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big dreams + little me

August 23, 2010

After my incessant scurrying over the past week and a half, today was the first day that this new phase in my life actually felt real.

I set my alarm for 7:00 am as usual, determined to keep on a normal sleeping schedule even on my days off. (Though I can’t lie, after the exhausting flurry of the past days, I sleepily turned my alarm off and slept till almost 9:00 am. Scandal.) I woke up and felt a little lost for a few minutes. It was Monday morning and I didn’t have anywhere to be.

I made coffee and toast and spent a few hours scribbling things off my huge “To Do” list, tackling lots of household things I haven’t made time to do in the past. I’ve been scrubbing and dusting, unclogging drains, reorganizing my bookshelves, making bags to take to Goodwill, cleaning out drawers and piles of papers, and just generally zipping around in a caffeine-fueled fog.

To be honest, I’ve been almost afraid to sit down and affirm and confront where I am in my life, mostly because it is a place of such equal excitement and anxiety that I have a hard time finding a balance when both are pressing into me so furiously. It feels overwhelming to know that this is my life, simply because I have chosen it to be. I could still be at my former job, lost in an undirected haze, accepting the mediocre because it comes paired with a sense of security.

But as Annie Dillard once wrote, “How we spent our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Even though sometimes I question my own sanity at quitting a stable job in an unstable economy to follow a dream, I know that security wasn’t enough of a bargain to continue lying to myself, spending my days contrary to what I deeply craved for my life: fullness, flavor, a rounded quality that allows me space to bend and dance and know.

Some days, my dreams are so much bigger than I am that it scares me. I read the words and recipes of those I admire, like David Lebovitz and Molly Wizenberg, and I think, “That couldn’t possibly be me.” In those moments of sometimes paralyzing doubt, I recall one important thing: at one point in each of their lives, both of them once sat somewhere, flipping through cookbooks, feeling their hearts strain within them, and thought, “That could never be me.”

Maybe, just maybe…
…it just could be me.

What is a dream that you look towards and who do you admire who has accomplished a similar dream?

[photo credit here]

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Grandma permalink
    August 24, 2010 9:27 am

    Caroline…Twice in my life I went from couple-hood to single-hood. My comfort zone during those times was to focus ahead to finding companionship and to get back into the mainstream of a useful and socially fulfilling life. With patience (I’m not good at this!) and God’s timing it happened…first Paul came and then, the second time, my lady friends who now share their lovely lives with me. I am among all women most blessed. PS I must also have my family take a bow…so faithful through it all!!

  2. Kirsten permalink
    August 24, 2010 3:47 pm

    I really like this Caroline. I am so glad you’re following your dreams, gives the rest of us hope!

  3. August 24, 2010 6:54 pm

    Oh, I love that Annie Dillard quote! Almost a year ago I realized I could stay at my job and be unfulfilled or I could take a leap of faith. So I decided I would move to Nashville when my lease ended this past May. I looked for a job but knew there was a possibility I would move without having something concrete lined up. God totally showed up- 4 days before I moved I was offered my dream job! Taking a leap, following dreams…totally worth it.

  4. Caroline permalink*
    August 26, 2010 10:34 am

    @ Grandma!

    Now I know where I get my fortitude from. šŸ™‚

  5. Caroline permalink*
    August 26, 2010 10:35 am

    @ Kirsten!

    Thanks! Many days, I think I’m crazy, but in the end, I think we all need to be a little crazy. Hope you’re doing well!

  6. Caroline permalink*
    August 26, 2010 10:36 am

    @ Leigh!

    Wow, what a story! Just goes to show that God always shows up when He promises He will. It’s not always in the way we expected or wanted, but it’s always in the way that is best. Congratulations on your leap! That’s so exciting! šŸ™‚

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