I don’t think I need to express to any of you reading this that I have had a dream that I have been working toward for quite a number of years. My pursuit of cabin living has been a romantic daydream for so long that I can hardly recall when it first began.
So many obstacles seemed to be in my way preventing me from taking any meaningful action. Raising my son, running a business, entertaining relationships with romantic partners who had their own limitations and pursuits, all of which shaped my decisions. Then, there was the less than great credit score from the 2008 real estate crash that left me hard-pressed to qualify for the kind of property I might be able to shape into my vision.
Because of these factors, I found myself only wishing for “someday”. That longing and wishing, as it turns out, was simply my own mental block, my own B.S., or Belief Systems.
Over the last two years, I’ve shed most of those limitations. I have hurdled over the obstacles and have come to realize–as with most things of this nature–that everything we do, everything we think, and everything we seemingly lack or find in abundance is the result of personal choices.
We can deny all we want that the circumstances of our lives are out of our control, but outside of specific health-related concerns, the way our lives unfold is exactly how we want them to–no matter what we believe.
I once had a personal trainer. I would go to her studio three times every week. While I worked out and she spotted me, we would get into life conversations. She shared with me at one point that she was displeased with a particular activity her husband enjoyed. She had expressed to her husband her displeasure in his activities, yet he continued. After about a week of this discussion I told her that, from my perspective, she had two choices: either accept his activities and let go of the negative feelings she had toward him and get back to loving him, or she should leave him and move on. I pointed out that there really was no middle ground. To remain in the relationship harboring negative feelings was of her own choosing. I asked her to acknowledge her freedom to choose and to realize that whatever feelings she was harboring were a waste of precious time no matter which direction she chose to advance.
Life is astonishingly short. In every single moment, life ticks away. With it the valuable time we have disappears like dust in the wind.
My father passed away at the young age of 56. His life was cut far too short. I have come to realize just how important it is to treasure every moment. To shed the people and activities that bleed my life of time spent involved in mundane tasks or in angst. Life can often resemble a fly bouncing against a glass window when only an inch to the right the window is wide open. We simply need to reveal the seeming limitations we place on ourselves and find the opening in the window. Freedom is not something to take in haste. Freedom is a choice and it is worth whatever seeming risk lays before you.
Fulfilling dreams is entirely dependent on personal choices. Choosing to fulfill them takes guts, persistence, and perseverance. It requires that we face our fears, step outside of our comfort zones, and live boldly, advancing forward through trial and error learning.
Life can often resemble a fly bouncing against a glass window when only an inch to the right the window is wide open.
I had not truly pursued my dreams for many reasons: choosing to remain in my son’s life until he was old enough to be on his own, choosing to keep making money the tried-and-true way I knew how, avoiding financial risk and obligation, the possibility of loneliness, my seeming lack of skills, such as with construction and property maintenance. But, with each factor firmly in place, I passed on my dream for a long, long time.
As time went on, a few of the factors simply disappeared where others–through my own choices–remained. Then, reality began to set in. A conversation I had with a friend led to the realization that my dream was being thwarted by my own choices based in fear. No longer were there any real obligations in my way. My son had grown, I had wound down my branding agency, I had few financial obligations, my credit score had soared, and my love relationship had transformed into a deep friendship.
The conversation had reminded me of the value of time. There is nothing more valuable in our human existence than time. In every moment we have the freedom to choose, and in each decision, we must come to terms with the fact that the outcome was of our own doing.
I had come to realize that if I were to see my dream become a reality, I needed to make bold choices in favor of it. Not later but now. Right now. Afterall, I have no idea how long I have here in this reality. Waiting to realize my dream could come with a bittersweet achievement where I may not have the ability to truly enjoy what I create.
I have a friend whom I visited many years back. He was very depressed at the time. He had even considered suicide. We spent Thanksgiving together shooting nature photography on the wild landscape near Jackson, Wyoming. While sitting in a field together watching Elk grazing, I asked him, “What is one thing you have always dreamed of doing?” He told me that he had always wanted to live in Cambodia. I asked him what he would have to lose if he just acted on his dream. Afterall, he had already considered killing himself. I suggested that if he took a chance on life and truly pursued his dream and moved to Cambodia, if it didn’t work out, he could end his life there. Over the next few months, he took action and moved. More than ten years later I can gladly say he is happily married in Cambodia, he recently built his own container home, and he enjoys remote teaching to elementary school students. What a bold decision he made. He truly bet on his life and realized the bounty of his own choices in pursuit of his dream.
I am now boldly living my dream. I have found a place I will call my canvas and create the vision in my head. It will be a place where not only my dream can be realized but others can find their way to what matters in life. It will be a blank page that I scribe with meaningful pursuits, utilizing my creativity to inspire. When I found it I took action swiftly. I have not looked back as I truly believe that the path I walk is in the direction of my life’s purpose.
Life is so very short. Time is truly of the essence. Live your dream life now. Don’t wait until you are retired, financially secure, and have “more time” to do the things you love. Because the one thing you won’t have is more time.