"I'll Take You There" Mixed Media Collage by Crystal Neubauer
Recently I saw a link to a blog post pop up in my newsfeed on Facebook- it had something to do with our dreams not being just for us. I have to admit I did not read the blog post, just the title, and I am sorry to say I can't recall who posted it, so I can't give proper credit to the mention here (if you think you know please feel free to leave a link in the comments section), but the premise got me to thinking...
If our dreams are not for us, then who are they for? I thought of the motivation I get from my dream to get up each morning and enter my studio. To have that dream held out in front of me keeps me moving toward it, even when it seems to be so far away. No one else shares the exact vision of my dream, no one else can see it, or know the depths of the ache of it, so how can it not be just for me?
I started thinking of my wise counselor and how she shared with me that she began feeling a stirring toward counseling while working as a successful business woman with a lucrative salary. Outwardly it did not make sense for her to quit this stable career for the unknown and unrealized dream she held in her heart, but having that dream gave her the motivation to take the risk, not an easy thing to do as a single woman, to give up her secure job and go back to school in pursuit of that dream. I thought of how much I had benefited from her dream - not just as my very wise counselor but more along the lines of a "life coach" - and how far I've come toward realizing my own dreams because she pursued hers. She has a unique voice and giftedness, her dream is actually her calling and I am the better off for it.
I also think of a neighbor who has pursued her dream - another calling really - who has impacted the neighborhood in a major way just reaching out and praying for and loving on others. Her dream for the neighborhood has helped her to persist for years and many lives have been changed because of her. And those changed lives have grown and spread into other communities and other states. One small action, one woman who had a dream to break the bondage and small thinking that impoverishment can create.
There are days when I am tempted to quit. Tempted to get the secure and stable "real job" and give up on pursing my dream. And so what if I did? Who would it affect besides me? Isn't it just my dream?
As I settle in to my new studio space in a new community, I sense it is time to begin taking the next step and I have to admit I am stepping out there timidly and with trepidation. I feel vulnerable. There is a voice - that voice - whispering "who do you think you are?" and part of me agrees and believes it is true. I am nothing. I am nobody. I am not qualified. And what does it really matter anyway?
But then I think what if it does matter?
I will be opening my studio in a week or two to a few girls and women in the neighborhood - I've invited a few already and asked that they invite one or two as well. We will just hang out with some fun music and I will show them some collage and encaustic techniques and they will learn a bit about art, but it is my sincerest desire that they will also learn a bit about themselves and each other. About how much they are worth, what they are capable of, how much they are loved and how important they are.
As I hear that negative voice in my head trying to dissuade me, I again think of the post whose title I read the other day and I ask myself- and you - just who is this dream for anyway?