“Maintain your vision, no matter what it looks like.”
A few years ago, I gave up on my dream and it’s been haunting me ever since. Those words brought comfort to me this morning; they came to me in a dream. It’s scary to abandon reason and change paths when you realize the one you’re on is not taking you toward your goals. Now, as I embark on a new journey—a road I traveled before—I have a new determination.
The short version of the long story is that in 2008, I graduated with a master’s degree in counseling ministries. It is a great degree if you plan to work in religious institutions and don’t want to open a private counseling practice. It is the degree I convinced myself was “good enough” after talking myself out of the degree I really wanted. Insecurity and one too many haters posing as supporters worked to rapidly erode that dream. I began to believe I just “didn’t have it in me.” I sat in my counseling classes thinking, “I’ll never have a private practice, where will I get clients? I’m terrible at marketing and direct selling; look at my Mary Kay business!” I constantly compared myself to my classmates who seemed to be ridiculously passionate and excited about finishing the program, while I was shaking in my boots! THEN, I met the man I knew I would marry. I had every reason to get the heck out with the quickness. With all those excuses constantly on my mind I rushed out of there in pursuit of my M-R-S (Mrs. if you missed that, lol) and left my MACP (Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology) behind. I convinced myself that my dream was too big for me, and not my dream at all. One of my “supporters” told me early on about the shorter degree program, and I decided that one was right for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong….
Well, now in hindsight I realize what a mistake that was. Through this blog, I’ve come to realize how much inspiring others drives me—how partnering with others toward discovering pursuing their passions energizes me. Through my children’s book, I have discovered my love for motivating through public speaking. The more I learn about myself the more I realize that a private practice is exactly what I want. My dream is resurrecting. I want to be a life coach. I’ve wanted to be one for years, and truth be told, if you know me at all, I’ve been doing it informally for years.
Now, I’m strong enough now and clear enough about what drives me. I know that I cannot go another day without reclaiming my dream. So a few weeks ago, I decided I’m going back to school to get the degree I left behind! I’m so excited. I am choosing to do what I need to do for me regardless of anyone’s opinions about it. I know some people will say, “You already a master’s degree, why are you going back to school?” And others will say, “You have a young child. You are a single mom. Where are you gonna get that kind of money and how will you do it by yourself?” See, I’ve already thought about all that, and my mind is still made up. I trust God will provide for everything I need to make this happen because He inspired me to do it.
I didn’t go to school on a whim. I had an actual vision in 2005 that led me to school. I let insecurity cause me to forget that and abort the mission. But now I see, that a dream never really dies. You can try to “pull the plug” on it but it will keep fighting in the background, waiting for the moment you will believe again. It will keep resurfacing in various forms around you, nagging at you to give it a chance to live because our dreams are often a huge part of our purpose for being here. Just because others have let their dreams die doesn’t mean that you have to do the same, or worse, let them talk you out of pursuing yours! I finally accept that truth… that my time has not passed. I’m still here. I’m still moving, shaking, kicking. No reason for my dream to die while I’m still breathing. I’m determined to do it. And I won’t be going alone. I’m going to prove my strength and be an example to my daughter as she witnesses me going after my dream AND accomplishing it.
How can I tell my child, you can be anything if you’re willing to try, and walk away from my own dream due to… you pick the excuse? The blessing of all this is that I’m doing this for me. I’ve always put everyone else (even if it was just their opinions of me) ahead of myself. Now, I’m choosing me BUT everyone benefits! I’m choosing to be my best self and that will allow me to be a better mom, a better friend, a better speaker… and so on. This is not a selfish move, even though I’m doing it just for me.
So, what’s your excuse? Your dream is still alive. Are you going to continue to throw dirt over it or dig it up? What if instead of listing all the reasons why it’s too late, you open yourself to the possibility that it’s not over, yet? IF it was possible to resurrect your un-dead dream, what would be your next step toward making it happen? I challenge you to take that next step. I mean, you have nothing to lose and all to gain.