Last month we moved into a new apartment and I carved out a day to bring my “daydreaming room” to life.
I’ve always wanted a home library or reading room of sorts – a space in the house with a comfy chair by a window to sit and read or write or just be. I asked myself, “Why wait until we have a house or more room? I’ll make better use of our rarely used guest bedroom and turn it into a reading/writing/daydreaming room.”
So, I situated my grandma’s blue tufted rocker by the window, hung curtains and some happy wall art and there you have it. Daydreaming room complete!
This room got me thinking about the importance of daydreaming and having a space to bring your creative ideas to life and people to share them with.
I recently had lunch with my boss and we talked about books we’ve got our noses in. We swapped reading lists and talked a bit about writing and blogging, both of which I enjoy and am passionate about. After our conversation, I thought about how we (the general public) don’t share our dreams and passions with each other near enough.
Saying a dream out loud or sharing your vision with someone else is scary. It makes us feel vulnerable and subjects our ideas to criticism or skepticism, or even scarier, makes them real. When you share your dreams with someone, that person may even hold you accountable and follow up with a, “Hey, how’s that [insert dream] going? Have you made any progress lately?” This question can incite a big nervous gulp from you if you haven’t taken any steps toward achieving your dream. You may even feel silly or foolish for having mentioned it to them in the first place.
I’ll sometimes have thoughts bob around in my head like, “Wouldn’t it be fun and fulfilling to write a book someday? Or be a travel or freelance writer? Or pursue a sport that I’m good at that I currently just play for fun?” I’ll even go as far as jotting down these thoughts, but then I’ll close my journal and they never see the light of day again.
To combat this, I’m sharing some things that I’ve done that might help and inspire you to pursue your dreams more aggressively:
- Befriend a good listener who encourages you to dream. One of my best friends is an amazing listener and I frequently share my thoughts and dreams with her. I recall one weekend last summer when we went to an ice cream shop and sat outside on the curb in the parking lot, ate our ice cream and talked about dreams of becoming published authors and how fun it’d be to write a children’s book. That conversation was so life-giving and inspiring to me. Find someone who spurs you on in your dreams, no matter how wild they may seem.
- Keep a journal or notebook on you at all times or even a note in your phone to collect your brilliant ideas, fleeting thoughts, hefty goals or a quote you stumbled upon that’s too good not to keep for future inspiration. Keeping a journal or a daily planner with lots of white space is a great way to invite creativity into your day, even if it’s just taking a couple minutes to doodle or jot down a random thought.
- Create, don’t imitate. I read an article by The Minimalists that said basically this: “We’re so caught up in our consumeristic mindset we forget our inherent need to create.” For me, this means if I’m scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest in search of a creative spark (home design, recipes, crafts) I might never create something authentic because I will be imitating someone else’s idea of beauty. The same good-listener-ice-cream-eater friend who encourages me to dream big once told me that a musician she listens to once said in an interview that when he’s working on a new album he won’t listen to other music because he’ll subconsciously imitate that person’s sound rather than creating something all his own. So, what ways can I (you, we) hone our craft(s) and contribute our gifts to the world? Maybe it means abstaining from social media for a bit so that you won’t compare your creativity to someone else’s. Yes, social media and Pinterest are fantastic starting points to get inspired, but they should not be the standard to which we create. Don’t copy and paste. Remember, create, don’t imitate. This is what I’m preaching to myself.
On the show Parks and Rec, I remember an episode where Jerry told Tom, “Weekends are for dreaming.” I’ve never forgotten that quote and it actually makes me kind of sad. Although it was meant to be funny, how true is that in our lives? We “live for the weekend” and reserve a mere two days out of the entire week to pursue our hobbies that bring us joy we should be experiencing the other five days of the week as well. I don’t want to live this way. Let’s not limit our dreams to where they only come out to play on the weekends. Don’t be like Jerry.
So, 1) Share your dream with someone today, 2) Write it down, and 3) Take the first step to bring it to life and make it your own. Consider this permission to dream big!
Above all else, remember “Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say.” – Brenda Ueland