As the year draws to a close I am taking time to be still, relax and reflect. I enjoy sitting next to a cozy lit fire while enjoying a hot turmeric chai elixir. The room is quiet and still. Just a few feet away our 8-foot blue-green spruce towers in the corner of the room. It commands center attention all aglitter in tiny silver snowflakes, faux diamonds, crystal stilettos, white poinsettias and purple embellishments that include traditional ornaments I started collecting years ago.
Each year I add something new to the tree as a symbol of the newness of life and blessings that came throughout the year. Because I'm all girly and kinda fancy, I love a bit of bling and shinning shimmer. The tree shows off my jazzy style with shiny purple balls, retro purple lamps with a fringe, like you'd find in a French café or a 1920s movie; this year I even managed to tickle my whimsy side with a glass purple mermaid ornament. My tree is creatively beautiful, romantic, full of light and fantasy, like me. It is tall and strong with the vibrancy of life like my husband. It is full of wonder and amazement like our children. Our tree is a reflection of our family and what Christmas means to all of us. Ok, the ornaments are mostly mine, but there are gifts underneath that are mostly for them.
I stare at some of the older décor around the room continuing to absorb my chai and think back over years past. As the scent of turmeric from my cup lulls me into a more relaxed state of this annual ritual, I consider how far I have come; the hurdles, the strides, the bumps, the ups and downs along the way. At this time last year I was a struggling social media entrepreneur who was very hopeful for what 2018 would bring. My clients were small, far and few between. After countless networking events, marketing pitches, conferences and a lot to do about nothing, I needed a real job. This girl has very real needs, wants and bills to pay. Not to mention a sincere desire to be more than just another Atlanta housewife... But I didn't want just any job. I longed to work for a major corporation where I could learn and grow professionally. I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful, make a positive impact on the world and improve the standard of living for future generations.
Having worked 20+ years in government, I had no corporate experience, yet I decided to toss my resume out there anyway as the voice of doubt echoed in the back of my mind, "girl, you must be dreaming to think you'll be hired by a major company."
Who was I to dare to dream and hope for the opportunity to work for a company with a strong corporate social responsibility program, environmental stewardship and focus on sustainability? Why even attempt to transition into this scary unchartered territory known as Corporate America? After all, I am writer for goodness sake. My true passions are music, art, travel and occasionally wine. In my heart I am an entertainer. Why not just do what comes easiest? Why challenge myself to start over in a new career? A multitude of questions swirled around inside my head.
Pastor/Author, John C. Maxell once said, "dreams don't work unless you do." Perhaps this new career would not only fuel my dreams but fund them as well. This was the answer to all the questions. This became my why.
I quickly got to work, researching companies that offered the types of jobs that impacted communities through strong volunteerism and actively engaged in monitoring their environmental impact while working to reduce waste and consumption. I looked at national, international and even global entities. My eyes grew wide with wonder, could I actual be a part of something that much larger than myself?
Obsessed with the notion to believe that I could in fact start this new career, I began to prepare myself for it by studying on my own. I enrolled in graduate school. I even started planning my route to work and what I would wear on my first day before I even received my first job offer.
January 2018, I started my new job! In 2019 there is even more promise in my future as I officially begin grad school. Today, I still write, obviously. I am a published author, I sing, act and pursue other creative endeavors that bring me joy and fuel my passions. There is no rule in life that says you have to be and do one thing. The only limits we have exist inside our own minds. With balance and determination you can be many things, it all starts with a dream. What is yours?
In the words of the famously smooth romantic crooner, Donnie Hathaway, this Christmas will be a very special Christmas. I have so much to be grateful for from years past and years to come, and so do you. Never stop believing in yourself. To live the life of purpose you were created for, you must be dreaming!
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