10 Lessons from a Crazy Dreamer
Caught in a moment of reflection, which happens from time to time, I ask myself
“how did I really get here?”
In the past two and a half years, my husband and I have completely transformed our lives, transformed ourselves, transformed our relationship, and pretty much changed everything – and it all started in the name of following our dreams.
Crazy thing though, we actually made our dreams real and continue to bend our reality in ways that we could not even have imagined a couple years ago.
So what are some lessons I have learned so far?
What wisdom would I impart to myself if I could go back and give my old self some advice to help me along in the process.
Probably the quote that rings most true is:
“The Truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
– Gloria Steinem
Maybe not what you expected?
Trust me, I didn’t expect it either.
I read many self-help, personal development books and it definitely sounded a lot like sunshine and rainbows the whole time. Be positive, be happy, pretend to be happy….LOL
Really, well how was I supposed to confront those fears of mine?
They are fears for a reason, and I suppressed them for years also for a reason – because it’s not exactly an easy process to go through.
I’m writing this also because if you are currently on your journey of being a crazy dreamer, maybe this will give you some peace…because many times, i felt like I was JUST crazy…and still do 🙂
So here it is… a list of my:
TOP 10 Lessons from a Crazy Dreamer:
1) You will question yourself CONSTANTLY.
This is normal. All crazy dreamers do it. Why? Because everyone around is probably looking at you like you have lost it and possibly “checked out” from being sane. Don’t worry – we all feel this way. And honestly…I still feel this way – even over 2 years later, so maybe it’s just better to accept it and know this will be part of the journey (maybe in 10 years I’ll be able to say something different but I’m not there yet).
2) You will feel alone.
This one may surprise you because as I’ve mentioned, I am on this journey with my husband. But this is exactly how I’ve felt. As per lesson number one – I questioned myself and everything in my life – even questioned my death, and all that morbid stuff (which isn’t really very morbid). Why? Because us crazy dreamers, we KNOW we have one life – and we KNOW time is always running, and we KNOW that we are no longer willing to stand living according to ways we are “expected” to live. Fuck THAT.
We have ONE life, and on our deathbed, I doubt we will want to run through all the regrets of what we “didn’t do”…instead we want to go to our death yelling “FUCK YEAH that was an awesome ride!”
So in facing our own mortality, we realize that life comes down to EXPERIENCE – we cannot take any of our “stuff” beyond the grave, it is just us and our experiences – so that feeling of being “alone” will eventually turn into a massive comfort. Why? Because we know that as crazy dreamers, everything is within us and we are living in a way that satisfies our deepest truths.
3) You will feel URGENCY in your life.
Coming from a life where I struggled with depression, suppressing my fears and dreams within, I almost felt like I was “asleep.” Once I faced the fact that I was being a “chicken shit” in my life – not going after what I wanted – and making the decision to just go for it (not knowing what the hell would happen) – all of a sudden, there was not enough time in the day anymore.
Each moment that passed, I felt it. Each morning I woke up, I knew I had the day ahead and I knew all that I could do…all that I could accomplish, appreciate and experience. The world was mine, my life was finally mine – and I could no longer wallow in a delusion that I “had time”.
Time is our biggest commodity – it is really all that we have – and none of us really know how much time is left…I was no longer able to waste another minute. I began to LIVE every moment (the happy moments, scary moments, sad moments – all of them… I relished in each of them).
4) You will feel immense GRATITUDE.
You know, I read in all those “personal development” books about gratitude being the highest emotion, and I thought I was “practicing” this emotion, reminding myself as often as I could everything I was grateful for, but only in truly going through this journey have I come to feel it on another level.
I will admit, I lived a VASTLY materialistic life for years. And when Romeo and I finally went for our crazy dreams, we began by selling everything we owned. And although it sounds so shallow, I cried when we sold our TV. YEP. Sad, huh? Well, what can I say? I was ATTACHED to “my stuff.”
A funny thing happened though, when we got rid of most of everything…I felt this SPACE in my life. It’s like I could breathe again and it took me a long time to really understand this. I am not saying everyone needs to get rid of everything and live like a minimalist hermit, but rather to confront that attachment.
The attachment to “things” can be like a slow death – I realized it was for me. It was the most freeing thing to let go, and realize that, although things would be in my life, it all really came down to experiences and people. And coming back down to number 2 – upon our death bed, all we have is ourselves and our memories. That’s it. Why not realize that now and live a life full of LOVE, Experience, Appreciation, and Connection.
5) People will surprise you.
They will judge you, frustrate you, ignore you, pigeon hole you, misunderstand you and call you crazy. This was the biggest shock for me and took me the longest to really deal with. Remember that quote though? The Truth will set you free…but first it will piss you off?” You know what pissed me off the most?
That I realized I had SOUGHT constant acceptance in my life – and that didn’t change the past two years. I still wanted acceptance and understanding from people. I felt judged, misunderstood, and a lot of the time, even felt like a big disappointment. I couldn’t understand these emotions and the more I pushed, the more people close to me surprised me. I was flabbergasted by it. I couldn’t understand why those closest to me didn’t understand me. It shook my whole world. And then I realized it. Maybe there was judgement and misunderstanding from others, but all that really mattered was if I accepted myself.
It turned out I was the one judging myself and not accepting myself and others. I wanted people to understand what I was doing and why – and I pushed…and it finally came down to accepting that the only way I can live with any amount of peace in my life – was to finally accept myself completely. And all of a sudden, I saw something different – people DID accept me, appreciate me to whatever degree they were capable of and that’s it – everyone has their own life, their own struggles, their own dreams, their own happiness – and I was free.
6) You will feel like a “bad person.”
Haha, yep. I have asked myself this MANY times – am I bad? This one I would be curious to know if it’s all “crazy dreamers” or those with a very religious Catholic background. Maybe it rings true though. I have questioned if I am being completely selfish, conceited, and just checking out of the way things “should” be because I couldn’t hack it.
Truthfully, I still struggle with this. I grew up with a constant feeling of guilt, and maybe it just continued and got magnified within the past couple of years. I constantly remind myself though that I am doing my best.
One event has actually really brought this to light though. My father passed away last year, and it made me confront a lot of my own “core beliefs.” I grew up believing my dad to be “bad” – you see, he was a CRAZY dreamer too, but most of what I know of him was that he was an alcoholic, and had many failed business ventures when I was young – then we became estranged, and I never mended my relationship with him. I didn’t see him when he passed, and we never got to have “that conversation” to bring closure to our relationship.
His death hit me like a ton of bricks though – I realized he was not “bad”…he did the best he could. He made crazy dreams happen, he lived for his passion, he was charismatic, funny, smart and loving. It’s just that I judged him – and he knew that. He knew that I didn’t accept him.
This point kind of hits on all of the above so far because this one really hit home for me. He lived his life the best way he could, he never intentionally hurt anyone, and he could not live according to how things “should be.” He lived the motto:
From being on the National Polish Fencing team, running 50km (without training), moving his family to Canada during communism in Poland, starting business after business after business and NOT GIVING UP, to finally making his dreams happen with his dream business.
My greatest memory of him, is knowing he would go to his office in the early morning, sitting at his desk, smoking and drinking coffee (and eating a box of donuts), and just sitting there making blueprints, designing, planning…and then building his creations. He had always loved to build houses, flip them, design them, and had a kitchen design business – and also built houses that he lived in. This was his passion. And here I was judging him because our relationship was not how I thought it “should” be.
Let me tell you that word “SHOULD” is the worst word in the world. It can kill dreams, it can kill your spirit, and it can completely demolish your confidence. I no longer SHOULD – I act out of inspiration, passion, confidence and enthusiasm – I don’t think that makes me a “bad” person – it does however, make me the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
7) You don’t have to believe in your crazy dream for it to come true.
This one might shock you – but it is one of the biggest lessons and it shocked me too. The best way I can describe it is – all you have to do is believe in the POSSIBILITY. That’s it. and work on belief in yourself. Just know you can do it.
I truly believe that if there is a HUGE dream within you, a desire for something, that it wouldn’t be put there unless it could be accomplished, no matter how impossible it may seem.
The best way I can explain it is – when Romeo and I quit our jobs, and sold everything, it was purely on the belief in the POSSIBILITY of what could happen in our life. That’s it. There were never any guarantees…maybe that’s why it seemed so crazy to others (and even to us) when we first began to go after that crazy dream. But we went after it, we wanted to travel, live FREE, and live according to our own vision for our life. We didn’t even really know what any of that meant though!
We decided that we would go to Costa Rica (somewhere we had never been, and we chose it purely because Romeo closed his eyes and pointed to a map and it landed on Costa Rica). We didn’t know anyone there, and had never spoken to anyone that had went there – there was no real life example for us of someone who had done it.
So why the hell would we even consider it?
Because we believed it was POSSIBLE.
Then before you know it, I found myself waking up in our condo, on the beach in Costa Rica, without jobs running our online business, and living our dream. And I kid you not – I asked myself daily “Is this really fucking REAL?” I could barely believe it! But it was reality…and yet it still took some time for my “beliefs” to catch up.
Now, it’s over 2 and half years later, we are still job free, travelling, living our life by design and creating even bigger dreams ahead.
So instead of trying to sit there and “convince” yourself of something to be true, just believe in the possibility…and work on belief in yourself. And let me tell you, you DEFINITELY have what it takes.
8) You will change. A LOT.
This one also surprised me because I thought I was just going to change my life..but I didn’t realize that only by changing myself internally, would my “outside” life change.
I realized that I had believed for most of my life that people couldn’t really change – so I didn’t really believe in myself because I hadn’t really accomplished the things I wanted in the past. Why would I believe I could change my life if I thought I was incapable of growing inside? Well, here I find myself 2 and a half years later, feeling like a completely different person.
Happier, motivated, accomplished, passionate, appreciative, crazy and living my dreams. Let me give you a word of advice though…there will be “growing pains” – that’s the best way I can describe it. It will feel almost painful sometimes, but that’s ok. It hurts to go to the gym whether it’s the first time or 100th time – you break down your muscles so they can strengthen and GROW, why would it be any different for our emotions and thoughts. Honestly, sometimes I have felt like my brain is going to explode – but it didn’t, I just got smarter, more skilled and better equipped to tackle challenges.
9) Enjoy the process, and don’t just think of the event to come.
It can be a trap sometimes to constantly ONLY think of the future – it can be debilitating because you look around and think, “why am I still HERE and not over THERE where my dream is??” Just trust me, if you are feeling all of the above, maybe feeling crazy, working on your dream, it IS HAPPENING.
There is something else too – TIME. Yes, you must be patient and just know that in time everything will happen that you want – but it is RIGHT NOW that your life matters. Don’t miss it. It comes back down to facing our mortality – life is always NOW, whatever is happening, just go with it. It’s WONDERFUL.
Even if you are struggling, in a challenge – and this will probably piss you off because everyone says this – but just enjoy it. You know when I get angry these days, or have a total breakdown, I RELISH it! Fuck that, if I am mad – then I GET mad and no longer suppress it. Why? It’s just pent up energy, so as long as I don’t hurt anyone, I go and just get it out. Even if I have to stomp my feet like an idiot and just shake my arms and scream (funny image, huh) whatever. I feel better after, and no longer live with those repressed, and suppressed emotions like I did for years.
Trust me, that repressed shit will kill you over time. If you want to cry, then just fucking CRY. Let it out, BAWL if you need to – take a picture of yourself doing it, or even a video, then watch it, and you will LAUGH. Don’t take yourself so seriously, have fun with it.
This is YOUR life, and remember that word “should?” FORGET about it. If you want to cry, but think you SHOULD be happy, and positive, forget the should and just cry it out. From experience, I feel better MUCH faster. I used to fight it, and it would DRAG on for days while I pretended to feel better – but if I cried it out, I felt better right after.
If you are anything like me, suppressing emotions, just don’t. In time, you will feel LIGHTER, happier and better able to tackle any and all challenges. We are emotional beings – anger, sadness, happiness, all spectrums of the emotional scale are indicators for us. If you are angry, maybe there is something you need to just confront and deal with – instead of ignoring it, deal with it…and this leads me to the last one.
10) Take accountability for yourself.
Take full, 100% accountability for your whole life. If you have made bad choices, deal with it. If you are facing a challenge, DEAL with it.
Don’t blame others, don’t blame this and that – blame will get you nowhere. Don’t feel ashamed either, and don’t blame yourself. Taking responsibility doesn’t mean to BLAME yourself either (I did that too for a while). It is saying…”ok, I am where I am because of MY choices.” There is none of “I wish I could go back, I should have done this or that…
All there is in front of you is a LESSON of how to course correct to go forward. Just know you are always doing your best, and when you know better, you will DO better. You didn’t know what you know now in the past, so why blame yourself. That can be one of those horrible repressed emotions that will drive you crazy too. Just let it go. You are not perfect, no one is – no matter how “perfect” they appear.
It’s just life – do your BEST, that’s all you can ask of yourself. And you will ALWAYS know if you are doing your best – it’s just one of those truths only we know – and it might piss you off if you know you are not doing your best…there’s that pesky truth again. 🙂
If you are overweight, take accountability – did you eat that extra pound of sugar? did you sit on the couch while you ate it? Only you can answer that. If you are not happy with your job, don’t blame anyone for it. Either find something in it that you CAN love, or change it.
Both are options. But don’t sit there and complain about it because that will change nothing and you will probably feel like crap doing it (and so will those listening to you – no pity parties here, ok?) If you must, go to your job, but find something you can do on the side – like building an online business like we did, trust me the world abounds with OPTIONS – you just have to look.
Then before you know it, you are doing what you love, making an income and can quit your job. Or you put down that donut, get a salad and feel better. (I recently began to eat like a monster – lol – and began to hold my own pity parties as I watched myself get out of shape -which should be shameful as I was a personal trainer for years…EEEK) but it’s ok. I slapped myself, said “wake up” and now I eat more salad, less donuts and am working out – and I feel better. GREAT 🙂
Thanks for making it all the way through this post – each point seemed to get longer than the last, and I had more to say than I initially thought I did – and now I ask myself….should I share this?
I definitely look at all these points and find myself seeing the MASSIVE lesson in each one that I have learned on a large scale from my life…so maybe it will help even one of you to move away from that self-flagellation that comes with being a crazy dreamer.
If you relate with any of the above, just know a lot of crazy dreamers out there feel the same – I have met them, talked with them and am reporting back that it’s not just me.
You may feel like you are losing your mind at times – and that’s ok.
Just fucking go for it 😉
Go for that dream, you crazy person!
I would write YOLO but recently saw that a dictionary has defined YOLO as Carpe Diem for stupid people (LOL)…so I’ll end with CARPE VITAM.
SEIZE YOUR LIFE.
Over and Out,
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