Exhibit 8 – Sugar Courage Dreams

shallow focus photography of cafe late
Photo by Kevin Menajang on Pexels.com

This is scary sh&#t!!

As I drink liquid sugar courage from my second caffeinated beverage from one of the sanctimonious buildings in Reno, I contemplate the very near future and all the unnerving change on the horizon.    On a precious coveted day off where I carve out an afternoon for myself with no obligations, I nurse an iced vanilla latte and write through my anxious and inspired feelings.   On any given free day off or weekend, I flock to this space of beauty near the tree-lined Truckee River and find solace in the expansive and airy brick coffee shop with bay windows to the showcase the outside world. I name it a sacred space as I frequent it with the faithfulness of a devout churchgoer.

It is the place where I witness the friendly ducks make skiddish landings on the olive green flowing water and watch the seasons change throughout the year.  The walkers and runners saunter and jog by encouraging me in my own pursuit of more health and fitness after prolonged periods of sitting that can’t be tolerated anymore.  The light and constant hum of people working on their projects and heartily chatting with friends around help me focus my own meandering thoughts.  The comfort of that fresh and distinct coffee bean scent excites my senses and spurs me on to keep writing on through the distance.

This inviting and homey space is where I get to the deeper layers of my life and pose and pen the deeper questions.

Today’s is: can I can really pull off this next dream??!?

I dare to answer the question and write through the fears, minimize the worries, make a realistic list of action steps, build excitement and try to ground myself in the storm of upcoming change.  I have voiced the reasoning for and anticipation of this dream on scores of journal pages while sipping buckets of lattes over time wondering if I have the gumption to actually do this?  To exit this all-too-comfortable existence in order to truly live?

The great shake-up is to leave a job I have mostly loved and at times loathed for more than a decade.  I’ve poured thousands of hours (most often volunteered) and dollars into making the experience as wonderful as I could for my young 5  year old students.  It has been a joy and was a dream come true right out of college teaching for a time in English and Spanish.  I struggled mightily in a self-imposed slavery of perfectionism and becoming a workaholic failing in finding an appropriate work-life balance.  As I’ve developed and listened to my inner voice over the last few years, I’ve discovered that this life work although rewarding is not my most fulfilling dream now.

I’m no stranger to knowing that dreams do come true as I married my best friend last summer in a wedding more beautiful than I could have imagined.   The journey I took in meeting him included a discovering myself and imagining the next adventure.  Thankfully, we are lucky enough to pursue this together!

I know the meaning of hard work as I’ve paid off debt and did what needed to be done to do it.  Figuring out the finances of a medium sized wedding and planning it with my then fiance from afar was no small task either. We both have sacrificed and dream big for the next chapters.  That is a beautiful Hallmark-movie type of thing to write and chat about excitedly to friends over a cocktail at a dinner party.  But, damn! Doing it is something else entirely.

Leaving a job of security and a source that helps pay our bills is not something to scoff at.  Of course the rules of adulting dictate that doing what needs to be done is non-negotiable.  This phenomena is nothing new and noteworthy.  We have to have a way to pay our way through these adventures.  Total responsibility would mean that one should save up enough money to the dime to leave a job and make the trip.  We’re going about it in more of a non-linear fashion! (Insert weighty deep breath here)  Finances were adjusted, we’re working hard until we go and we’re lining up what work we can do when we’re back home stateside after teaching for 3 months abroad.  We’ll go now to enjoy and do it while we can before life gets more complex with careers and family.

Talking a dream is one thing.

Actually DOING IT is quite another.

Upon viewing dream chasing from a different perspective, I realize that there are always more dreams on the horizon and figuring out how to realize them is a lifelong pursuit.  This first dream has been about the travel and as for the next dream, it’s to write my memoir.  I’ve taken the pressure off of myself and realize that my spouse and I will do what we can working at whatever endeavors to make our dreams come true in living our life. Achieving dreams take many forms and unexpected twists and turns.  All that really matters is that we keep dreaming and moving forward to catch them.

And for me, it means that all the while, I’ll keep writing.

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