doing something you felt called to for the rest of your life either. Change is hard and it only gets harder as you get older.
    If I had it all to do over again, I would have stayed in Iowa, but there are many others out there who are glad they lived their dream and have no regrets or too few to mention.
    Good luck.
    Love, Mom xoxo

  2. I've done it more than once. It can be nerve-wracking, and if you have dependents it can be really scary for them. (Thus, I endorse your mom's advice that the time is now if you're going to do it.)

    That said, if you're going to take a leap of faith, remember that you should prepare yourself well so that you cross the chasm. (Leaping the abyss in two steps is a really bad idea.) Do as much as you can to minimize the unknowns before you strike out, and have a clear goal in mind along with some backup plans in case the primary goal proves elusive. For example, I never did complete a PhD in physics, but I still ended up working in the field. I work with lots of people who wanted to be astronauts. Most of us are fully qualified for the job, but just never made the cut. Still, we work in the space biz and our preparations have paid off.