Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Life :: The One Thing Keeping Your Dreams from Becoming Reality

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It might not be what you think.

Since becoming self-employed, I've had a lot of people tell me how "lucky" I am that I "get to do this" and as complimentary as that sounds, it couldn't be farther from the truth. Though I do consider myself blessed and things have started to fall into place this year, I have pretty much been struggling ever since I moved to LA back in 2009. If you've been reading along since this blog began in 2010 or if you're a close friend of mine, you can attest to this. I've gotten to where I am today because of hard work, resilience, dedication and perseverance. I'm grateful for anyone who has helped along the way, but most of this journey has been walked on my own, and it's only the beginning.

Us babies born in the '80s (and '90s too) are known as the Millenial generation and from what I've seen around the web, we're selfish, stubborn, and narcissistic with a fierce sense of entitlement. Call me crazy, but I actually think these are wonderful traits -- if we channel them correctly. Young people are realizing that they have dreams much bigger than the normal 9-5 jobs their parents had. Women are starting to focus on themselves more than just their husbands and babies. We live in a magical time where the latest science and technology make anything possible, and we are starting to believe in ourselves more than ever. I wrote about this a lot in my book. I, for one, am proud to be part of the Millenials.

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The problems start when someone believes that he or she deserves something better, but does not work to achieve it. Instead of making goals and creating plans, they stay in dead-end jobs that barely pay the bills and complain about their lives, all the while feeling entitled to get out and do more. I truly believe that everyone deserves to have their dreams come true, but if you want fame, fortune, glitz and glamour without having to do the work to get there, then what makes you think that you will?

Society could be to blame, for showing gold chains and flashy cars in music videos. Or maybe it's the parents, who spoiled their kids and gave them what they wanted without question. But, there's really no excuse -- it all comes down to us. We are responsible for getting ourselves where we want to be. If we come across a stroke of luck, if we meet the right person at the right time, if the right opportunity just falls into our laps -- great. I like to think of that as a bonus, though. There's no guarantee that you'll be walking down the street and get "discovered" one day. It does happen, but a lot less often than it seems.

It might be hard (or even terrifying) to leave your cushy, decent-paying job with health benefits and PTO, but if you want to do something else, then you need to be able to give up what you're doing now. I know how scary and difficult it is because I did it myself, but if you wait until you have more money saved up or more time to make a plan or more experience to start your business, then you will never get to where you want to be. You will never have the "perfect" set-up or situation. You need to just start.

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So, what's the one thing stopping you? It's this: You're not willing to make sacrifices.

My life has completely changed over the past six months and though pregnancy has kept me from drinking (a huge expense in this city) I have almost totally stopped doing other fun things as well. My work is fun, so that helps, but I only go out to eat maybe once a week, I don't travel as much as I used to, I only go to a coffee shop when our internet's not working, and I never buy clothes anymore (I've seriously been wearing the same 5 things every week because nothing else fits). Though I don't have much of a life these days, I'm still able to be social thanks to lovely friends who understand my situation and let me hang at their homes (you know who you are). I'm on food stamps and I have free healthcare, which some might be ashamed to admit but I'm not; I'm thankful. B offers to help pay for things, but I don't let him unless it's a date or an emergency. I'm still very much independent and contrary to popular belief, I'm not just sitting around and living off my boyfriend. I don't drive a nice car, I don't have my own house, I don't play with the latest technological devices and I don't frequent the coolest clubs, but I'm happy.

What's comfortable is rarely what's right. Comfortable can be miserable. It's when everything around you is strange and uncertain, when life seems to be telling you that you're heading in the wrong direction, when you're grasping for stability -- that's when you're doing the right thing.

*Photo credits: one, two, three.
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