Tag Archives: confessions of a dreamer

The Only Thing We Can Do

I can buy myself a reminder for one easy payment of 24.95 and nail it into the wall above your fireplace, if I want to.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll look at it each morning between a bowl of Cheerios and watering the plant on my deck. It doesn’t mean I’ll go to sleep at night repeating it like a mantra that deserves its own spot in my busy brain.

I wish it did. I so so wish it did.

The wall above my fireplace is not tacked with a sticky note the size of my palm. It’s housing a framed quote that I found waltzing through Home Goods the week before graduating college.

“Do what you love,” it says.

And let me just preface this by telling you I am the world’s most money-conscious twenty-two year old. I knew, in my heart, that this was the one phrase I’d need to see myself through this big change. And I knew it was well worth the 24.95.

I just didn’t know if I should have needed a reminder.

At the time, it felt like I had been doing what I loved for so long. Years of it.

Swinging bats and chewing Bubble Yum against my mother’s wishes. Climbing rocks in torrential downpours and traipsing through the laundry room covered in slimy mud and bits of rock. Yanking pieces of my skin off after hours of chalk and leather grips made my wrists smell bad enough to make me gag. Spiking my calves while stretching after a track race.

And maybe you’d be right to say none of that sounds particularly fun. It doesn’t. It sounds like it hurts. But that’s what I’ve learned about doing what you love.

We don’t do it because it’s beautiful and effortless. We don’t do it because someone else approves.

It feels right. Deep down inside.

It feels like the only thing we can do.

So yes, there are days I wake up tired and wonder why I ever hit the sheets. There are nights I forget to slide under the covers until much later. There are moments, like yesterday evening, where I sit in my walk-in closet and wonder if all of this gets easier, if life gets easier, if there was just one change that didn’t have to be.

There isn’t.

If no one ever reads my story or my food blog or this blog or the Facebook status update I typed for work, it will still matter.

You do what you love because life is too long to feel like you haven’t done anything of value. Life is too long to feel like you wasted it on someone else’s dreams.

And it’s too short to forget that even if you’ve no idea where you’re headed, even if you need a framed quote hanging above the fireplace you’ve yet to use, you are doing something that matters.

Advertisements

We’re working toward meeting all the selfless souls stringing the streets of Manhattan with dreams.

Next time you tell me how to change the world, I’m going to stop you mid-sentence and ask you to go on a smoothie date.

Don’t get all frazzled by that invitation. Don’t dip your fingers into the sweet blended berries and smear it down my shirt like a reinvented version of Ann Hathaway’s “Princess Diaries” soft serve stunt.

Just hear me out, you wild world shaker. Because I am making friends in all kinds of places.

In Starbucks in downtown D.C. and in circled chairs in city churches. In front of Papa Johns pizza boxes and through computer screens in lonely hotel rooms.

And that is just this week, my friends. That is just the last six days of squeezing my smile into new conversations and shaking hands and learning names.

So when I propose a smoothie date mid-sentence, don’t you get offended. I’m just learning from the best and brightest.

On Tuesday night, amongst my pillows labeled with satin sashes for soft and firm, I hugged my Macbook Pro and livestreamed something spectacular – the Voice Your Verse poetry fundraising night.

I watched poets and world-shakers and change-makers and word-huggers all over New York City and beyond come together to honor She’s The First’s anthology to sponsor girls’ education in the developing world.

Mostly, though, I learned that there ain’t nothing wrong with meeting for smoothies and getting brain freezes amidst small wooden tables not nearly large enough to put our Big Ideas into perspective.

I learned that people you’ve never met in person can make you laugh so loud you worry your neighbors, the ones you’ll never share sugar with, are going to complain to the front desk.

I learned that when you’re freefalling toward failure, the first thing you need is a cold drink with someone who knows that side of the sidewalk so well from dwelling there long before you even knew what it meant. Long before you even knew to be scared.

And I am thanking this world for a woman I hope to someday shake hands with in front of a strawberry banana or a triple berry concoction. Someday swap stories of almosts and good enoughs and not have to count how many times we face-planted on pavement on the way to Something More. Someone Bigger. Someone Better.

I learned that we’re working toward meeting all the beautiful, selfless souls stringing the streets of Manhattan with dreams.

We’re holing up inside our houses clacking on keyboards to make connections that might last. Connections that might turn into smoothies and Starbucks and sweets baked together, shared in front of our own ovens. Late nights around a dimly lit kitchen table.

We are looking for someone who will not punch us in the face for asking for something as small as a smoothie date. Or a Starbucks run. Or a slice of pizza.

I hope we find each other. Somewhere out there. I hope we do.

You need to know about these ladies. Truly, ya do.

Hannah Johnson of The Scribbles of Girltaristhan nominated me for a blog award. I’m not a huge blog award person. I prefer to write my posts and scribble my little diary-like entries in the folds of notebook pages and type them up for your reading pleasure, but since one) this is the second time I’ve won one and two) I really think Hannah’s awesome and three) I have a lovely lineup of ladies you need to start following, I’m going to partake.

The rules:

  1. In a post on your blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
  4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

My seven facts?

  1. I signed up for HowAboutWe.com last night after reading a tweet from @kirasabin about it. And now I’m addicted to looking at profiles of boys I’ll probably never actually consider dating.
  2. For all of you who don’t know me IRL, I’m only 4’11’’. Which is why I instantly loved @eddymusic.
  3. I am a Twitter converter machine. In short, I make my friends join. Beg them, really, by talking too much about people I’ve never seen face-to-face.
  4. I justify my crossword puzzle addiction by saying its brain-stimulating.
  5. My intense love for the NY Giants and ability to make hot wings will probably surprise you.
  6. My name is super Irish, but mostly, I’m Italian. Sadly, I’m only two weeks in to my Italian 101 course.
  7. I believe in the power of the Internet to connect with like-minded individuals whose hearts are wrapped up in the same loves and frustrations as mine. But you already knew that.

Without further ado, my fifteen fabulous bloggers:

Ashley from Writing To Reach You. She understands the concept of “writing to reach you,” and not “writing to tell you super lame stories that drag on forever and rehash all the boring details.”

Katie from Katie Blogs. She has infectious persistence in her work and personal life, and you cannot help but love her for that. She also runs Drop A Love Bomb, which is wicked awesome.

Chelsea from The Diary of a Love Virgin. Diary is the perfect word. Not only do I feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to read her posts, but each time I find myself nodding my head. “Yes, this is me. You understand me.”

Hannah from H. Pigeon. She’s an artist with a wonderful insight into life’s little unanswerable questions. She reminds me of myself, turning small personal moments into larger ideas.

Rachel from Encountering Love. She’ll make you feel like you’re sitting in an Adirondack chair on the beach, watching your kid splash ocean water in blue jeans and a white shirt. Sipping tea and having a conversation on a lazy Sunday.

J from Zebra Sounds. Her posts are deeply insightful and economical. They force you to wonder about where you lie on the spectrum of truth she seeks to understand every week.

Karen from Karen Hammons. She turns honest, personal moments into those worth exploring and sharing with the rest of us. And we are just grateful to listen and ponder with her.

Taylor from Confessions of a Dreamer. Between old stories of long ago memories and new recounts of fumbling through this messy life, Taylor does not pretend to tie everything into a bow. She simply seeks to be real and hopes God helps her find the way.

Julianne from Calling All Cool Moms. I cannot help but laugh out loud each time she retells a story about her adventures as a mom with a clever and witty son. She’s honest and refreshing and classy all at once.

Kerry from I’ve Got Roses. She does not hold herself back out of fear, but rather reminds us that knowing how we feel and being unapologetically honest about that is the only way to live in this life.

Mackenzie from Whatever, Gatsby. She is ridiculously cool and hip and super intelligent. Every post is short and sweet and packed with beautiful photos or hilarious stories.

Lauren from Life With Lauren. She keeps it real, relatable, and inspirational. And she’s blogging all over this world wide web about post-grad life.

Ashley from The Shine Project. She’s changing the world, one random (intentional?) act of kindness at a time. And it’s beautifully captured on her blog.

Justine from A New Beginning. Her own lists and life goals will inspire you to drum up a Future You to work towards. And her blog is absolutely beautiful.

Sarah from Starving Artist. When I read her bio, I knew we were secretly BFFs. She’s tumbling about Taylor swift, books, love letters, and activism, among another hundred inspirational and thought-provoking things.

I hope you all love these ladies’ blogs and find at least one that pulls you back to it again and again.

I’ll be back on Monday with my traditional posts, all metaphors and life questions and stories. I promise.