For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the one with the big dreams! I’ve never doubted that they couldn’t come true either. I didn’t just dream of being a mom or having a career. I dreamed of having it all.
That’s my big problem. I want it all, and I refuse to settle.
I don’t refuse to sacrifice though, and that’s how I’ve been meeting goals and chasing dreams my whole life.
Earlier this week, I listened to a podcast that really resonated with my life right now. The woman said that she had become exactly who she said she was going to be. It made me ask myself “who exactly am I trying to be?”
I’ve always had big dreams and wanted to do big things. It wasn’t until recently that I realized, I have a lot of dreams.
You see it in movies where the woman goes for her dream job. Then there’s the one with the woman who built her dream home. And the one with the sweetest family and perfect picture of motherhood.
Here’s the thing though…
I want all of those story lines. I’ve always wanted it all. And I’ve been working my bum off since I was 18 to get there… wherever “there” is.
I’ve always dreamed of having a career that I loved where I could help people and make a difference in the world.
I’ve also dreamed of reaching the highest achievable point in my academic career, specifically earning a doctorate degree in my chosen field.
I’ve also always, always dreamed of having a family in a home filled with belly laughs and the pitter patter of happy, little feet.
I’ve dreamed of having a small group of women I could call my besties – women who see the world and the people in it and want to make it better, together.
I’ve dreamed of being a wife and having a strong marriage with a husband who loves the Lord and wants to change the world.
I’ve dreamed of being a mother and raising kind, humble human beings who also will want to make the world a better place one day.
I have a lot of dreams. All of which, by themselves, are seemingly realistic. With some hard work, dedication, and an unwavering spirit, these are realistic and achievable goals. They are goals that many of you have had and reached.
My problem isn’t having an unrealistic or unreachable goals. It’s having all the goals and all the dreams.
Queue the TikTok sound that automatically plays in my head saying “and I’m okay with that. It’s an obsession that doesn’t hurt anybody.”
So, anytime we have a problem, we need a solution, and with this particular problem, I went to my trusty husband, the one I dreamed of, the one I prayed for, the one I try everyday to love and honor and cherish. That guy. He’s great at problem solving. It’s kind of his thing.
We were in the car a few weeks ago, and I presented the problem. I told him how I want all the things, I’m in a place where I’m currently working towards ALL of the things all at one time… I’m in grad school for my doctorate, have a career where I help people, I’m pregnant growing our family, have the awesome husband, the healthy marriage, and thankfully the special girl gang that loves God and people.
He said, so what’s the problem? It sounds like you want it all, and you are truly on your way to having it all.
And I realized the problem was no longer that I want it all. The problem was the fear of not being able to handle it all.
There aren’t a lot of movies about the woman with the career, the education, the family, kids, husband, happy home, girlfriends, and sanity to manage and truly enjoy and thrive in it all. Most of the movies where a woman tries to “have it all” end up with her having to choose “one or the other”…
But I look around me, off screen, at the real life women in my community, my church, my friend group, my family. And I see that woman. I see the women who have it all. They have the work/family/life balance. They are still accomplishing their goals one after another, even in transitional seasons and major life changes. And I’m both inspired and encouraged.
I’m reading a lot of blogs about motherhood as I prepare for new journey I’m embarking on, and one phrase that keeps coming up is “mom guilt.” That’s not something I want. Honestly, I’d love to avoid it at all cost if possible. But I look around at my life, and I’m quickly realizing that I’m in a unique position with a few major decisions to be made.
I’ve never been one to have a knee-jerk reaction or make a quick decision without hours upon hours of careful consideration… and that was something my husband reminded me of when we talked through this “problem” of mine. The solution has always been there, and it’s something I’ve learned over the years as I’ve gone after each dream. The solution is balance.
How could I have guessed?? Balance
My life is already a bit of a balancing act, and I love that. I’m busy. Like always busy, and yet I still find time to do what I love and to spend moments with people I love. I sacrifice a lot along the way, but what I gain is getting to be a part of every dream I’ve ever had. That’s the solution to my next balancing act… realistic expectations coupled with so much hard work, room for grace, time to figure it out, and a really positive attitude. I’ve already got a support system that has taken years to cultivate and grow into such a special tribe of acceptance and love and judgement-free perspective.
I guess, what I’m realizing is that my problem isn’t a problem in the sense that I messed up or I’m asking for too much. It’s more like a problem that requires an equation to figure it out. It’s like a puzzle, and I get to now figure out where all the pieces go.
The crazy thing about major life changes is that they don’t have to be scary. They don’t have to change everything. I mean in this case, I do kind feel like the picture on my puzzle changed and I need to mix up all the pieces and start over for a fresh perspective, but at least I have all the pieces… and at least they will fit together. I just have to figure out where they go, and how they fit.
I’m not sure who this is for really, if your a dreamer like me who decided long ago not to settle in life or maybe you’re a new to be mom a little nervous about what life with a little one may look like in real-time. Maybe you’re the woman I’ve been describing in this whole post – the one who wanted it all and worked her bum off to get there. Whoever you are, I’m sending you a big hug, and I’m praying that you are happy with your progress on the journey of life.
After all, we are just a bunch of adults still figuring it out 😉
Before I sign off, I want to speak to the reader who feels like they aren’t figuring it out… sis, give yourself room. Forget all the unnecessary pressures, shed the unrealistic expectations, and try to avoid the negative thinking and catastrophic mentality. I ask you one question, “if you go for your dreams, what’s the best and the worst thing that can happen?”
My answer… the best case scenario, you get it all… it takes some time, more work than you initially anticipated, but in the end, you feel fulfilled and satisfied. Worst case scenario, you fail at something. Not miserably, but you just miss the mark a bit, and then you try again. There’s no way you can completely fail at all your dreams and your whole life’s plan. It’s not going to happen. Especially not if you’re already working on them. Get a game plan, find a mentor, and day by day, put a little effort in the direction of your goals. You’ll get there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your dreams won’t come true overnight.
In the very slight chance that my explanations above made my life sound easy and that I have it all because I was handed it all, let me be honest. First, I’m aware of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I had the opportunity to go to college, and I was in an environment where I could meet a good, Godly man who would become my supportive husband. I’m grateful for those opportunities and for the people who have encouraged me along the way. They didn’t do it ALL for me though. They opened doors, yes, but I walked through them and put in the work. I don’t know if I can exactly say I’m “self-made” because I’ve had a lot of help along the way, but I do know that I’m a critical part of the equation that got me here too. I took the classes. I passed the exams. I worked and built my dream career. I put in the work for a healthy marriage. It took a lot of me trying, failing, and trying again before getting to where I am now. So if by some chance I sounded unrelatable before, please know… I’m probably a lot more like you than you realize, and there’s a solid chance you have it more together than me 😅 We’re all in this together. I mean that.
XO – the one who wanted it all