Living the dream
…is a scary thing. The Dream, the thing you strive for. That you daydream about while making $10.50 an hour at your retail job. Something you tell people you’ll do–someday.
SOMEDAY IS NOW. SOMEDAY IS TODAY. TOMORROW. YESTERDAY, EVEN.
That’s the thing about The Dream. You’re not sure how it happened. The circumstances don’t play out how you thought they would. It doesn’t look or even feel like you thought it would. And if you’re lucky, you realize you’re living The Dream before you fall into the grind of day-by-day living. The thief that transforms The Dream into mediocrity.
Ten days into my move to New York City, I realized I was doing what I’d wanted since I was a teen. It was a move I’d been trying to make since 18. First for college. Then after grad school. Then after failing at making a home in Dallas. It was the goal of living in New York City. I was living The Dream.
I ask myself, why am I here? I keep that in mind when I have the ‘why we moved’ conversation with the friend who agreed to house me for the next couple of months. Availability is my one-word answer. It means being able to do the things I couldn’t growing up in Oklahoma City. Availability means I’m living the dream. Availability is the name of the game for me.
I gotta add a hefty dose of hustle to that game, too. Nothing happens without action. Realizing that makes me worry–a lot. Almost to the point of inaction because I’m so consumed with wanting to follow the best path. I don’t want the slight twinge of career ADD to get me off track. One day I want to be a reclusive writer. A flamboyant makeup artist the next. Then a charming marketing dynamo two days after that. What do I choose to do instead? Stress and cry on my friend’s couch until 1:30 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon clutching her small dog for emotional support.
The optimistic teenager in me wants to give myself the fair chance to live the life I’ve always wanted. Which means feeling chic and cosmopolitan and interesting and throwing my head back in laughter at a fantastic joke told a fantastic friend in a fantastic group of mixed company at a fantastic dinner party hosted in my–you guessed it–fantastic Manhattan loft. She wants me to sit at the top of my industry, respected for my intellectual capacity and my creative musings. And she expects me to flourish in all aspects of my life. Even flourishing in the life it seems I’ve hastily left behind in Oklahoma City. The availability to flourish means I’m living The Dream. There’s that word again: availability.
So I tell myself, this is living The Dream, man. I’ve made it farther than I ever thought I would in this journey. The Dream unfolds itself in real time, piece by piece. And it’s up to me to see the vision and run with it.