Live the Life You've Imagined...

Meeting Success in Uncommon Hours

It was the year I had hit my personal rock bottom.  I was coming off a dreadful business endeavor, a failed relationship, and facing motherhood alone for the first time. Despite being really broke, and life generally not looking so hot for me, I used what little money I didn’t really have and bought one of those cutesy home décor signs with the inspirational message in fancy fonts, at a local shop. You know the ones.

It read:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagine.”

When I tossed the little black and white wooden sign into my cart that fateful day, I had no clue who wrote it, I just thought, oh hell, what do I have to loose at this point? It seemed like a novel idea and I needed a little pick me up.  Plus it went with my stuff in my new place, and I liked the little bird it had sitting on the top. It was probably on sale too.

That quote sat in various places in my home for the years to follow.  It made it through a couple of moves, and redesign phases, yet I continued to place it somewhere I could see it.  Sometimes months would go by and I wouldn’t pay much attention to it, and other times, I would look at it multiple times a day.  So, time continued to go on, as it does, and I did everything that I needed to do to re-build and re-establish my new found life, and get on my feet again.

I was really just going through the motions, with dreams not being a really big priority.  As a little girl, I often got caught up in my own day dreams.  Visions of what I would be when I grew up, and what my life would look like.  I was told I could be anything I wanted to be, and to DREAM BIG, and having that sign was my reminder of that girl, who had gotten a little off track from her dreams.  But there were bills to pay, meetings to attend, and dinners to make.

Then, in a way, that little sign began to haunt me.  On the bookshelf it sat, looming over me; a constant reminder of where I was, compared to where I wanted to be, and what I imagined my life to be before I was an ‘adult’.  I was in a good place, and I was comfortable in my new found life, but not really pursuing any of my wildest dreams.

I had goals, and I was meeting them, yet I was still playing it ‘safe’ and there was nothing too wild or passionate going on for me.  I also didn’t see how what I was doing was moving me toward the life I imagined. Rather, I seemed to be moving further away from it.  

That’s when I began to get pissed off at the sign.  It frustrated me to have been told to dream big, and to hang cute signs in my house like “follow your heart” and hear well intention-ed sayings like “live your passion” but not really know how to do it.

What I wasn’t taught was how to actually make DREAMS happen.  I was good at making stuff happen, but not necessarily the things in my life that were in line with what I dreamt about, in the deepest parts of my heart, and soul.  Those dreams and desires we keep secret, for fear of what people might say if they know what we truly want.

I remember, clear as day, finally having enough with that sign.  I grabbed it, and was about to get rid of the damn thing.  It was just a silly sign, and I was getting sick of looking at it.

That is when it hit me; “I have to figure out how to do this”.  I have to learn how to go after my dreams and live the life I imagine. In that moment, I felt that there was a deeper truth to the words written in the cute lettering.  There is a reason I was told to dream big since I was a little girl.  There must be a way; I just need to find it.

So that is what I did.  I began a mission to uncover how in the world I could go after my dreams, live the life I imagined, while simultaneously paying the bills, raising my son, and getting dinner on the table.  That is the stuff they don’t teach you in school.  I researched, I read, I scoured the internet.  And to my amazement, I found more resources, inspiration, and examples of dreaming big paying off, than I knew existed.

I now know that the famous American poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoureau penned that quote in the mid to late 1800’s.  I also have found that it went a little something more like this…

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”


That little sign was even more truthful than I realized.  I met with my success in the most uncommon of hours, in a manner that some might deem ‘unsuccessful’.  I met with success at the bottom.  The uncommon hours of rebuilding my life to be what I wanted it to be, and how I imagined it, when I dreamt of what I would be when I ‘grew up’. 

If you find yourself at a cross roads, the intersection of “the bills are due -and- I have this big dream I want to achieve” please know that going confidently in the direction of your dreams is possible to do while you still take care of what needs to get done.

That is why I have dedicated myself to teaching others what I have learned and applied in my own life.  How I can say that I am now going confidently in the direction of my dreams, and living the life I imagined. 

Dreaming big does not have to be an idea that sits and haunts you as it did me.

It starts with not getting rid of the sign.  It begins by learning to not discredit the longings you have, and the ideas you day dream about.  Those thoughts are put there for a reason, and if you haven’t been able to stop thinking about them, maybe it is time to take action on living the life you’ve imagined. 

That's where the Dream Trail begins.  Begin by starting to believe in your dreams, and go confidently in that direction. The rest will follow...

Happy Trails, 

Until we meet again. 

- Kaelen


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