This is for the ones who were always told to color inside the lines.
This is for the ones who were told to be normal.
This is for the ones who were told to stay practical and get 9-5 real jobs—the ones provided with pensions and 401Ks and security.
This is for the ones who never even started trying because they were too busy people pleasing, settling for classic primary colors instead of living a life sparkling with gold and silver.
This is for the ones who used to believe. This is for the ones who were told to stop.
You talk about your lives like it’s a chore. You put your dreams on hold, wishing for that “one-day” when that “one-day” could be today. You have coffee shop conversations speaking of wondrous visions. With faces lit and eyes glowing, you spit out things you are passionate about, what you wish you could achieve, and how impactful you want to be in this life. And then somewhere along the way, the energy drops, your face becomes deflated, and the conversation turns into an excuse giving session loaded with “I can’t” and words like “settling” and “comfort”.
I get it.
Life has a way of keeping us from dreaming. And then soon enough, we ignore the dreaming and surrender to the mundane. We choose obligation and comfort over growth. We think whatever crazy things we want to do with our lives are “impossible” so the idea of doing something wider by chasing that dream or pursuing that passion just seems so far out of reach. Or maybe, it isn’t even life holding you back from what you’re capable of. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s the fears and the deceptions hissing into your ears, “this is it; there’s nothing more for you.”
I remember being there.
Feeling stuck. Making excuses. Believing lies. Like, I wasn’t good or valuable enough, and didn’t have much to offer this world. Like, there are far more people out there on this Earth that were better, stronger, and smarter; they were more adequate than me. I was crippled with fear. Hiding. Not giving myself permission to dream because it was all too impractical.
But then someone asked me these very questions: What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered when you die? Maybe it’s a tad bit morbid but these questions really make you think about how you want to live your life. I still ask myself these questions routinely, and these questions are for you too.
Do yourself and the world a favor; chase your dreams.
Do it now. Don’t wait because trust me when I say that perfect timing and circumstances are merely myths and added excuses to keep you from taking any form of action.
It’s hard. It’s work. It ain’t sweet and easy, like a slice of pie. It’s not an overnight process. You don’t go to bed one night and wake up the next morning running a multi-billion dollar company. But knowing you are working towards something larger than yourself will give you fullness and contentment, as you take baby steps towards building an empire and a purposed life that you can be proud of living.
The reality is:
There will be darkness.
There will be loneliness
There will be failure.
STAY IN THE CLOUDS.
There will always be someone that will tell you to get down from the clouds; that you’ve been floating up there for far too long and it’s time quit. They will try to rain on your parade with criticism and judgment, gossiping and whispering with mockery and disdain, attempting to convince you that you are not the one percent that will make it. Don’t listen to the voices. Don’t listen to the demons. Don’t listen to the lies that tell you that you can’t, because once you start to, it will ruin you.
Find people willing to walk through every stage with you—people who will celebrate the tiniest victories with gigantic parties, but will also bring the family size bag of Hot Cheetos, a gallon of mint chocolate ice cream, along with a couple bottles of your favorite red wine when things crash to the ground at one in the morning.
Sit there for a little bit to catch your breath, but don’t stay on the ground for too long. Find little pockets of fresh air and strength. Laugh within the storm, and even when you’re rolling through the mud. Declare new days and beautiful days, and then climb back into the clouds. The sky will eventually clear and the rainbows will come.
Your purpose does not need validation, and neither do your dreams.
Be relentless. Walk with purpose. Don’t let your ambitions, your desires, and your calling be buried into the grave.
Look around. This world moves us; it transforms us and inspires us to live in outrageous ways. It molds us to be anomalies, but it also takes bravery to believe in those things. You were created to be a world changer and universe shaker. You were purposely placed here to do great things. You are not too old, too young, too early, too late, or too sick.
If your dreams are easily attainable, they are not dreams. They are goals.
If your dreams don’t scare or overwhelm you, they’re not big enough.
Your path to your dreams will be different than someone else’s.
Maybe it all won’t be as successful as you hope. Maybe it won’t even turn out the way you imagine. Along the way, your dreams may change or evolve and that is okay too. And sometimes, you’ll need to let go and allow certain dreams to die so that the Universe can breathe new ones into your body. The point is to get started and take steps (even baby ones) towards the dreams because doing so will make you feel so, so alive.
Juliann Cheryl is a LA-based photographer – content creator and music manager. As a lover of words, she also has her own blog #WordsByJules. Feel free to visit her website and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.