One hot summer day, I ran into some friends at a local park and we had an impromptu playdate. As our kiddos built castles in the sand, we mamas chatted away about life. My friend Lisa (name changed to protect the innocent) asked about how my husband was doing. I shared that Ryan was great. He was enjoying his new job and had begun a new company with a few of his friends. I mentioned that while he was grateful for the job he had found, he was also eager to build his company with the hopes of one day being a full-time entrepreneur. In response, she said, “Ooohh…that’s right. I forgot. Your husband’s a dreamer.” As if being a dreamer was a negative thing.
And isn’t that just the way the world views those who pursue dreams? Never satisfied. Head in the clouds, feet not grounded in reality. Always seeking something better, something more. Taking blessings for granted at the expense of pursuing something that will likely never happen.
Society says chasing dreams is a fool’s errand. Stop trying to live your dreams and be satisfied with the good life you have. If you aren’t a dreamer, you just don’t see why they can’t settle down and commit to the status quo. However, being a dreamer, there’s no greater life sentence than to give up the things you desire most.
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The Problem with Being a Dreamer
To those that are happy with the typical way of life, dreamers always seem unstable. Unsatisfied. But, as dreamers, we know life is an adventure. We long to live a life less ordinary. To pursue each day on our own terms. It’s not something that can just be ignored. It’s a part of our identity. As much a part of who we are as our genetics or culture. Chasing dreams is life-giving to the dreamer.
When Ryan and I were dating, we spent a lot of time discussing what we wanted for our futures. We both knew we wanted to live a life focused on pursuing our dreams. It’s not that we are anti-society or irresponsible people. We both had full-time jobs and did all the things they said to do: go to college, get a good job, make a stable home, work your career. But, we knew living that way wasn’t our long term desire.
We didn’t want to look back on our lives and feel we settled. We revolted against the idea of working all year for two weeks off. Instead, we desired to have an atypical means of supporting ourselves; to be self-employed so we could set our own schedules and travel freely. Living our dreams meant being involved in missions work across the globe. It meant having plenty of time to dedicate to raising our family. While we don’t begrudge those that are content with the typical career and life paths, it just wasn’t for us.
Pursuing your dreams means living your potential
As I stood there at the park with my friends that day, tiny grains of sand rubbing against my toes in my sandals, I realized that living life with a dream deferred like living every day with tiny grains of sand in your shoe. No matter how you try to ignore it, you can’t help but recognize the discomfort. The sand rubs against your skin just enough to constantly remind you of its presence. And as you try to live your life, that sand continues to grind and scratch against your skin. It’s not going to kill you, or even injure you, but it is going to drive you crazy until you acknowledge it and do something about it.
A dreamer can work a 9-5, doing all the typical stuff life says to do. But, they will do it all with an awareness of the small, nagging speck of sand in their shoe that reminds them that they were called to a life of something different.
Being a Dreamer Begins Today
If you’re like us, you can’t ignore the sand in your shoe. The desire to break away from the Standard American Dream to pursue an atypical life is calling to you. Take steps today to strike out on that journey. Begin- right now- to think of the dreams that are stored up in the corners of your mind.
Maybe you have stifled your dreams because you can’t envision how you will get there. You can’t see a way. Give yourself permission to escape the logical, the practical, and the reasonable. Don’t focus on the barriers, the roadblocks, the obstacles. Instead, zoom in on the achievements, the potential, the results. What would it look like to live the life of your dreams?
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Being a dreamer means pursuing a path that is unlike the rest. Begin to percolate on all the exciting ways your life can change as you pursue the dream that you have sewn deep in your heart. Marinate on how your days will be when you are living your passions. Nothing spurs you on more than envisioning yourself living your dreams.
Just don’t wait for the perfect time. There is no such thing. The time is now to begin chasing your dreams. Today is the beginning of the rest of your life’s story. It’s time to make your life what you have longed for it to be.
Looking for practical encouragement on how to turn your dream into a reality? Read on to learn how to transition from a dreamer to a doer!