I am a firm believer in following your passions. One of my favorite novels is The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho because of its theme that if you really want something, the universe will conspire to help you get it, which is just another way to say that serendipity favors those who are open to it. Or maybe you have a spiritual faith that guides you to wherever your dream awaits you.
There’s a reason why the name of my blog is “It’ll All Work Out”. I joke with my oldest brother that he and I are a bit like Jerry Seinfeld and that episode where everything evens out for him.
While “Even Steven” is not exactly how I think of my life, I do think that having opened myself up to change and new things has made it easier for me to say that everything works out, even if it isn’t the way I may have originally planned. Some of this is just nature. I get my more laid-back temperament from my dad, and it has served me well. From my mom I got my confidence that I am capable of getting what I want. The rest is just deciding that I will make the best of what will come. The whole make lemonade out of lemons, thing you know.
Not that I’ve ever really had lemons in my life, so maybe it’s easy for me to talk, right? Probably.
I think about how back in my undergraduate days I wanted to spend a year in Spain, studying. I was nearly set to go when the financial aid package for it fell through. I wasn’t sure about being able to travel abroad after all. After I completed all of my coursework and before I started my student teaching, I figured out a way. I volunteered for four months down in Nicaragua. Very different than Spain. Harder to be away since I was also married at the time. One of my very best life experiences.
At one point I thought I would try doing a whole instructional technology specialist kind of thing. Didn’t get the jobs I wanted. A couple of them I had really thought I deserved.
So I shifted.
I took a part-time job in a school that ended up reminding me that I was a pretty decent teacher after all, which then led me to online teaching, which later opened up the opportunity to return to writing. The past several years of my life have been the result of simply being open to the idea of something different. If you are stuck, but fearful of change, I’d like you to simply consider the small step that you don’t have to change, but that you can change. Sometimes that is all that it takes for us to open our eyes and minds to opportunities that cross our paths – or to even take it one step further and actively seek that opportunity that we deserve.
And lest you think we are limited to a single dream or the same ones all of our lives, I ask whyever would that be the case? I’ve had lots of different dreams. Some achieved, some changed, some ongoing.
My latest dream, obviously, has been to get traditionally published. Sure, a NYTimes bestselling novel would be awesome, but that’s my pipe dream. You all have some of those, right? I hope you all have pipe dreams. Those are our hopes, essential for “flourishing, not just surviving” (thanks, Bones, for that key take-away moment from this week’s episode). My real dream, however, is more grounded (although only slightly). I’d love to see my traditionally published novel available in libraries.
I don’t know if I’ll get there, and I also don’t know that if I ever do get there, if it will be in the way I expect. Sometimes the path is extraordinarily depressing. Other times it is exciting and full of promise, and that’s the part that keeps me open to the universe.
So when someone asks me, “what if…?” my immediate response is, “Find out. Give it a try.” or even just, “Think about it.”
What is your dream? What keeps you going? How have your dreams changed over the years?
I really like this song from Brendan James. There are many interesting messages in it, but these particular lyrics really remind me of staying the course for my goals and dreams. All of our dreams are about ourselves and nobody else:
“Nobody started from the place that you started from / And nobody hopes to go where you’re hoping to go / And nobody out there wants the life you do / ‘Cause none of them are you”