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The Grey Matters

My Dream is My Plan “A” (Thanks Mom and Dad)

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This post is dedicated to my parents. Not only are they the most iconic, beautiful people who had the best photos taken of them … they are also genuine and supportive and they have taught me more in life than I could have dreamed possible.

dreams, living your dreams, not giving up, parents

my dad- senior year of college

parents, dreams, living

my mom- around the age of 25 and my sister Jessica

Have you ever heard anyone talk about what they’d really love to do… like become an artist, a journalist, a glassblower… whatever it is! More often then not, they have a “regular” job they aren’t too happy with and they consider this dream of theirs to be plan B.

“If things go well… if all the planets line up…if I get lucky, etc.”

Here I am today saying that if you don’t consider your DREAM TO BE YOUR PLAN A, then you aren’t dreaming in the right way. It’s entirely true. It’s as cliche as the day is long, but you guys, we only live once. One time. Uno. One go around – and it’s up to us to make the most of it.

My parents have always taught me this. They’ve also taught me that money can buy you ZERO happiness. Zero. Having enough love to support you throughout your day is what we all need. They’ve taught me that, too.

And if that isn’t enough, do the old “When I’m 80” test.

When I’m 80, I do not want to look back at my 9-5 (unless that’s my dream- which I know for some people, it is) and wonder why I was willing to sit under a florescent light (think Joe vs the Volcano…) and go through papers and not move throughout the day. When I’m 80 it won’t matter if I spent up to a year in my 20’s very poor, hungry and not sure of what was to come next. It WILL matter if I wasted it and became unhealthy and unhappy and unfulfilled in the process. 

Think about that. It doesn’t even take the “when I’m 80” test sometimes. Sometimes all I have to do is think, One year from now, will this matter? 

When Greg and I stay up late and drink coffee and chat under Christmas tree lights -because we have a Christmas tree up all year round- this is usually what we’re talking about. I imagine my parents did the exact same thing when they had all these surprise daughters, a pastor’s paycheck, and rice and beans. They were the poorest of the poor… but they say they’d have it no other way. They started out living in a rented basement. They had my older sister way sooner than planned. My dad still became a pastor. They made things work. They were skin and bone, quite frankly. But they had love.

my mom, pregnant (both age 24)

my mom, pregnant (both age 24)

This is something that brings tears to my eyes. I get very emotional, realizing that my parents are REAL people. Have you had the same epiphany? In these photos, my parents are MY AGE or younger. They were once in their early 20’s and they had dreams, worries, and they were scared of making  mistakes and raising a family.

Sometimes I look at these pictures and it just hits me how similar I am to them. Right now, this very day, I am so much like my parents. It’s hard to believe they were once my age. They once had a life without Melinda. They cried when they found out they were having twins (partly because of happiness, partly because they had no idea how that would work.)

they still enjoyed a little wine, like we ALL have to do

they still enjoyed a little wine, like we ALL have to do

Because my own parents have such a rich story, one that I love to hear and one that I don’t mind living in my own way (being poor and young and in love), I have a certain way I want to live my life.

I’m BLESSED enough to have parents who support what I want to do. Never once, not ONCE, have they told me that I should consider such and such job, because it would pay well. Instead, they hear me say I want to be a writer and they say, “Okay. You better spend plenty of time and effort on it, then. We believe in you. As long as you are doing what you love and what God have given you as a spiritual gift.” They are really big on that- spiritual gifts. I truly believe that mine is writing. My sister and husband are in a band; their spiritual gifts are obviously music.

I told Greg long ago I’d never ask him to get a job that meant wearing a tie. That means a whole number of things, but most importantly, Greg hates wearing ties. That’s one way we keep ourselves happy. He supports my writing enough to tell me, “Don’t get a 9-5… if you’re working full time, make sure it’s something you love. Focus on your writing. Spend time on it every day. It will be worth it.”

Today I read Amanda’s blog over at The Lady Okie and it really got me thinking. I am in a similar situation as she is… I’m about to be unemployed. It’s scary.

But that’s what happens when you drop everything for a farming internship that pays next to zero, and then they don’t have winter work. That’s kind of how the farming world works. I wanted to be outside and learn… and now, well, that part of my life is about to be over. For the first time ever I don’t have the next job lined up. I’m choosing to believe that this is one of those Blessings In Disguise my mom is ALWAYS talking about. More time to write, right? More time to read… right? If I really spent 8+ hours a day on my DREAM, then being unemployed would probably pay off in the end.

In the meantime, I don’t mind having no extra money. I don’t mind following in the footsteps of my parents and drinking cheap wine with Greg over a meal we planted out in our garden. We’re taking time to spend less. We’re enjoying more that way. It’s surprising, isn’t it? The less you have, the more you enjoy things.

Talk about a blessing in disguise.

before there was the twins....

before there was the twins….

Plus, having no money builds character. Kind of like going through an ugly duckling phase in middle school. Yup, built all my character. ;)

I refuse to stop writing just to get a job that’ll solve all of our money problems. I am willing to sacrifice now so that when I’m 80 or older, I’ll  look back and smile and say, “Wow, I really went for it, didn’t I?” I want to take that risk because without risks, what is life, anyway? A flat line means dead. Let’s spice it up a little and have our highs and lows, because that means we’re alive. (think hospital monitors…)

And if you are blessed to have parents like mine, that’s awesome. Let’s get together and talk about how awesome they are. If you have always had issues with your parents pushing you toward something you aren’t passionate about, then let me be the person to tell you that life is too short and precious to waste on something that doesn’t give you a reason to wake up in the morning with a smile.

You Only Live Once doesn’t mean taking crazy stupid risks and living in the moment. That’s selfish. It means taking care, believing in yourself and others, and trusting that it will all be okay. It means working hard to achieve a goal. It means being true.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for teaching me this. I love you guys so much.

iconic

iconic

today :)

today :)

Love,

the appreciative Lou

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Author: Melinda Haas

I write, I read, I love to laugh. God, my husband, and my step children make up my world. I am working on publishing many novels, three of which are completed manuscripts.

15 thoughts on “My Dream is My Plan “A” (Thanks Mom and Dad)

  1. Congratulations!! I’m a huge believer in synchronicity and I have recently gone through something similar. When I moved in August I decided not to look for another job so I could focus on my writing and just recently as my savings have started to run out, I prayed for a part time job that would give me the opportunity to still have writing as my main focus. Within the same week my boyfriend and I both found work that will allow us to pursue our passions and I know that is no accident. I think we’re all born with a purpose and when you live your life in a way that faithfully attempts to fulfill that purpose, the universe will help make a way for you to reach your goals.

    • Wow! Congratulations to you, too! That’s such an uplifting story. I am praying a lot right now that something similar happens. I have no stress or worry yet :) Isn’t life just better this way? I’m glad you and your boyfriend are on the same page!

  2. This is amazing!! How exciting that you’re able now to venture out into whatever path you want! :-)

  3. Oh I love this : ) my parents were always the same way… when I was a kid I told everyone I was going to be a marine biologist. We lived in the middle of the desert, in New Mexico! Instead of telling me that was a far-fetched dream, my parents encouraged my love of science. Today, I am in graduate school working toward my Master’s degree in marine biology. Awesome parents of the world, unite!

    P.S. tell Greg I said hi. We used to work together at Whole Foods… does he still need beekeeping advice? ;)

    • yay!!! I’m so glad to hear this! It’s just awesome and I hope I can be that great of a parent someday :) Congrats on working toward your MASTER’S!!! That’s amazing. Science was never a strong point for me! I’ll tell Greg… we aren’t bee keepers yet but man… that’s our next goal! We could definitely use some advice…….

  4. I LOVE THIS! What a great post. Thanks for sharing the pictures! I love those. I feel very similarly about my parents. They have always encouraged us to go after our passions. Yay for parents who are awesome! :)

  5. Beautiful ! Inspiring! We are trying to live with less, and trust that our needs will be met, it’s hard sometimes. Thank you for sharing!

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Your parents are adorable! I too am really blessed to have parents that supported my dreams. For a long time, I thought that meant being a teacher. But after 3 years of college, when I realized I really didn’t want to be a teacher at all, they didn’t get mad (even though they had paid for 3 years of a degree I’d never use!) but encouraged me to find my dream and pursue it. I now have a career in graphic design & love it!

    • Your parents sounds great!! Um… memory fails me, but have we “talked” about this teaching thing?? I went to UNM to be a teacher and in the middle of student teaching decided I was never meant to teach. We are really so similar! Graphic design is like another universe to me! So cool!!

      • I don’t think we have, but that’s really what did it for me too – the first time I was in a classroom. The college I went to had an elementary school on campus that you spent a quarter in, helping out, and that’s when I realized I seriously could not be a teacher. I have so much respect for teachers now, because I know I could never do it!

  7. Thanks, Melinda. We love you so much. Keep writing…and drop by for a meal at Cedarbrook Cottage whenever you can.

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