Last week I was reading a blog post by bestselling Author Jon Acuff. He wrote about the time he was sitting in the parking lot of his work in Atlanta, and how he hated having to go there. He wanted to write, he wanted to speak, he wanted to travel. He had done none of those things. For 25 years he had lied to himself. Essentially he said that he would do it tomorrow.
For myself, there have been plenty of “tomorrows.” The biggest one being–when am I going to get to my dream? There have been traces of it over the years–becoming a Certified BBQ judge, writing for City Weekly, being interviewed on podcasts and news publications, being invited to dine at restaurants in exchange for a review. Why I let those things die is a question that I still ask myself. Practicality seemed to be what allowed me to push that burning question to yet another day.
Back in August, I held a Cajun Shrimp Boil in my backyard. My sister came, so did a family that lives in the neighborhood. They loved the food and I reveled in the preparation and serving. Cajun food and BBQ have become my cooking focus. For a naturally impatient person such as me, to then gravitate towards a cooking process that can be 12+ hours, is a question for the universe to answer.
During the shrimp boil, I was telling our neighbor how I have sold real estate for 13 years and have been really into cooking, especially Cajun & BBQ, for just over 4 years. To this day, I still get the question of “you sell real estate?” from someone enjoying either a plate of ribs with a side of smoked beans or devouring a simmering plate of chicken & sausage gumbo. These are often people that I have known for a while. This use to frustrate me, now I am beginning to see the meaning.
While I love the cooking, it isn’t very lucrative at present. It’s more in the hobby phase. But I am recognizing the sun is setting on the season of real estate sales in my life. I don’t reach my potential there because I am burned out. Do I force it–that is what I have done for years–in every aspect of my life.
In Mr Acuff’s referenced blog post, he talked about how overwhelming it was to think about the long term plan of what he wanted to do. He couldn’t pay off his house today, but he could work on paying a little extra on his car loan. He couldn’t leave his job and become a paid speaker today, but he could write a few hundred words by getting up a little earlier.
Well I can’t leave my job today just to chase a dream. There is something called reality that I need to acknowledge. But I can write this blog post today, I can reach out to a coach, I can join a mastermind. It’s the little things done consistently that get us a long way towards our dream. I have been looking for the grandiose shortcut. For that, I am still looking.
I’ve always wanted to have the answer–the answer to what I should do in life. Well, life will drop you plenty of clues. Faking it only gets you so far. Recently there has been a peace within myself to say that I don’t have the answer right now. I don’t exactly know what is next and I especially don’t know how to get to where I want to be. But I can do something today–something small and something meaningful.
To our dreams and beyond!