Since moving to the Netherlands exactly 492 days ago (but who’s counting?) I have had a lot of time to study me. This should be of no surprise to the people who actually read my blog.
When I meet people, one of the first questions they ask is usually something related to how my Dutch is coming along followed by the always daunting question, “So …… what will you do when your paperwork is approved and you can work again?” Before I can even answer, I take a deep breath because my heart starts to race, the hair on the back of my neck stands up, my eyes gloss over and I can feel my entire being begin to smile with excitement at all the possibilities. It’s almost as if every cell in my body is waiting to finally hear the answer …… and as soon as the words “I don’t know” escape my lips, my body exhales a deep sigh and slumps forward as if disappointed by my answer.
You see, I have been given the rarest of gifts, a gift that almost no one ever gets. I have the opportunity to start over, to create something new. When I first started to understand my new reality it sounded to good to be true, a miracle in fact and maybe it is. However I feel tremendous responsibility to fulfill that gift and do something truly meaningful, something I can not, not do. I don’t want to squander this once in a lifetime opportunity to finally become who I was created to be.
I often find myself pondering the following questions:
What would I do if I knew I could not fail?
What is worthwhile doing, whether I fail or not?
Yet I am so afraid to even let my mind go there because I risked everything once and went for broke (literally) pursuing someone else’s dream, assuming I could somehow make it my dream, but you know what? I failed, I lost everything. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make that dream my own, it just wasn’t how God designed me. So now I find myself asking, “Why are you so afraid to dream? You’ve failed before, you already know what it feels like, besides look around you, you’re still standing. Stop making this so complicated, give yourself permission to dream again.”
Then the other day I was with my girlfriend Jamie and she had a to do list ….. it was so simple yet so profound.
Jamie’s to do list:
Buy Ice Cream
Install Evernote on Computer
Change the World
Feed the Cat
What was so profound was not only what was on the list, but the order. We should all have a bowl ice cream before we start anything, it just puts you in that happy place. Next up, Evernote, because where else are you going to collect your inspirational world changing ideas? Now your ready to Change the World, but you better hurry up, don’t you dare procrastinate because the cat needs to eat …..
So God, I’m asking you for big dreams, the ones you gave me, the gloves are off ……. I’m ready. Oh, wait …… do you think I should get a cat to keep me on schedule? I got a better idea! Let’s start with a bowl of ice cream and we can talk about it!