One of my favorite mugs says “Don’t Give Up Your Daydream.” I daydreamt a lot as a kid. From stuffed animals and toys coming to life as a young child, to my own Indiana Jones-like adventures, there was always something so much more exciting to think about than my everyday life. Not all of my daydreams were so far-fetched. I doodled pictures and dreamt of becoming an architect, read Nancy Drew and dreamt of becoming a detective, and imagined one day becoming an American Gladiator. (Ok, that last one is a little far-fetched.)
By the time I was a teenager, life’s lessons somehow taught me that my daydreams were unrealistic and petty. My daydreams shifted to being successful and having a home, and having a husband that loved me, even though I had no idea what I meant by success or love. Sadly, my daydreams also became less bright and less engaging.
Eventually, “reality” set in and I cursed myself for spending so much time daydreaming as a kid. I was in a job that was stressful and that didn’t inherently fill my cup each day. I got married because I thought that was the next step in life and my ticket to adulting, just to end up divorced because that relationship was not what I wanted. I thought that if I had buckled down and paid more attention–in school and in life– I would have figured out all these answers.
Looking back, I now realize that what I really needed was to foster those daydreams. Had I understood what it was about them that I loved so much, then maybe I could have turned those dreams into reality. “Paying attention” would have taken on a more focused and purposeful meaning, studying subjects that I loved, learning more about careers that would have inspired me, and understanding what made relationships healthy and wholesome. When I really started to pay attention to the things that bring me joy, it led me to starting my own coaching practice.
It’s a little scary to be in my 40’s and starting a business, one that will set me off on my own and away from the safety of an organization that has nurtured me for years. But the fear doesn’t stop me because this new dream is so vivid in my mind that I can’t help but move toward it. The dream fills my days and nights, waking me up energized and itching to get to work, and interrupting my daily routines with new ideas. No matter what skeptics might say, I am not giving up this daydream. And it is wonderful to live in that reality.
On a side note, I hardly use that mug because it is HUGE! It could probably hold 2 cups of coffee, which is way more than I need, and is much more suitable for my husband’s ice cream habit (if he isn’t eating straight out of the carton). I knew it was too big when I bought it but let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with having something oversized if it’s meant to hold your dreams.