I have big dreams. I want to travel the world on my lottery winnings (that I have not won yet). I want to write a book. I want publish a photo for National Geographic. I want to always have gorgeous hair. (Winning the lottery may actually have higher odds than consistently gorgeous hair though.)
However, before all these dreams can happen, life moves on. Bills roll in and therefore I work-two jobs at that. Now balance those two jobs with an occasional photography assignment, a child preparing for college, another child in college, a wonderful new relationship, settling into a new home, and a list of ever-increasing demands, I can get a little busy.
Busy is the killer of dreams. And frankly, I don’t have any more time to wait. So if I want my dreams to happen, it is up to me. Granted, I need to be realistic.
My world travel plan has not yet happened since the winning lottery numbers continue to elude me. And more often than not, the buying of the lottery ticket eludes me too. In lieu of this downfall of money, I just travel on a budget. I utilize special offers, Groupons, and the like. I almost never go anywhere or do anything at full price. And when my military assignments have me hit the road, I explore. They may not send me to Paris or Sweden, but I have seen spectacular local sights I may not have otherwise found. And if you count deploying three times…well, I have traveled parts of the world indeed.
My book writing career is very stifled as well. However, I am doing more writing now than I have in decades. I blog articles, poems, fiction and random ramblings. My Army Reserve job required me to write articles a few years ago, and now that I am done with my command job, my new assignment will allow me to write again too. I am also working as an editor in my civilian job. Granted, I edit military manuals. So unless you are interested in mobile gun systems or parachuting, it may not be page-turning suspense. Nonetheless, all of these things are helping me become a better writer, or at least I like to tell myself that.
I am also reading more. (Fun books that is, not just technical manuals.) I have a list of books that I want to read and I am actually working through it, and not just saying one day…
I find that the more I read, the more I want to write. I love the way words offer images, show emotion and call me to action. I am inspired how some authors craft their stories with such elegance. I don’t know if I will ever reach such level of mastery at this point in life, but that will not keep me from trying. Either way, every step I take now is a step closer to the writing I put off year after year.
Odd fact. When I was young, I dreamt of being a writer. I even have stories and poems I wrote in elementary school still. (Maybe I will share a few of those one day.) Not once did I ever think about photography though. That dream didn’t surface until I joined the Army Reserve at 29 years of age.
It was then I learned my pictures could be stories in themselves. My pictures were like a canvas (only better since I suck at painting). I also learned that I was pretty good at it. Of course, there are some really amazing photographers out there. I would not say I am amazing per say, but…I do get paid to take a picture from time to time and had some pictures published. So, I guess I am doing pretty good for someone who didn’t start until they were 29 and really isn’t that technical. Considering these facts, I am realistic about my National Geographic dream. To come close to that dream, I need to work. I need to take my fortunate gift of a good eye, and expand that with technical skills. I have to push myself to learn more whiz-bang, geek-speak stuff. I should understand bracketing and slow exposures. I need to try to master the use of a flash. (I hate flash photography since it vexes me.)
Techical aspects are hard for me though. I don’t like them. I am not a technical person. But…I am trying. What is refreshing is that what I am learning is slowly paying off. I can see my photographs evolve. I am slowing down to work on quality photos rather than quantity. (OK, I still take a crap ton of photos when I go out, but I am getting better quality each month. In my defense though, when the Army sends us out to document events, we shoot like crazy. Every element, face and task…) So before National Geographic gives me a shout out, I will prepare through my photography blog, taking classes and picking up my camera to experiment whenever I can.
I guess the point of my rambling is that my dreams won’t happen if I don’t take steps towards them. Albeit they may be baby steps, but that is ok because if I don’t reach dream-level success, I will still be happy. I can’t help but be happy as I look around at my life. There are so many changes for the better now. I am actually doing things I put off time and time again. I am embracing the little moments I get and taking all I can from them to get a bit closer to my ultimate goals.
Oh but wait. I forgot my gorgeous hair goal….hhhmm. My baby steps for that dream is to regularly brush it, wash it, cut it …and well, drink some wine while reading a book. I figure, if I drink more wine, I will eventually believe my hair really is quite gorgeously styled after all. And, if it is not…I will just go back to reading.