Committing to the Dream…

I’m a dreamer and a doer. I know to accomplish what you set out to achieve takes hard work and dedication. But I tend to have commitment issues. I go for the easy more attainable goals first, and then let the big ones hang out against the wall. They can hang out for years, waiting for some TLC. Next week I start my road trip across the country, a big dream of mine that took more than just a few years to get to.

My family was all about road trip vacations, going to Palm Springs and Mammoth. Sometimes we’d jump in the car and head out on the road in the middle of the night. Aside from my terrible motion sickness, I loved being in the car on a trip. I’d stare out the window wondering about the people who lived in the houses, imagine epic tales that took place on the terrain, stop at the road side stands for fresh jerky and dates. Listening to my own walkman radio I’d imagine what road trips I’d go on as an adult, picking songs that I’d put on the soundtrack of my road trip.

The road trip day dreaming turned into an actual dream for my life, and for years I’d tell people how I’d want to travel the country collecting stories. Then about 3 years ago I finally decided I was going to do it. I was going to save money and drive across the country for 6 months, just to do it. Now this is where my dreams tend to get too big for my own britches. I was planning on saving enough money for 6 months on the road in just a year, without even having an actual goal on how much to save each month, just a rough idea of how much money I should have.

And as each month passed, the invisible savings of mine never grew. I met this great guy, and wasn’t sure if  I would want to leave him behind. I felt it would have been rude to leave my job after only being there a year. I made excuses, and I wasn’t putting forth the effort to make it real. I let the day to day, get in the way of making my dream a reality. I let myself down and it felt awful. By the time I would have left for my trip; I was ready to quit my job, the boy and I were strong, and I didn’t have any money to make it happen. So I let it go, and continued to have it just be this dream. A dream I always have, but never get any closer to…until now.

following your dream road trip map

The thermometer was at $100 for a over year, and the card saying October 2014 is covering May 2012.

 

Back in March after trying to look for a new job and nothing lining up, I looked at my life and saw that road trip getting further and further away. If I got a new job that would mean I’d have to commit at least 2 years to this new position, and if it was good I might not want to leave. In 3 years, I might be planning a wedding if all goes well. 5 years after that… damn that biological clock. That road trip was turning into another thing I say I’ll do, but never get to, and then just be “that person”.  So I committed myself to the dream. I stopped searching for another job. Reminded myself of the trip when my soul was dying at my previous job. (I recently quit, yay!) I tracked my spending, I knew how much I needed to put away every month to meet my goal and I did it. I got into freelance work, and saved that money for when I get back and need to pay my bills. We (my boyfriend who is coming with me) collected all our coins and cashed them in – gas money! My boyfriend even pushed himself to put the extra effort in at work, knowing he’d be asking for a lot of time off. He made himself indispensable; going into work when called on his days off, being a leader during busy hours, and winning store set competitions. When you make more money for a company, they tend to want to keep you.

Dreams don’t have to be wrapped up in your job or form of financial stability. That is one style of dreaming, but not the only one. Sometimes a job is just the paycheck that bankrolls the other dreams.  Dreams are fun to come up with, think about on lunch breaks, and imagine on Pinterest; but to commit to them and make it real takes effort. One can continue to just dream, or start living their dreams. It’s about the level of commitment you are willing to make to yourself. I don’t think dreams can be too big, but I do think for any dream you need to know how to realistically get there. Humans can’t fly, but if that is your dream I’d recommend sky diving for the same effect.   I encourage anyone reading this to commit to their dream(s), set goals along the way to help attain it. Example: I had a paper thermometer I’d color in for every $500 I saved.

dream require planning

Been planning for months, and still planning.

We leave next Wednesday and this is my dream. I’m going to live me dream. I downsized the adventure to something more realistic. We aren’t going on a 6 month long road trip, just one month. But one glorious month of adventure and new experiences. In retrospect, I don’t even think the 6 months on the road lifestyle is me. I have a great family and I’d miss them. I’m a semi-material girl, and I’d miss my own room. I love Los Angeles, I think I’d miss it. But I do love to explore, whether it’s my city or someplace new, I have a wanderlust for exploration. I can’t believe this is happening, this isn’t just a vacation, this is my dream!

following dream going on a road trip

Almost cried at AAA when all these tour books were handed to me.

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