All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.T. E. Lawrence
I’ve seen a lot of reflective blog entries in the last week-and let’s be honest, we all know I’m a sucker for those. Even though I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions for a myriad of reasons, I do love the art of reflection and inspiration. Always, inspiration.
Today, though the whole world outside is frigid, grey and uninspiring, I still feel a bit of excitement stirring. It is warm inside and we had chili and biscuits for dinner. So is it actually excitement or is a little bit of something else?
Ahem, all that nonsense aside, I am thinking of my friend Alicia. Tomorrow-when I am scraping the thick layers of ice off my car at 6:30 a.m. to go make coffee for the world, I imagine she will be waking slowly with a smile on her face. It is the first day of her new job.
To give you a bit of a back story, Alicia is a fellow book lover and laughs more than almost anyone else I know. She is delightful and I first met her at our local Starbucks where she served me lattes for months and then taught me to make lattes to serve to others. We started hanging out socially over a year ago when I joined the book club she started.
Her last day at Starbucks was last Saturday-she left the coffee industry to pursue her career in writing, a long-time, much-cherished dream.
She has a young daughter and you can imagine the varied responses coming her way. Everyone has an opinion.
As for me? I love what she’s doing. Because, the reality is, every single day is a chance to be courageous, to choose to be our bigger, truest selves, to love until it hurts and to take a few risks along the way.
We all have that choice and she’s actually doing something about it.
I’ll close with a letter I’ve enclosed in her going-away box.
So here we are, at this-the precipice of your looming journey. I feel my heart pounding and my palms getting sweaty, as if I was joining you on this pending adventure. But we both know this is a road you will travel alone, so I'll stay put on the sidelines and cheer for you with all my might.
I've created a bit of a care package for you-I know expeditions such as this require some fortifications.
First, we have the books. As I mentioned, Wild wasn't my very favorite read, but as I was thinking about your year, I felt it was perfectly fitting.
For you see, Wild is about Cheryl's 100-day hike up the west coast.
In many ways I think your journeys will parallel. You will face mountains and valleys; long lonely days and wildly wonderful unexpecteds. I imagine you will have weeks when you ask yourself why you started along this path in the first place and long nights when all seems bleak and lost. But you will also find beauty in unforeseen spaces and discover more than you ever imagined. This I know will be true.
The rest of the package is rather self-explanatory.
And now, as for this Thing you are setting out to do. There is nothing like looking at The Seemingly impossible Task and then doing it.
That is exactly the point at which we find you, and I know you will do it well.
You are strong, you are brave. You are talented, and I fully expect to spend the rest of our lives seeing your name all over the place in shiny and interesting letters.
Alicia Elliott-you even sound like an author.
Gurrrrrrl, you’ve got it in you.
I can't wait.
But enough of these rambles, now is your time to go out there and (to quote our dear Cheryl Strayed) write like a motherf****er.
May you laugh much along the way.