The evolution of a dream

by Kim on January 19, 2011 · 48 comments

I once read somewhere that the truth taps you on the shoulder.  If you ignore her she’ll stomp on your toes.  Ignore her still?  She’ll punch you in the gut.  Finally, she’ll whack you over the head, repeatedly, until you finally pick yourself up one day, bruised and bloody, and ask ‘Why have I been ignoring the truth for so long?  I’ve known about her ever since she tapped me on the shoulder.’ 

In much the same way my dream pursued me. 

Here’s the story of how it happened.

The Story of My Dream

1.  The dream is planted in me, I don’t know when.  Maybe it has always been there, like the bone in my arm, growing as I do, though I don’t have the words for it yet.

2.  One day, I realize it’s there.  It excites me.  My brain spins in a hundred directions.  I feel like I’m on fire, burning from the inside.  This is it!  I know beyond anything else that this is what I want to do.  Yes, it is unconventional.  Yes, it is risky.  It costs money, and I don’t have any.  I could fail, and then I’ll have nothing. 

3.  I ignore the dream.  It’s impossible, illogical.  It’s not real, it’s an escape from reality.  What I should really be dreaming about is a good career, making lots of money.  Isn’t that what everyone wants?  What I really want is a house, a car, nice vacations- tokens of a successful life.  When I have those things, I’ll be happy.

4.  I land a job.  It’s not a good one, but it’s a start.  I get restless, land another job.  It’s better and I really love it.  I could do it for awhile, and I do.  Again, though, it’s not enough.  I’m sure another job, with more money, will calm my restlessness.  I take the new job.  I have money, so much money!  What do I do with all the money?  It’s a thrill to have it, like I’m special.  Like I’m better because I have it, better than I was before. 

5.  My job makes me miserable.  It’s boring and lonely.  Some days, I sit in the bathroom with my head between my knees, talking myself down from a panic attack.  Every day, a voice inside my head screams at me “KIM, THIS IS NOT WHAT YOUR LIFE IS FOR.”  Shut up, I say.  Shut up, shut up, shut up.  I’ve come this far, how can I go back?  I’ve worked so hard, how can I give it all up?  In my quiet moments, on the weekends when I run through the forest or when I’m alone in the house, staring at a blank piece of paper, my dream beats on inside of me.  I can hear it, like a weak heartbeat. 

6.  One day, I am running through the woods, thinking about my dream.  I can’t breathe.  I’m panicky and I can’t breathe.  I have to stop running.  I’m alone in the woods.  I say my dream out loud.  I say, Kim you cannot live a life like thisYou want to write, you were born to write, and you have to see the world.  The panic subsides.  I start running again.  I take deep breaths and I realize that the only way I can fight the panic is by speaking the truth. 

7.  The dream exists now, and it grows bigger every day.  Like a seed that lay dormant in me my whole life, I’m watering it now and it thrives.  I google ‘traveling around the world’ and dozens of blogs pop up.  Other people are doing this!  I read One Giant Step and Seat of Our Pants every day, obsessively, I’m starving and their words are my food.  I pick up the book U-Turn by Bruce Grierson off the sale rack at Powells.  Its tag line draws me in: What if you woke up one morning and realized you were living the wrong life?  I read it every day on the bus and it throws my life into a tail-spin.  I come home from work one day and I tell Brian what I need to do.  Let’s do it, he says.  Really?  I say.  But we’ve worked so hard for all of this, how will we give it up?  He says, none of this matters if we aren’t happy.  I love him more then than I ever did before. 

8.  Every day now, we work towards the dream.  We talk about it, but just amongst ourselves.  I buy a world map and spread it out on the kitchen table, I trace our route out with my index finger, over and over again.  I start writing again for the first time since college.  I realize I put my journal down because I wasn’t living my truth, and only when I journaled was I unable to ignore it.  I re-name our savings account “The World Travel Fund.”  It is no longer our “nest egg.”  Now it’s the pot of gold at the beginning of our rainbow. 

9.  When we reach the halfway point of our savings goal, we start telling people.  I’m a rocket ship and every time I say it, the flames behind me roar, propelling me further.  I start this blog.  I send an email to our friends and family We begin to sell our stuff.  We spend our weekends working on our house, preparing to put it on the market.

10.  And that’s where I am today, where we are.  Mary Oliver, who is one of my all-time favorite poets, says this about the soul.  She says, “This is the first, the wildest, and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.” 

11.  This story has 11 parts, but how many parts will it have in the end?  I imagine each like a brick, I lay them down in front of me, building a path towards my dream.

forestpath

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World January 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

What a wonderful post and writing. I could feel your frustration and then your excitment. This IS exciting! Keep following your dream :)

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Gillian @OneGiantStep January 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Kim,
You were meant to write, and travel, and dream. Just. Keep. Going. Cheers!

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Odysseus January 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

This is beautiful, Kim. So many of your posts also ring true with me.

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Scott January 20, 2011 at 12:37 am

amazing and inspiring words! I love the line about the pot of gold at the beginning of your rainbow!

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Sunee January 20, 2011 at 9:57 am

I could relate to almost every word there :) Nice post, I’m glad you’re finally making it happen!

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Kim January 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Jill, Gillian, Odysseus, Scott and Sunee: Thank you all for the words of encouragement! You have no idea how much it means.

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FearfulGirl January 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Another post that has given me tingles! You write with beautiful passion and honesty. I can’t wait to travel the world with you. Well done for listening to the truth, when so many other’s don’t – even though it’s pummelling them in the face with knuckle-dusters.

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Kim January 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm

@FearfulGirl Awww, thank you! Each day is a step in the right direction now. It feels good to be on the right path, even if I’m just at the beginning.

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Sabina January 27, 2011 at 6:03 am

This is really beautifully written. You are indeed a writer. I’ll be following you in 2012.

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Kim January 27, 2011 at 8:13 am

@ Sabina- Thank you for your kind words!! Seriously, you have no idea how they warm my heart. I’ll be following you as well.

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Lauren January 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm

You. Are. Amazing.

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Kim January 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Aww, thanks Lauren. You are too.

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Spencer February 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I know exactly how you feel! I felt exactly the same before I went on my 18 month big trip around America, Europe and Asia.

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Kim February 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hi Spencer, it’s a great feeling, huh?

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Amy February 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

This is your calling for sure! I look forward to following you both.

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Kim February 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Thanks Amy. Your have no idea (or maybe, actually, you probably do) how much it means to hear supportive things. :)

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Jo (livingmintgreen) October 5, 2011 at 8:42 am

Wow, this post is exactly what I needed this morning. I relate to everything you wrote – I’ve been struggling with trying to escape my regular “9-5 office life” & feel like it doesn’t matter what/where the job is, it will never fulfill me the way travel/writing can. Once I started listening to my intuition, opportunities started presenting themselves. I took a small leap of faith recently – I quit my stressful office job in exchange for a more relaxed job (not my dream, but it helps) and booked a 5 wk trip to the Big Island to apprentice at an organic farm. Good luck on your trip! I can’t wait to follow along.

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Kim October 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Hi Jo. I’m so glad you found this post buried in my blog. Of everything I’ve written in here, this post is the most dear to me because it is so completely the story of what my last few years have been like.

Congrats to you for quitting your stressful office job and booking a big trip. Like you, I’ve found that once I started listening to my intuition the universe opened itself up and presented amazing opportunities that next existed before.

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Kerri January 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

Thank you for expressing so well what I cannot.

You are definitely born to write.

Simply beautiful!

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Kim January 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

Thank you Kerri :)

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Sarah Somewhere March 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

Oh wow Kim, I missed this one. It’s a ripper!!!! I absolutely love it and it fills me with so much joy that you are following your dream. You have already achieved so much with your blog, you are already a writer, and a fantastic one at that. This post is a testament to that. And you are now a traveler, exploring the world with renewed perspective and pure passion! It’s contagious!!! I want to write and travel too!!! Oh wait, I am!! Congratulations for achieving your goals and for making me believe in mine XXX

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Kim March 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

YOU ARE!!

Thanks Sarah. It is fun for me to go back and read this post because when I wrote it I had already come so far and now, looking back a year+ later, I see that I’ve made more gigantic strides (I have definitely added more parts to the story). What will life be like a year from NOW? I have no idea. That’s the part that keeps me moving forward- life is wide open with possibility again.

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Vicente Garcia June 5, 2012 at 6:56 am

Wonderful.

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Kim June 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Thank you Vicente.

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michelle maitland October 25, 2013 at 3:03 am

Wow what an amazing post i’m inspired.

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Kim November 9, 2013 at 7:54 am

Thanks Michelle.

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Trine-Marie May 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Reading about your journey really makes me want to start one of my own. You’re a very inspiring writer :)
Trine-Marie recently posted..Things Not To Leave In Your Hot Car This Summer

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Kim May 7, 2014 at 6:38 am

Thank you. My goal is to inspire others to live their biggest dreams.

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wilson June 3, 2014 at 7:43 am

Every time I read this post, it feels like my life has been resuscitated.

Thank you

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Kim June 4, 2014 at 6:45 am

Now THAT is a compliment. Thank you.

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