Drifting Dreamers

We all have dreams. Some are lofty while others are small. Each and every dream is important and speaks to who/what we are truly meant to be.

I read the most inspiring quote in one of my Self magazines. It read: “It’s not who you are that holds you back. It’s who you think you’re not.”

This is incredibly true when it comes to chasing down our dreams. My biggest dream is to become a successful author. While I feel that I am talented enough to “make it,” there are countless things that bombard me with feelings of doubt.

I am currently in the process of launching my own publishing company entitled Theuerkauf’s Tails, LLC. Fear grips me when I realize that I do not know the first thing about owning and running my own business. Even though I have my Bachelor’s degree and graduated Suma Cum Laude with a 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale, I somehow do not feel “smart enough” to figure things out.

Money is also an issue that I worry about constantly. The costs of creating an LLC are quite high. Not to mention the cost of purchasing ISBN’s, filing my copyright, filing with the Library of Congress and printing promotional materials. I do not want to waste my family’s limited resources on something that could turn out to be unsuccessful.

But every time that I talk about my children’s book, Priceless Penny, I become excited. Then, I start getting ideas for promotions, book signings, merchandise, etc. I literally feel like this is what I was born to do. Combining my love of animals and my talent for writing seems as natural to me as breathing. So, why am I afraid to try?

I am reminded of a family member, *Riley. She wanted to get her Master’s degree in teaching and was enrolled in the program. Then, she got married and stopped attending. When I asked her why she did not continue she simply said, “I wanted to spend time with my husband.”

While I believe that it is important for couples to spend time together, you should not have to give up on your dreams in order to make your significant other happy. Their happiness should come from seeing you happy (and vice versa). I also felt like this was extremely unfair to blame her dropping on her husband. He has always been very supportive of Riley and I am positive that he would have encouraged her to get her Master’s had he known it was so important to her.

Riley also attempted to get her Amateur Radio License. Her husband has been a ham for many years and she became interested in the hobby. Riley began attending classes that were taught my Amateur Radio veterans. But, one teacher made fun of her for not knowing an answer. She never attended another class.

I can certainly understand how she was feeling. Embarrassed, humiliated, stupid. But, all she did was prove that teacher right. And she had numerous options than simply quitting.

Riley could have sought another class with a different teacher. The more terrifying option would have been to confront the tyrannical teacher and inform him that she had just as much right to be in the class as her male counterparts and that she did not deserve to be treated in such a manner. Instead, she left and gave up on yet another dream.

While she insists that she is happy, Riley does get a faraway look in her eyes when someone mentions a Master’s degree or when I bring up taking part in a ham event. My question to her? Why not try to achieve theses dreams now?

Riley complains that she will be retiring soon. She does not see the point in getting her Master’s. I told her to do it for HER, not to advance in her work position. This would be something that she could be proud of to have earned. And who knows what the future holds? She may decide to work part-time in which the degree would be beneficial.

As far as hamming goes, it is NEVER too late to learn something new! I purchased the official ARRL (American Radio Relay League) testing guide on my Kindle. No class (or teacher) required. There are even online tutorials that can be viewed for free. The tests are given once every month, so there is no need to rush the learning process or feel like time is running out.

Too many times, we follow in Riley’s footsteps and try to talk ourselves out of following our dreams. We fear that we are not “good enough” or that we might fail. However, the true failure is in not trying.

While I am still nervous about the success of Theuerkauf’s Tails, I know that I need to take this risk. Years from now, I do not want to be filled with regret about all of the things that I did not try. I want to be able to smile about the things that I did.

*name has been changed

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