Being brave enough to live my dream was hard for me! As a shy, insecure child, I spent much of my time trying to please others. That’s why now, I’m so grateful to God for providing me courage to pursue my dream in serving Him.
In less than a year, I’ll turn 50. That’s hard to believe. On the inside, I still feel 12. Really, I do. I giggle at silly jokes, skip through the house, and take great delight in candy stores and Toys R Us. Granted, I do ache more than I used to and can’t sleep in past 6:00 a.m., but otherwise, I’m like a kid.
That’s why it’s so strange to me that I’m about to hit the big 5-0. How did that happen? It’s like I blinked, and here I am. I saw a meme on Facebook recently that said something like Isn’t it strange how you’re waiting for the last 3 minutes of 6th hour history class to be over and then you blink and it’s 35 years later and you’re a gramma. That’s me! That happened to me! Ha!
At 49+, I’m not quite where I thought I’d be by this age. Oh, I’m happy where I am – love my home, husband, kids – but still. I had such big dreams for my life and career, and those dreams haven’t come to pass.
As a child, I dreamed of traveling the world, seeing all there was to see. I wanted to write about my adventures, weaving my experiences into stories both real and not, and sharing my words with the world. Unfortunately, shyness held me back. That, and the fear of disappointing my parents and what they expected from me.
I always tried to do what people expected of me.
And so, because I came from a family of educators, I became a public school teacher. While I’m thankful for my job and stable career, there’s always been something missing within. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not unhappy. It’s just that I missed out on passion for the longest time.
I began to think a passionate life itself was just a dream and not something that could really happen for me. I got caught up in the every day and all the busyness it entails. Somewhere along the way, I forgot my dreams. Or at least, I set them aside to focus on the dreams of others, namely my kids and husband. Many of us do that, I believe. I’m no different.
In 2003, my best friend died from an aggressive cancer. The grief that followed almost kept me from moving forward at all. Over much time and through my faith, I found a great strength and the courage to step out of my comfort zone and begin writing about my grief and sharing my faith with others. I began blogging in 2012 and truly felt I’d found my platform.
While I’d never felt ‘good enough’ to write and travel and follow dreams, my faith and spiritual journey changed my life. It took years, but it did happen. Thankfully!
Along my blogging journey, I became interested in publishing my first book. After months of research, I opted to self-publish. I knew the idea of having complete control over my content, cover, marketing, and sales fit my goals better than anything. I successfully published four manuscripts, all non-fiction, and then began helping other aspiring authors format and publish their own.
And now…after living a life time of not feeling worthy, of doing what was expected of me, of following the Joneses when I couldn’t keep up with them, I’m finally living MY life. I’m writing and teaching what I’m passionate about, and I’m about to begin traveling to see the world, well, the United States anyway. My husband and I just bought a new to us (8 year old) Ford Expedition to pull the travel trailer we’ll be buying next. That’ll probably be this spring as we’ve hit our budget limit. Baby steps, but we’re getting there! UPDATE: We bought our travel trailer November 18; we got such a great deal and couldn’t wait!
In this next stage of my life, I plan to finally live my dreams. And y’all, if I can do it, so can you!
Has anything held you back from following your dreams? Fear? Finances? Others?
I encourage you to go for all you’ve dreamed of. Start your blog, write your book, see the world. And then come back and tell me all about it!
Update #2: I’m 51 now…still feel 12…and I’m still so very thankful to continue to follow my dream. I’m looking forward to pursuing my blogging ministry full time eventually and am excited about helping you follow your passion, too!
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