Today I’m thinking about what it means to follow a dream. The main reason it’s on my mind is because I just went to a memorial service for a friend of mine who did just that, she followed her dream to live in Hawaii and work and surf.
It wasn’t easy for her to decide to follow that dream. We talked about it a lot before she took any action. She was scared. It was a big move, both physically and mentally. She’d be leaving the only place she’d ever lived, her family and friends.
So we talked about taking risks in life. We talked about why we do anything in this life. We talked about how you can try something and if you don’t like it you can always try something else. We talked about facing fear and how often fear and excitement can feel so much the same. In the end we talked about whether or not she really had anything to lose in just giving her dream a try. I encouraged her to follow her heart.
She put in for a transfer at her job. When it came through she made the move.
It wasn’t glorious. It was hard. She missed her family and her friends. We talked. I encouraged her to give it some time. To give herself and the new place a chance. Then something truly awful happened. She was involved in a horrible auto accident wherein someone died. The few friends she had made there rallied around to support her through it all. Those of us here pooled our funds and sent her best friend there to stay with her through some of it. She dug deep and continued on, with love and support and hope.
She would visit and say she wanted to come home. We would talk about that, about how she could make that choice any moment she wanted. But she’d always return to Hawaii.
I knew she had committed to her dream when she finally started surfing again. It took a couple of years. But she finally got herself into that beautiful water that soothed her soul and connected her to her deepest spiritual self. That’s when it all started to turn around, when she finally submerged herself into her dream. She started to allow herself to be a part of her life there with the friends who were becoming a new branch of family.
We talked less and less as time went by but whenever she would visit I would see her. She was tan and strong with an ocean of joy in her smile. She still missed home and home missed her too. She might have eventually come back here but not because her dream failed. If she had come back it would have been because it was time for a new dream.
My friend had a life long illness that very unexpectedly took her life. As much as that breaks my heart I find deep comfort in the truth of her courage to follow that dream even in the face of fear and extreme hardship.
I also find myself quite humbled by it. How dare I stand here neglecting my own dreams? How dare I encourage someone else to face fear when I am so often paralyzed by my own? Well I dare because it’s much easier to see someone else’s potential for joy and success than it is to see my own.
But today I am faced with my own words about fear, about excitement, about choices and dreams and I wonder what on earth do I have to lose?
Because the truth is it is time to submerge myself into the deep waters of my dreams, time to accept the challenge of hope, it is time to take action and be my best creative self.