One of my best friends moved to California this week. She will be going to grad school at California State University, Long Beach. I couldn’t be happier for her! She is such a go-getter and a hard working person. She is AMAZING, to say the least, and has inspired me since our college days of leading a nonprofit together and working on a magazine. She is going after her dreams. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
But (there always is a but)…….there is a bittersweet part of watching my friend move off to California: The fact that I am not with her. You see, I too, have had the dream of moving to California for a long time. Not for the glitz and the glam or the “Hollywood” scene, but because the profession I aspire to work in, film and magazines, is a thriving industry there. I have been told that if you want to get in the game, then you must go where the game is played. For me, the game is being played in California. My desire to be there only grows stronger and stronger with time. Something in my gut tells me that is where I am supposed to be.
My friend Erica’s first photo after arriving in Cali
Like attracts like. Just like my friend is a go-getter, so am I. I don’t believe in sitting on my butt and waiting for my dreams to come my way. I believe in working my tail off and earning them. So why didn’t I move to California then? Well, I had every intention to pack up my bags and move with my friend come fall of this year, but every time I would try to take a step forward, there was something stopping me. Something was missing.
You may think, “Maybe you were just afraid?” Fear? Yeah, I have definitely felt fear before, but I have learned to feel fear and go after my dreams anyway. I may feel fear but I do not allow it to stop me. I felt fear when I moved to New York City the summer before my senior year of college. I felt fear when I moved to Minneapolis the year after I graduated. So fear was not my problem. Yet, there was something missing that I needed to have before I could make the move to California. Peace. I did not have peace. I could not put my finger on it, but I just knew that it wasn’t the right time.
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):
“Be patient: Take a lesson from chess. Sometimes when you are young everything seems so immediate and emergent. It’s usually not. It’s one thing to see a move you want to take. It’s another to be able to wait until the right time to take it.”
Sarah Hall, CEO of Harley & Co.
I know what I want to do. Write. I love to tell stories, other people’s stories, my story. I want to use media, specifically magazines and film, to bring hope to people. I am a storyteller. Writing is my gift. I want to use it to help someone else. The place I know I want to be in to pursue that dream is California, but what I realized is that California isn’t the only place where I can pursue my dreams. While I am waiting for my time to come to move west, I can pursue my dream wherever I am at in the meantime. I can work hard and make the most out of the opportunities in this season of my life and work diligently and persistently to get to that next season.
The truth is, you can have a dream on your heart, but sometimes, the timing isn’t always right. That doesn’t mean give up on the dream. It simply means to keep working and honing your skills until your time comes. So when your window of opportunity does finally come, you will be ready to take it.
I still plan to move to California. But until then, I will be content. I will work hard and keep writing and honing my craft. I will keep taking magazine opportunities as they come and see them as practice under my belt. I will be rooting on my friends with the loudest voice, as they pursue their dreams. When my time to move to California comes, I will be ready and guaranteed I will be better for having waited. There is wisdom in not only knowing the right move to take but in knowing the right time to take it.
As a twenty something, I hope you are encouraged today to relentlessly pursue your passions. Work hard. When you get knocked down, take from it the lessons you can and keep going. Do not feel pressured to rush into a career or to take a position just because it seems like the adult thing to do. Be honest with yourself and figure out what is best for you. Have the courage to get up and go after your dreams, stepping out into unchartered territory. But also have the courage to wait. Be brave enough to stay when something doesn’t feel right. Have the courage to be still until you know what’s best for you. Have the courage to wait until it’s your time. And when your time finally does come, take it.
“Genuinely brave people not only have the courage to take action, they also have the courage to wait when they need to.” Joyce Meyer
Here’s a song to keep you encouraged while you wait: Daley- Those Who Wait
Erica and I reunited after a long time apart!
Some of my favorite memories with Erica