Livin’ The Dream

My friend Dave is making it work. He talked about it for a long time, figured out his niche, scraped like mad, and then it happened–His first movie trailer.

Karen’s family left the nest. She worried about money and what would come next. I asked her what she wanted to do. “Um, maybe get an office job.” No, really, I said. If you could do anything, what would it be? The words tumbled out even while she tried to contain them: “I want my own dance studio. I want to teach dance.” I saw the spark in her eyes and felt the fever in her voice. Next thing I knew, she’d remodeled her basement and had 30 young dance students.

A single, 30-year-old mother of one spent years working in a job only marginally satisfying that allowed her to pay the bills. In the meantime she composed music, experimented with a huge variety of instruments, bought a laptop and started mixing her own tracks. She’s already put out one CD on her own, is working on her second, and is now registering for college to expand her considerable talents into parts unknown but suspected. All while working at her day job.

Hmmm. These are all people I know. In some ways, they’re much like me. Yet, they landed on something I haven’t. They figured it out. They decided on the best thing that could ever happen, and pursued it. Really. They’re living the dream.

I’ve been reading about cognitive dissonance. Longer ago than I care to remember, during a time of intense personal ickyness, a friend gave me a book on the subject. I read 11 pages. But I got the drift and ever since then, the idea stuck with me. I think it’s lodged in my brain for a reason–I need to understand it, remember it and how it relates to me. Because, truthfully, I keep pushing up against it rather than just riding the wave into greater purpose.

Believing one thing about myself while acting out the opposite is bogus. The resulting discomfort rages and time’s a wastin’. I love what I work at and suspect it’s lifting me to a higher place. But I know there’s more to discover.

Success stories inspire, but unless my uneasiness provokes action, it’s all they do.

The rub? Still figuring out the dream.. but the good news is, I’m getting closer.


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