It was around 7 years ago when I decided to follow my dreams.  I remember the day I drove the winding drive into the Milton campus at the University of Florida.  I was there to meet my new professor and discuss a degree in Horticulture.

I was then a student at UWF and could have graduated with my bachelor’s degree in English in just a year and half later.  Making the choice to change majors resulted in 3 more years of school.

Another less known gamble I made back then was my choice in employment.  I had interviewed with Home Depot, but had not heard anything for a couple of months.  However, since then I had been told it was a “possibility” that there would be a job opening in the horticulture department working in the greenhouse, but I had no exact date.  Then one day the phone rang.  It was Home Depot.  They wanted to hire me.  I held my breath and turned them down.  I really needed a job.  I thought I had lost my mind.  A couple of months later I was hired as a research assistant at UF.

Next month it will be 2 years since I decided to pursue my dreams.  I had already laid out a pathway for my dreams to go, but now it was time to chase them.  This part of the process is full of excitement.  There is fear involved, but the thrill of holding your first set of business cards is hard to beat.  It’s basically a time to become fully equipped with the tools you will need to make your dreams a reality.

That brings us to the present day.  Where am I in the pursuit of my dreams now?  Running…trying to catch up to them.  This would be the part of the process known as the struggle.  Where things get serious.  You learn exactly just how much you want your dreams.  What are you willing to give up?  You’re deep in the thick of the battle covered in mud head to toe praying you will be able to push on through.

When we are children and are encouraged to follow our dreams this part of it is usually left out.  This gives us the impression we should get a gold star right off the back for even choosing to live our dreams, but unfortunately the world does not always care what you are trying to achieve.  You have to keep constantly reminding yourself why you set out on this journey in the first place.  Some days you are way up and then others you are down.

During this time I have sought out stories of those whose lives have inspired me.  People who found a way to live their dreams.  I read Julia Child’s story “My Life in France” written by her nephew.  There was nearly a decade of time that went by before her cookbook was published.  She doubts herself numerous times.  When I start to lose faith I watch the movie “Julie & Julia” and cry many tears at the end when her finished book arrives in the mail.

Today I was told once again that I am a great writer.  I am often told by my clients that my garden counseling has helped them be better gardeners.  However, I have never been published.  My garden counseling is not yet paying the bills.  I would like to think that someday this will just be a chapter in the book of my life.  I work hard to make sure that the story doesn’t suddenly end with a blank page meaning that the fear was too great and I gave up.

As you can see there is a lot that goes into this dreams business.  I just hope that I can finally grab hold of them and walk with them, side by side together.  Stay tuned….

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