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When Dreams Become Reality...

There's something so contradictory about the new year for me.  It evokes strange emotions every year.  On the one hand, I'm excited about the start of the a new year, the chance for a fresh start and the blessing of having survived (and perhaps even thrived) in the previous one.  However, on the other hand, it marks the end of the holiday season, my favorite time of year.  The gifts have all been given, unwrapped and put away, the last few crumbs of yummy sweets are gone and the flickering glow of Christmas lights have now burn out.  It's all a bit...sad.  That is, it usually is.  This year, however, is different.  This year, there is no return to "reality" for me, because THIS is the year, my dream has become my reality.

Funny enough, with all the excitement surrounding my transition to full-time design, I completely forgot that January 1st marked my 5 Year Blog/Business Anniversary!  Five Years!  Five years since I sort of haphazardly said, "What the heck, let's give it a go!"  Five Years?  The thought of doing what I loved as my sole career seemed so far off in the distance I could barely make it out.  But the more time passed, the harder I worked and slowly but surely the dream and the ultimate goal came into view.  In fact, by this time last year, it was crystal clear.  It seemed so close I could almost taste it. And today, it's here.

Over the past several months, I've been working on a bit of collection of posts, a "how-to" if you will, for making your dream of becoming a designer (or some other BIG dream) a reality.  It began with my thoughts on education.  That post dealt with whether or not I felt it was worth it.  Shortly thereafter, I gave a quick down and dirty tutorial on how to work a full-time career and a design business at the same time.  Then, I addressed notion of purpose.  I even shared my struggle with viewing interior design as worthwhile work. Finally, I shared with the news that I'd be kissing my day job goodbye at the end of the year and walked you through the steps that got me there.  You can revisit them all below.

Well today, I want to briefly share my thoughts on what to do when your dream becomes your reality. I'll be honest, it's a bit strange when you achieve a goal you've worked so long and hard to reach.  For a goal-oriented overachiever, you immediately feel as if you need a new goal.  Sounds crazy, but it's true.

So what do you do when your dream becomes a reality?

Honestly, I guess I don't really know...yet. What I do know is that for the past five years, I dreamed of nothing more than awaking today and feeling that amazing feeling of being ecstatic that it's the start of a new workweek.  This morning, I experienced that feeling (though I'm writing this the evening before I've experienced it) and it was all I dreamt it would be. (I'm sure of it!)

What I also know is that I'm throwing everything I have into making my new reality a successful and lasting one.  I'm wise enough to know that THIS will be the challenge, to not just "succeed" but to be sustainable.  I've signed on to work with a business coach for this very reason.  Like I said, I'm throwing everything into this.  I guess that's the first thing you should do when your dreams become reality...throw everything you have into winning at it.

I'm also vowing to not give myself any less than I gave my employer for fifteen years.  So every morning, I will get up, I will get dressed, I will report on time and I will work as hard (who am I kidding waaayyy harder) as I did when I worked for someone else.  I will maintain the same type of structure I've become accustom to.  I'll still use Outlook, I'll still schedule conference calls (and show up 3-5 minutes early), I'll return all emails within 24 hours and I'll even observe the 11 corporate holidays each year (only I'll call Christmas, Christmas and Good Friday, Good Friday instead of Winter and Spring Holiday Observances).   Let's face it, this Type-A person needs that type of structure and that's ok.
You see, much of what has gotten me to this point is not just the creative aspects of what I love to do but also (and maybe more importantly) the discipline I've had in doing it.  So, I suppose the second thing  to do when your dreams become reality is to continue what you've done to get there.  Seems pretty logical, right?  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

It's strange, when you make this sort of pivot in life, everyone has something to say about it.  Thankfully, the response I received was overwhelming encouraging and positive.  However, you still encounter a few closet skeptics along the way.  They ask questions like, "Do you have clients?"  "So, you've gotten to a point where you feel like you can maintain your standard of living?" Now, the smart aleck in me wants to shoot a side eye and respond with a sharp comeback, but I've resisted.  However, the experience of these well-meaning naysayers leads me to my final thought.

What do you do when your dreams become reality?  You swing for the fences and you let NO ONE stand between you and what God has purposed, planned and predestined for your life.  I get it, not everyone will understand how I could leave the perceived stability of a six-figure job to follow my passion.  The bottom line is, they don't have to.  This is my life and I only get one.  By golly, I'm determined to make it count!

The bottom line is I set the goal, I did my homework, I put in the work, I planned, I saved, I invested and ultimately I did it.  There's nothing left to do now but walk it out.  I intend to do just that.

Day 1....Let's Do This!

4 Comments - Click here to join the conversation!:

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

You go, girl!

Kelle Dame said... Reply To This Comment

I don't know you but I'm so proud! Keep going and keep inspiring!!

Yolanda said... Reply To This Comment

Happy First Day of living your DREAM! Great advice and so inspiring. To GOD be the glory....

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Happy Day 1...you got this

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