Dreamstealers

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

What are you passions? Go for them!

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We live in a world where we have big dreams of what we want to be growing up.

We live in a world where way too often people have no problem telling us that our dreams are crazy.

We live in a world where being a “dreamer” has negative connotations. That being a “dreamer” means to not be living in reality.

Because society has made up the rules of how life should be lived, too often our dreams go by the wayside.

For me, that meant giving up everything I wanted to do in life to try to fit in to what society said was appropriate.

I’m not against the idea of hard work, but giving all of your heart, time, and passion 50-70 hours a week doesn’t leave a lot of time to chase a dream.

We all fall into the trap.

When you know that what you’re doing isn’t going to produce the results that you want, when you know what you’re doing isn’t your passion, you can feel it. It tugs at your heart strings. You get that knot in your stomach. That feeling of emptiness. The beginnings of hatred against your job.

At the end, it meant losing my mind.

It meant walking away from a career that “others” told me was the best thing that ever happened to me.

It meant not the end, it meant the beginning. The beginning of the rest of my life.

It meant having my moment with God. It meant letting go of all of the anger, regret, and resentment….all of the jealousy, what if’s, and should have’s.

It meant receiving a chance.

It meant asking myself, “What’s next?”

I remember sitting there on my mother’s couch like it was yesterday. This was the same couch that I had made into my bed for the previous 60 days up until then. The same couch that I had done nothing but sit and stare aimlessly into the television while I smoked two packs a day. Up until that point, I thought it was too late for me to live my dreams. I thought life had passed me by. I BELIEVED there was nothing left for me.

I remember sitting at the Thanksgiving Day table. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. A day to see family, have great food, watch football. Normally, it would be me screaming, “Hey…pass the turkey!” but on this day, it was me whispering, “Um, can you please pass the potatoes?”
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I remember sitting there thinking to myself “What the hell am I doing? Why am I beating myself up so bad?”

You see I have learned in one main thing over the last couple of years. To not listen to the opinions of others especially if they do not have to live to the results. I’m not a master at this statement by any stretch of the imagination, YET, anyway. But at that moment I realized that I had spent so much of my life listening to what other people thought was best for me. Giving up so much of what I wanted to do in life because people thought what I was doing was stupid, or crazy, or impossible. At that moment, it was engrained in me that it was time for me to stop living my life like that.

And the first thing I did? I went into the kitchen, YouTubed the most popular song on the radio at the time, and started singing along. It was Cee-lo’s “F#$k You.”

Man did it feel great. Singing had always been a passion of mine and it still is. I remember as a child making up melodies and words to those melodies and singing them on the front porch for all to hear. Ha…it makes me laugh out loud just writing about it. I hear this all too often from people who overcome depression – remembering a passion from their childhood and doing it.

I grew up taking keyboarding lessons. Gave that up in sixth grade. On two occasions since then, I bought keyboards that just sat in the house like a treadmill gathers clothes and eventually got thrown out because there wasn’t time in the day to play it.

After I had my singing marathon, I started reconnecting. Reconnecting with all of the people that life had gotten in the way of. Everyone has these people in their life. The people where we run into that we hadn’t seen in years and always promise to each other that we’ll make plans to meet up but it never happens. It felt good to be alive.

Then I began writing down what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. My first passion – singing – I thought it would be a great idea since I love singing karaoke, to start my own entertainment company. Then, I heard something that changed my life. “Turn your mess into your message.”

I realized that I wasn’t the only one in the history of the world that has suffered from anxiety and depression. If I could overcome it, so could others and I wanted more than anything in the world…to help. If I could share my experiences, my thought processes during and after, maybe…just maybe….it may help one person. If I did that, then I’ve done my job. It also meant me being a better person, better than I ever was.

I began sharing my story with people I hadn’t seen in years. People began sharing their stories back to me. I was connecting with friends in a way that I hadn’t ever in my life. People were thanking me for giving them hope.

There also were a lot of people who weren’t used to this person, the person I turned into. People were still used to the person they knew. When sharing my story with others, people would say that it sounded like I was throwing a pity party for myself. People would say that Rich is changing, and they would say it in a way that wasn’t positive.

I held an event Cinco de Mayo 2011 in an effort to raise money for my high school and for the local community center. It was going to be a tall task to get it organized and for it to be successful, but I was up for it. Even if it didn’t produce the results I hoped, at least I knew that I would give it my all. In sales I learned “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” The same applies for trying new things. You can’t get anything done if you don’t try first.

The event from the outside looking in was a disaster. Out of a necessary 1800 needed, about 150 people showed up. We didn’t raise nearly the amount of money we needed to. But in my eyes, it was an overwhelming success. See, most people looked at what I was trying to do and told me that it was a stupid idea, it would never work, and I heard some very negative things from people I thought were my good friends about how it was stupid for me to try something like that. In fact, while the event was happening, I could see right across the street a bunch of my friends that had gathered. They probably saw from afar that the event wasn’t going to be a success, but instead of standing in support with me on my side of the street, they laughed from across it.

Do you think that a married couple would stop a ceremony because they saw that one person didn’t show up that said that they were going to be there? Then why should you stop your dreams and your aspirations if ONE PERSON in your life says that what you want to do is stupid??? DO IT!

These people are called DreamStealers. Some are more direct and harsh, which should be the type you desire because at least you can see them coming. These are the ones that will tell you directly to your face what you’re doing is stupid. But then there are the ones that sneak up on you. The ones that you think that they have your back but they smile to your face and talk about you behind your back. OR, they can be people who genuinely care about you and want to look out for you, and because they fully don’t understand what you’re doing, they try to persuade you to stop doing what you’re doing.

All that matters is your dream. Keep going after it. What I really want to say is that there will be times where you get one of these DreamStealers who sneak up on you…and it sucks. That pit comes back to your stomach. Where you get that feeling of emptiness. You need to be strong. To be resolute that your dream is YOURS. It’s what you’re living for. It’s always been a passion in your life. Sure, you let it go for a short time, but now that you got it back you aren’t ever letting go.

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