At this time of year, so many of us are deep in reflection*. Over the past week, I’ve had a lot of discussions with people near and dear to me about what they learned from 2019 and what they are envisioning for 2020. The more people I spoke with, the more I noticed a surprising theme emerging: slow growth.
I know. It’s not sexy, is it? Where are the big hairy audacious goals? The brave and bold choices? The dramatic transformations?
We all just seem a little tired for that.
Or maybe, it’s something more unexpected – we’re actually dreaming bigger.
When Justin and I sat down on New Year’s Eve and talked about our past year, it was clearly about our home renovation. As we explored the experience, we realized that we had actually been working on this dream for over three years! There was the year we committed and then started to dream and save. Then came the year we started working with the architect and getting the city’s approval. That was also the year that we went through all of our belongings, clearing the way for a new vision and a fresh start. Then last year we packed and moved and the construction work began. Our house was taken down to the studs and then was built back up again. Now, at the beginning of our fourth year, we’re preparing to move back in and make this fresh new space into our home. It’s time for us to nest.
If I’d been aware of how long it would take, I’m not sure how I would have approached it or whether I would have at all. How many times do we walk away from a dream because it seems like it will take too long – especially as we get older!
I don’t have time to get a degree!
It’s too late to start my own business!
I’m too old to learn the violin now!
There. I said it. Hogwash.
When I first read The Artist’s Way, I was shaken by something Julia Cameron said and it forever changed my perspective in this regard. I’m paraphrasing but I think you’ll get the point.
Yes, it takes a long time. Yes, it may be late. But in 5 years, you can either have 5 years of experience playing the piano or none. You choose.
And the beautiful thing, the thing that makes all the difference, is that it’s not just about the destination or even about the journey. It’s about who you become when you step into a desire or a dream. Do I want to be a woman who studies Art History or a woman who decided it was too late? Do I want to be a woman who can fumble her way through a conversation in French or a woman who wishes she learned? Do I want to be a woman who is writing a book or one who hopes to one day?
I have felt in a rush for a lot of my life. I’ve been a late bloomer and struggled with a constant state of worrying that I’ll miss out. It’s taken me a long time to realize how much I miss out on when I rush, including the chance to build big dreams, the kind of dreams that take patience and time, and the chance to live the kind of life that takes time to build.
I’m learning to not be intimidated by things that take a long time. No matter what happens, saying yes to what I dream of makes me the woman that I want to be.
Sometimes moving slow is dreaming big after all.
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