Last year—shortly before we moved—I needed a diversion to the craziness of life, and decided to see what concerts were scheduled at the American Music Theater. Wynonna was in town, so I purchased a ticket to see her show.
As I drove to the concert I chided myself for going. “I really should be at home, packing or doing something to ready the house for the move.”
In retrospect, I’m glad I went. With only three band members plus herself, the show came across as more personal than a typical concert. As a result, that was one of the best concerts I had attended in a long while. Plus, she sang one of my all time favorite songs Dream Chaser—a song that originally appeared on the 1983 Judd’s debut EP album, but was also added to the 1985 Rockin’ With the Rhythm album.
Back in the 80s I was full of dreams. Unfortunately, because of a lack of confidence, I never took a step in the direction towards most of those dreams. Instead, I shoved them to the farthest part of my mind and allowed years of dust to cover them.
Throughout the past few years, I’ve been working on resurrecting old dreams by actively pursing them.
This blog is a part of one of those dreams. I enjoy sharing stores with others—an aspect of my life inherited from my grandmother who shared stories with everyone she met. Over the years I’ve collected scribbled cursive text and tidbits of thoughts jotted on paper scraps in hopes of sharing those words with others. In fact, personal journals, notes, stories, and research material is strewn all over my house. These written words line my closet shelves, are stuffed in end table drawers, are crammed in boxes in the basement, and reside in my backpack, suitcase, and book caddy by my recliner.
For the longest time though, my dreams about publicly sharing my writing lived mostly in my mind, simply because I allowed fear to capture my confidence. When I finally garnered the courage to bounce my procrastinated dream ideas off my husband, he posed a question that encouraged me to shoot for the stars. “If you follow your dreams, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”
“Uh. Hello there! I could fail!”
Shortly after that conversation I heard someone make this proclamation: “You’re gonna fail, so fail quickly!”
As I mulled over that statement, I realized I’d been sidelined way too long.
Lately I’ve heard a number of people discuss failure from this context: Failure is inevitable. It’s how you handle failure that makes all the difference.
The key to accomplishing any dream is taking that first step. If you never act towards a dream you are guaranteed a 100 % failure rate.
Inaction = 100% Failure Rate!
The realization of that percentage pushed me to finally publish my first post. And that realization is one of the reasons why I continue to write.
Have I hit a home run each time I’ve written something? NOPE! There are articles I’ve written that have missed the mark and been rejected by editors. There are stories that I’ve written that have been passed on by editors. And there are poems that I’ve written that have been returned to sender. Honestly though, I don’t see any of these as failures. I view them all as learning curves, and important steps towards accomplishing the overall dream.
On the flip side, there are a number of pieces I’ve written that have been published in various magazines and books. Other pieces are slated for publication later this year, and some are scheduled for release next year.
And this post marks the 67th blog I’ve posted on this site (3 posts were guest posts, 1 was a poem, 1 a music video, and 1 was a meme). While some may consider 67 (or 61 depending on how you look at it) an insignificant number, to me it’s mind boggling, especially since my initial thought after I posted that first story was, “What in the world am I going to write about next?”
Earlier this month I embarked upon a new dream—grad school. For years I’ve dreamed about obtaining my masters degree. Beginning my first grad class was the second step towards obtaining this goal (the first step was applying). This dream is HUGE and on the scale of 1 to 10 in terms of terrifying emotions coursing through my veins right now—I give it a 20! But I also find it an exciting dream to pursue.
There are a number of other dreams on my list. Most relate to travel or activities. Some relate to personal goals. Listed in no particular order is a very small sample of my dreams:
With my family
- Serve on a short-term mission’s trip
- Visit Amsterdam and tour the Anne Frank house
- Visit Italy, Switzerland, and Germany
- Explore the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, White Sands New Mexico, and old western towns of Arizona
- Travel Route 66 from end to end and visit monuments, national parks, and tourist sights along the way
- Attend a Broadway show together
- Visit each of the areas my grandfather was stationed during WWII
- Finish writing the books that I’ve started and see them through to the published phase
- Obtain my Master’s Degree within three years
- Write 500 blog posts
- Have 50 articles of mine published in various magazines
These are just a few of my dreams. I guess many people would call most of these items bucket list items. Regardless of what one calls them, I’ve got a lot of them—so many in fact that my husband tells me my list of dreams would fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.
Thinking back on last year and that concert . . . I’m glad I skipped a few hours of packing up household stuff. I needed something to remind me of those big dreams coated in a few layers of dust. The song Dream Chaser blew off the dust and reignited a spark.
Adding to that, a few weeks ago I was selected to be part of Mark Batterson’s launch team for his latest book Chase the Lion. After reading that book, I knew I couldn’t allow fear to stop me again.
Chase the Lion poured gasoline on the reignited dreams, and has inspired me to Run to the Roar (see Mark’s book for an explanation of the phrase—run to the roar).
I’ve decided that regardless of how many times I fail, I will continue chasing my dreams even after I can no longer run.
Are you still dreaming? Are you acting on those dreams? What’s pushing you forward? What’s holding you back? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.
** As a side note, if you are a dreamer who needs some encouragement, I highly recommend Mark’s book Chase the Lion. It is available on Amazon and well worth the price (my opinion only—being on a launch team doesn’t mean I have to give a book a good review, just an honest one based on my opinion).
* all photos (with the exception of the book photo) are compliments of pixabay.com