“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined!” – Thoreau
I remember the first time I saw this quote. I was in grad school at San Diego State, working toward my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I lived with a band near the beach in North County. My boyfriend was the bass player. I wrote, studied, gave poetry readings, taught freshman composition, went to the beach, partied with the band, and worked with amazing organizations like Poetry International, the Border Voices Poetry Project, and California Poets in the Schools. Life was good. I was in my element. I felt like I could conquer the world. I bought the magnet from the museum shop at the mall and promptly put it on the fridge.
Since then, the magnet has moved with me more times than I can count… to Manhattan after grad school with that boyfriend turned fiance, to Connecticut after we got married and bought our home, back to San Diego when we got divorced. It came with me when I towed a motorcycle trailer full of my things back to Connecticut so I could teach again and settled into a studio in an artist community, and one more time when I moved here, into the woods near Rhode Island, to make a home with my new husband.
It inspires me to try to be the best person I can be, to dream big and take chances, to push myself to live a life of experiences rather than possessions, to cherish time spent with the friends and family who boost me up, and to strive to do the same for them in return. It seemed the perfect theme for this blog, something I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time. This is the time to chase that dream.
We each have times in our lives when we are met with a genuine opportunity to follow our dreams. It may come as a result of a graduation, a relocation, a divorce, a career change, or sending the last child off to college. Suddenly, our focus shifts, and we are able to ask ourselves, what do I want for my life? What are my dreams? What we do with these opportunities is completely up to us.
The incredible thing is that no matter what we choose to do, no matter where our dreams may take us, we have those people in our lives, the ones cheering us on and encouraging us to reach out and grab our own happiness, to rely on. They are our friends and families, and there is nothing they would like more than to see us turn those dreams into realities. They are the ones who will be there to catch us should anything go wrong.
So let’s do this; let’s take a risk in the name of happiness. Stretch up on our tip toes and reach for one dream, no matter how small, without the fear of falling. Find at least one way to incorporate more joy into our lives. And then take a minute to look around us and thank those people who are there, smiling, helping us realize we never have to take that risk alone.