But really. How many times have we all sat down and written to do lists? Sometimes it involves getting milk, eggs, or tampons (real life). Sometimes it involves calling a friend for her birthday or anniversary, or for no reason at all. And other times it involves catching up on emails, researching car insurance, sending in your absentee ballot, and going to the gym (again). (Hint: this last sentence may or may not be my exact to do list for this week.)
My point here is that there are always things on MY “to do” list that I want to do – and things I don’t really care to do at all, but something else in my life depends on it. For example, I don’t really want to do any research at all on car insurance. But if I were to get into a fatal car accident on November 1st and I hadn’t done any research or followed through with an actual plan…well, then I’d be a goner.
Oftentimes I make to do lists because crossing things off makes me feel better about my seemingly mundane life. I go to work every day at the same place. I try to wake up at 7:15 every day, but usually that turns into 7:45 if I’m lucky (and not too lazy to push it off until 8:00). I go to the gym pretty much at the same time every day. I go to Blacksmith’s every Wednesday nights for 50 cent Drummies and half price beer. I live a very routine life. To do lists are something we (well, I) keep in order to feel like I’m doing something every day – every week – every year. I keep to do lists because I need purpose.
But what if to do lists were more than just lists of obligations that we have that are seemingly so temporary and futile? What if my to do list were more like a list of dreams that I have or things that I want to accomplish?
As “driven” and as “independent” as I may appear to some people, I feel that my life has become less and less of a dream and more and more of a list of obligations. Maybe that’s what being an adult is. If that’s the case, then I have a hard life ahead of me – filled with disappointment after disappointment. But I kind of don’t think it has to be that way. Maybe I just stopped dreaming once I realized how expensive it was to live “real life.”
Even though I’m pretty creative, I’ve never been that imaginative – at least not with my future. So what is my to do list for the future? What do I want to do? What do I want to accomplish? I have my circumstances to thank for the possibility of such questions. God has blessed me with a college education, a stable job (yet not a job that has me tied down), friends that will support me no matter what my dreams are, and a family that will stand beside me no matter how crazy I get while trying to chase after those dreams.
In honor of my girl, Eleanor [Roosevelt] who said that “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” I took a bit of time today to think through what my dreams are. I set aside all reason and logic (this includes restraints like time, money, and other things, too). Dreams are not made of that stuff. Dreams ought to be big and ought not be rationalized or put under the microscope (at least not immediately – there’s a time for everything, and that time is not now).
If I’m being totally honest with myself about what interests me, what I enjoy, and what I have passion for, here are just some of the dreams I have recorded on my own and feel (somewhat) comfortable sharing. Some are bigger. Some are smaller.
(1) Expand Bee’s Designs (my business). Specifically in the area of wedding/event invites and paper design. I’ve always been a harsh critic of posters, pamphlets, promotional materials, invites, etc. I think I have an eye for what works and what doesn’t. I’d love to take some graphic design classes down the road, but mostly I’d love to play around with Adobe Creative Suite a little more than I already have and branch out. I’m always up for learning a new skill.
(2) Apply to work for a wedding/event coordinating job before the end of the year. Location can’t be an issue. Of course I may be content where I am, but I am super passionate about event-panning and weddings. And I don’t think that just because I’m content with my job means that I should settle or just stop chasing after a dream I have.
(3) Write a book. WHAT. WHAT?! The more and more I journaled about this entire topic, the more and more I realized how much I have been able to use words and writing as a way of communicating. And not just in my journal for my own personal benefit…but for others. I so enjoy the written word and sometimes I even find it hard to communicatewithout writing. I’ll be the first to admit that I have misused this passion, but the underlying idea is that I think I have something to say and I’d like to say it through writing. A book. And I don’t know what that means at this moment in time..but who said dreams had to be 100% thought-through?
(4) Purchase a DSLR and start taking photos. I don’t think I’ll ever go pro when it comes to photos, but again, I have an “eye” for good photography and I’d love to learn the tricks of the trade. Especially since I hope to be involved in weddings for quite some time!
(5) Start/be heavily involved in a women’s ministry. This will probably take place in the context of the church. And perhaps this will be a theme or something that I seek to do no matter where I am and no matter who I am with over the course of my life. We’ll just have to see.
So….what are your unharnessed dreams?