Sunday, October 9, 2011

30. Become Your Dream

“I want to go on talking to you as freely and intimately about what we live and die for as if I knew you better than anyone else whom you know.” – Tennessee Williams

Sooo last week on Sunday I gave you a homework assignment that I told you NOT TO THINK ABOUT all week long. I know that was a tough assignment, but I believe in you and your ability to follow through with this one. LOL!

(If you are just joining us this week, CLICK HERE to see post #24 from last Sunday.) 

Okay, so… back to the question in question…

On a fine summer’s day in Central Park, while sitting on an ancient rock, surrounded by supportive friends almost three years ago, with my Artist’s Way group, … I asked myself this question... and the answer slowly began to transform the trajectory of my life.

Q: What would you do if nobody told you that you couldn’t (not even you)?

A: (My answer to myself) What would I do??? 
I would earn an MFA in acting from one of the top drama programs in the country.

This may not be “new news” to you now. You probably could have guessed my answer after reading all this process/grad-school-obsessed blogging that shows up in your inbox every day (except Friday). But for me, three years ago, this was profoundly “new news.” … And being that I had NEVER auditioned for ANY schmancy drama schools before (my undergrad degree is in History), I was thoroughly overwhelmed and terrified by the prospect.

So the first person that had to stop telling me that I couldn’t do it… was ME. 

I think I was the most difficult person to convince… for sure. And it wasn’t an ACTIVE process. It was just like this week’s homework assignment… me NOT thinking about it for years, just letting it sit on the back-burner and simmer… until I finally sat down on that rock in Central Park one day and admitted to myself that this scary-thing-that-I-had-never-done-and-would-probably-fail-at was the one thing that I really wanted to do. 

I had to find a way to get over my fear and go for it… but HOW?


So, I knew what I wanted... Great.

And, after a while, I had built up enough confidence that I could actually tell myself (fairly believably) that it could be possible for me to have it... Great.

But HOW to make it happen? Ugh. So far to gooooo! So many things to DO. Bleh! Overwhelming!!!... Maybe I should go watch TV and eat microwave popcorn? NO!!!!

This is my "HOW"...That I slowly learned over-time works best for me... I focus on one thing… TODAY. 

Today is my focus. Right now. Today.

What is one TINY, EASY, NOT-OVERWHELMING thing that I can do TODAY to move a millimeter closer to becoming my dream? I don’t want to freak myself out by doing anything too BIG… So by doing something SMALL, I am ensuring that I am actually doing SOMETHING.

And many, many small somethings, done consistently every day, lead to large, awesome, successful outcomes that don’t feel like they’ve been so HARD to achieve after all. Easy. I can do easy.

"In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end." - Tom Seaver

So in a nutshell… that’s my way, my process, my practice...

Do it small. Do it daily... That’s how I roll.

“You can relax about your acting career. You are giving it attention and focus every day. You cannot fail to progress.” – Unknown…  (Maybe Kathryn Bild said it? Sounds like something she’d say.)

And it all started with a question, a powerful question…

So, back to the homework... I am posing this question for YOU again. And this time I want you to think about it and DO the following:

  1. Ask yourself the question and listen for the answer without judgment. The first thing that comes into your mind is often the most honest answer. So go with your gut. (This may be the hard part… Example: “Ugh, my gut… We are estranged. We hardly speak… How can I know the mind of my gut?” …. Shhhhhh. Breathe. Listen. Be patient. It may not answer today, but it WILL answer.)
  2. Tell what your gut says. Admit it. (This may also be the hard part… Example: “Ok, I clearly hear what my gut has been trying to say… But I really don’t want to repeat my gut’s message because… [insert your own fear-based excuse/justification here].” …. Breathe. Feel the fear. It’s great! That’s how you know you’re on the right track.) 
  3. DO something about it TODAY. (Don’t let fear keep you paralyzed. Fear-Schmere!!! Excuses-Schmecsuses!!! Do the smallest thing you can handle in this moment to move towards becoming your dream, even if that thing is NOT THINKING ABOUT IT for another week/month/2-years. What is the one tiny thing that you will do TODAY to move one step closer to becoming your dream? Think EASY... Right... Good.... No...wait... even EASIER than that.... The thing that's so easy that you cannot possibly come up with an excuse for not doing it... That's forward motion.) 

Get ready... Here it is... Your question...

Q: What would you do if nobody told you that you couldn’t (not even you)?

Think... Think... Think...

Let me know you’re out there. It can’t be a conversation unless you participate. Your perspective is valuable and your words are more powerful than you know. Take your soap box and stand on it. Here… (She brushes off the soap box with a smile.) You can borrow mine! Let your voice be heard for posterity by commenting on the blog page. If you're reading this by email or FB you can comment on the blog page by CLICKING HERE

Don't want to freak you out tooo much... but people do read these comments, ya know. Show yourself how freakin’ courageous and ballsy you are… and hit me with your thoughts RIGHT NOW. To comment or not to comment... Up to you. 

My guts = spilled... Your turn!!! :-)


"The thing about making it big, and doing it fast, is that invariably the first steps will be small and slow. Which oddly, for many, is the same reason they don't take them." - Mike Dooley, Tut's Universe

 P.S. If you’ve read this far… You definitely deserve a gold-star for commitment. Gold-star for YOU!!!!


  1. I honestly don't know how to answer this question... I feel really lucky to have my life as it is right now. I've actually been feeling pretty euphoric these days. I do have a few big dreams that I haven't given up on yet... I want to take my family to live abroad for a year in a spanish speaking country. I would love to write and illustrate a children's book. But these are things that need more time, and I'm focused on other things right now. Like, the little growing human inside my fetus :) And I am really excited to be returning in a year to my dream teaching-job. But right now, I'm simply enjoying THIS moment!

  2. I want to be a leading role in a sexy new TV series, like yesterday. I want it to be topical and inspiring. I want my character to be funny and vulnerable and very human, I want to come from me. I want to work with passionate people that bring their own gifts and crazy to each part of the process. I want community at work. I want the work at work. I want people to be changed in some way by this series. I want it to leave it's mark of greatness on the world. Is that too much to ask? Well, too late. ;)

  3. I'm in the process of figuring out exactly what I want right now so I'm glad you posted on it :). If no one told me I couldn't, I suppose I would say I want it all. The first thing that comes to mind is that song from BABY, the musical "I Want It All". Insert quote here: "I want adventure, love, career, kids large and small. I want it all!" Greedy, I know, but true. I don't want to have to choose this life or that life. I want a life filled with the things I love and am passionate about! I know there's a quote you've used in one of your posts that I should insert here... something about you can't do everything... but we're taking that out of the equation so... lol. I, unabashedly, want it all. Now, how to make that happen? Well, that's another post ;). <3

  4. This isn't exactly a response to the question, but a good thing to ponder as we all work towards whatever our goals are. How often are we holding ourselves back out of fear? In order to expand my career (and, yes, have a lot of fun) I've been working towards recording an animation/videogame demo. At my last session with my coach I had brought in a series of newly developed characters... but was terrified about presenting them to the coach. What if they were embarrassingly bad? The coach - the genius Jay Snyder of Edge Studio - said, "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we were both on your side, here? I'm on your side. How about you?"

    Uh, yeah. How about that?

    Thanks for driving these discussions, Virginia.

  5. Thank you all for these awesome comments!!! You're all creating dream-come-true lives for yourselves bit-by-bit every day. Keep it up! Cannot wait to see what good things are to come...


    P.S. Alexis... You must mean this one:
    "I can do anything I want, but I can't do everything I want." - Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project