When I was in college, a friend of mine made a journal and gave it to me as a gift when I graduated. She mod-podged pretty cut-outs from Anthropologie magazines on it's bound cover, and on the cream-colored pages inside she wrote special little notes throughout, funny prompts and quotes to get me thinking. I filled that journal with memories, prayers, and lists several years ago and slipped it into my bookshelf. But the other day, I found it and took it off the shelf, cracked it open, and my eyes fell upon a page somewhere near the middle of the journal, highlighted to me by the green ribbon holding it's place. On top of the page, my friend scribbled these words: "Write down 20 things you want to do in your lifetime here..." I wrote things I dreamed of doing. Big dreams that sounded silly, dreams that seemed like impossibilities. Things I've wanted to do since I was a little girl, places I dream of going. They're all there, in no particular order, but they are numbered, from 1-20. And they're all scrawled over the page in different colored ink, because I added to the list whenever inspiration hit, over the span of two years. It's a bucket list, of sorts. And sometimes, when I am overwhelmed and begin to forget who I am and what I want, I open the worn pages of my old journal and read over my dreams. The list makes me smile. #2 is: "Go cliff jumping in Greece", #4 - "Learn how to make perfect cappuccinos at home". "Spend New Year's Eve one year in New York City" is #17. And #20? "Visit Prince Edward Island someday". There are dreams on the list only I know. There are simple things, small things, and huge life-altering things. And I wonder if some of them will ever come true... or if they will forever be unfulfilled. My list does have a few lines crossed off, but not nearly as many as I would like. And the other day as I held that old diary in my hand, I thought... "Some of these...I can make these happen. Why haven't I?"
The reason is, you see ... because I am being a wishful dreamer.
"Some of us are wishful dreamers -
Lacking the will to do,
Without the magnitude of soul
Dreaming big is something close to my heart, and if you've followed along with my journey on this blog, you know it is something I've shared with you, my dear readers. But lately, I've been thinking about putting "feet to my dreams". Getting out there, stepping out of fear, and being passionate about pursuing my dreams and goals. I realized, I often find myself wishing for dreams without ever trying to pursue them. I often "lack the will to do", as the poem says.
And in my effort to enjoy life, make the most of each and every day and opportunity, and have a big, beautiful fabulous life - I want to be fearless and work to make my dreams come true.
Of course, sometimes God's plans are bigger than our dreams and sometimes, we must wait on His timing and there is nothing we can do to pursue certain dreams. And that's okay. One of my favorite Scripture that I've shared here before is:
"No one has ever seen a God like ours,
who works for those who wait for Him."
I used to interpret that verse as - "Okay, I can just sit here and wait for the Lord to open doors, and I don't have to do a thing." In a way, this is true - He holds the Universe in His hands and He is the one in charge of my life. Yet He asks you and me to use the gifts, talents and abilities we have to do all we can, partnering with Him and allowing Him to direct us. Do you ever feel down, thinking about all you want to do, all you dream of, all you want to accomplish? I do. And I end up just sitting on my hands and wishing. This weekend, when I picked up my journal and thought about my bucket list, I decided to go out there and do all I can do pursue my dreams.
I want to be a passionate dreamer, not a wishful dreamer.
And, okay I'll admit - I got a little excited about the whole thing this weekend. On Sunday afternoon, my sister and I wandered through Abbott Kinney lane, a street in LA in Venice Beach. It's lined with unique, vintage shops and cool cafes. We strolled along the streets in the sunshine, and near the end of our time we needed to find a ladies room. We ducked into the nearest coffee shop - a hip place, with hip music, a hip menu, and even hipper people (including a Ryan Gosling look-alike I noticed standing in line) And as we walked out, I realized it was a popular coffee shop I've been dying to visit for months and months. "Ughhh, I can't believe we don't have time to stop here!" I said to my sister as we walked out, sad we missed the opportunity, when I noticed one of the famed wide-mouthed cups of coffee sitting on a rustic wooden table outside the front door. It was just perfect - you know those beautiful cups of coffee that might as well be art? The ones with little swooping flowery pictures magically drawn into the foam? I whipped out my camera, dropped my purse and began shooting photos of it. Because blossoming in my photography skills is on "the list" and my camera plays a big role in this whole dreaming big thing. And honestly, I just thought the cup of coffee was some kind of advertisement outside the shop window ...which doesn't really make sense now that I think of it - but it wasn't. Just as I'm leaning down, hair blowing all around, my head twisted to one side as I'm struggling to get the perfect angle for this shot, Mr. Ryan Gosling look-alike is suddenly standing next to me, staring at me with a puzzled look, taking the cup of coffee into his hands!!! "Uhhhh..." he mumbled... as my poor sister rolled her eyes and quickly began an explanation that went something like, "Oh my gosh, I am sooo sorry for my sister. She's a blogger...and photographer, and she just does stuff like this, artsy stuff, we totally didn't know this was your coffee!!" And of course, in true Gosling-like fashion he graciously said, "Oh, hey go for it." So, I stood there, awkwardly taking a picture of a stranger's coffee mug, thinking I'd taken this whole "dream big" and "let's pretend I'm a photographer" thing too far. It was kind of like one of those blogger moments (have you had them?) when you've asked
Being a passionate dreamer...it's not always easy. It requires faith. More faith than just wishing does. Because when you put yourself out there and chase your dreams, there is a possibility they may fall flat to the floor. But... there is also a thrilling possibility....that they might come true. And that you could be the happiest you've ever been in your entire life.
I loved this pretty mirror
this was a huge poster outside on a brick store wall
Oh, and I've added a #21 to my bucket list: have the magnitude of soul to make my dreams come true.
And ya know what? I am continuing my list on the back side of the page - because, 20 things is just not enough. You should make one too, my friend.... who knows where our dreams will take us.