and ramblings on everything in between
A few weeks ago I posted an article by Claire Diaz-Ortiz on LinkedIn titled Why You Need a Dream Board. In it, she encourages readers to use their dream board as inspiration for where they want to end up, instead of establishing small goals or steps to achieve. I’ve been involved with a personal branding initiative at work for the past few months so my thoughts have been revolving around what my brand is and what my career goals are. It has been hard to place my finger on where exactly I want to go so I thought a dream board might help me to see the bigger picture.
Unlike the author, I never back down from a crafty project that involves glue, so I decided to take the board part literally.
My dad recently tore down a shed on my parent’s property and he piled the old boards in the barn. I rummaged through them to find the perfect one. And then I set to dreaming.
50 by 40
I’ve traveled to 38 of the 50 states so far. My love for exploring the continental 48 started with a train ride from Burlington, Iowa to Winter Park, Colorado my sophomore year of high school. Since that day, it has taken me all along the East Coast, to almost every state east of the Mississippi River, and to all of the southwest states. At 29, I’ve decided to give myself 11 more years to see the remaining 12.
Hike (part of) the AT
My interest in the Appalachian Trial began after reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I don’t dream of hiking the whole thing, but I do dream about hiking a section of it. When I worked at a summer camp in Maine a handful of summers ago, we traveled to Rangeley for a hike and crossed the AT along the way. I hopped out, hiked a bit of it on a rainy day, and then snagged a pet rock (which is probably illegal) to remind myself to go back and visit it one day.
Pour Kindness on the World
As part of the branding initiative at work, we were asked how we think others perceive us. The one word I hope people associate with my name is kindness. I hope I am able to leave a trail of kindness behind me wherever I go. I hope it waters seeds of inspiration and cleanses wounds and breaks down barriers.
Write with Abandon
Wherever life takes me, I want my words to capture it. I want stories and ideas and characters to flow from my fingertips from the moment the sun rises to the moment it sets. I want to write about each time one of these dreams becomes a reality. I added a quote about writing to this tag because it is oh, so true. When Ernest Hemingway was asked how to write a novel, he replied, “First, you defrost the fridge.” If you’re a writer, you’ll chuckle because you know exactly what he’s talking about.
Remain Debt Free
I posted last week about debt-free living. I know it won’t be easy and I sometimes cringe at the long road before me, but it’s my dream to live this out so I can show others that it is possible. A consumer, I am not. A saver, I am.
Stick to My Roots
I snapped this picture the last time I was at my parent’s house. My sister is holding her child in my parent’s backyard. I’ve never seen the corn so tall and I asked them to stand by it as a point of reference so we can remember how tall it got this year. But once I really looked at the photo, I realized that I had captured so much more than a few extremely tall stalks of corn. This picture represents my roots, my family, my home. I hope to never stray too far from where I started.
Go on a Mission Trip
Many years ago, I added this to my bucket list: Repay God for all He has given me. I was 16 or 17 at the time and didn’t really understand that 1) that is impossible and 2) He doesn’t keep tabs. But now that I’m more secure in my faith, I know that I can begin to touch the tip of that iceberg by helping others to see and experience His love. My church sponsors mission trips to West Africa and I often think of going. Missions are on my heart but I haven’t felt called to go yet. Maybe it will be to Asia instead of Africa. Or maybe just Missouri. Either way, I’m ready whenever the answer is, “Go.”
And when I was finished, I stepped back and saw that the board has nothing at all to do with my career. And that fact doesn’t surprise me.
At the end of the day, I want to be and experience and do. Yes, a career will help me to achieve some of these dreams, but regardless of where my career ends up, these things are inside of me just as oxygen and blood and chromosomes are inside of me. They are essential for me to live and truly experience life, and they are worth more than gold.