For the entirety of my life I've played it (pretty) safe. I opted out of trying out for the U19 World Junior Ultimate Championships for no good reason at all. I chose not to apply for several "dream" schools for practical reasons. I chose to go to school close to home at the University of Minnesota--my last choice out of eight schools--for again, practical reasons. Even my dreams have been on the safe side until recently. B-o-r-i-n-g.
Now that I've graduated and spent some time at home in my mom's basement, I've come to the realization: I need to start dreaming BIG. Why not? Everyone's always telling me to dream big--and I'm like yeah, well duh, why wouldn't I?--but I haven't actually been putting it into practice. I always say I'll do things but let's be honest, that means nothing if I'm not DOING them. This is changing. Now.
The first step: Writing down my goals. Check. You're seriously going to hate me for saying this, but I have to. It's so true. A goal is a dream with a deadline. There, I said it. (Sorry I'm not really sorry.) My goals are essentially a check list that keeps me hungry, ambitious and hold me accountable. They're the metaphorical ladder that leads to my (hopefully) not-so-metaphorical dream life. (Again, super cheesy. This time I really am sorry.)
The second step: Putting what I want out into the world. Check. I'm not usually one to talk for hours on end about myself--I'd rather hear what others have to say--but when you say what you want out loud and to others, things start to fall into place. It's seriously almost magical. It's ok to talk about and ask for what you want. Really. (This is a new concept for me.)
This is where my dream starts to grow it's roots. Long story short, I did exactly that. I shared my vision and goals with people and BOOM, things started to move forward slowly but surely. The next thing I know, I'm talking with the Store Managers of lululemon athletica Vail and Aspen. Nothing super serious or indicative yet, but still super awesome. (I've had goals to relocate to Colorado for quite some time now.)
Now, here comes the tie-in to my original point: Taking chances.
An opportunity at work opened up for a Key Lead position at my store (the position I have my eyes on in Colorado) and, after talking with some fellow lemons (I work at lululemon in case you weren't already aware) I decided I would push back my goals and apply for the position here at home.
My mind was set, or at least I thought it was. After talking with my mom and really letting the idea of staying in Minnesota sink in, I came to another realization: I was never going to get anywhere if I didn't start taking risks. I had been creating so many reasons in my head of why I shouldn't that I forgot to focus on all the reasons that I should. So, I decided to take a leap of faith and say no to a job that I had been wanting for months to pursue a dream. Eek.
A week later, I had a fantastic conversation with one of the store managers over the phone and will be having a follow-up interview in the next several days. This doesn't sound like much, but I have a feeling it's huge. I just know it. It's a step in the right direction and that's more than enough for me.
What I'm trying to say is this: Don't limit yourself by the walls you create for yourself. Dream big, take chances and go with your gut. Always go with your gut. Live in possibility because when nothing is certain, everything is possible. I took a chance and everything has started to fall into place, and if in the end it doesn't, I know that it wasn't meant to be. (Yes, I am one of those crazy people who believe that everything is connected and nothing is happenstance.) The worst thing that could happen is that you have to start over and take a different path. Big deal. Put what you want most out into the world and you will be pleasantly surprised. I swear it.
The universe has great things in store for us, we just have to have the balls to take risks and work hard to create the lives we have always imagined.