The past few months, I lost a piece of myself.
Not in a huge way. Not in a life-stopping way. Not in a “I’m a shell of a human way.”
In a way I thought was actually positive. In a way that, in some ways, was.
Before moving to Boston I was a dreamer. I dreamed of my own businesses and books and podcasts and speaking engagements and events and insert any other thing you can think of here.
NYC was it. Boston was it. Fame was it. My dreams were it.
Moving taught me something different.
Moving taught me that sometimes the greatest dreams were the ones you had already achieved. It taught me that the grass isn’t always greener and that sometimes what you always had was what you had always needed.
It taught me that big dreams are great — important — but big dreams need to be rooted in the right reasons.
Why do you want something?
Sometimes the answer to this question isn’t what they say it should be. Sometimes it is about money, fame, looks, “likes,” or recognition — and sometimes that’s okay.
But sometimes these reasons won’t bring you the real thing you’re searching for, which, I’m assuming, is something along the lines of meaning, fulfillment, love, and belonging.
Having come to learn the lesson of reasoning behind dreams and gratitude upon my move, I found out some pretty tough stuff about myself.
I had wanted my dreams to come to fruition for the following (and I do not exaggerate): an Instagram bio, a pant size, a photo with a cute-ass caption, an interview at a conference where everyone knew my name.
I didn’t want it for the east coast shoreline, the adrenaline of working in a fast-paced environment, the lesson that it doesn’t matter what you look like in order to make it — I didn’t want it to give back to my friends, my family — people I had yet to meet.
And this was tough to face.
I didn’t like myself for this. I tried to change this. I thought long and hard about this.
And along this journey, I decided that none of it was for me.
I decided that I didn’t care where I lived, what my title was, if I ever wrote again. I decided that the entrepreneurial lifestyle wasn’t for me — that it was too hard, brought up too many sources of temptation for the life I needed to live.
Because I couldn’t be around it if it brought out the worst motives in me.
But that’s not true.
Because you see when I said goodbye to the need for good looks and good fortune, I also turned my back on a large part of what makes me, me.
My creativity. My ability to be inspired. My love for encouraging others.
I’m a dreamer.
And I always will be.
Being a dreamer yet still being grateful can be the same thing.
I lost some of myself for awhile. I lost my ability to write — my ability to think big. I forgot what dreaming was. And I see now that I needed to lose it in order to find it again. I needed to realize that the power of my own entrepreneurial (insane) spirit could become a negative thing for me if I didn’t learn the importance of staying grounded.
I forgot what dreaming was, so that I could learn it all over again.
So that it could live in my life, without becoming my life.
So what is it?
It’s not suffocating myself as I push my creativity to the background. It’s not needing to change the world. It’s not needing the perfect apartment or clothes. It’s not needing the Instagram following.
It’s being creative. It’s acting on inspiration. It’s wanting to change or help just one person. It’s letting it go if you have a day, week — month with no progress or no desire to create. It’s quitting a project and starting back up again.
It’s being alive.
It’s balance between dreaming and living. Between looking ahead, in the now, and, only with gratitude, back.
It’s living life how you want to live it, simply because you can.
Simply because that’s the way it was meant to be lived.