Monday, September 19, 2011

Ready? Set? Jump anyways!

I was blessed with an opportunity to write a chapter for a book about really going for one's dreams and (well... title on route).  Anyhow, I thought this was a great challenge and it has indeed proved to be one.  But today it poured out of my heart and I thought I would share this, my story (which most of you know).  When the actual e-book is completed I will definitely let you know where to get it.

For now...if you'd like, have a read (but first click the link to see a video intro - my first ever).  I am open for feed back.  This is the first draft.  Keep in mind it is an entire chapter somewhere along the 2000 word world.  A first for Moi!!! 

And I...I am having a well deserved glass of wine!


               READY? SET? JUMP ANYWAYS!

I certainly could not be the only one who has felt at least the first two parts of this title.

I have a dream in my heart. There it sits brewing and then stewing for what seems like endless amounts of time. I attempt to ignore it and go on about my regular living but The Dream does not like being ignored. It surfaces again and again.

I make a list. You know, the Pro's and the Con's...research I call it. The more I list the stronger my desire is to LIVE THIS DREAM...but alas I must get ready for my “job”.

While at work The Dream surfaces almost confusing me with what the task at hand is. Jotting down notes, I stuff into my pockets, I make it through the shift...what seems like barely. Once back at home I dive deep into the zone. The Dream Zone.

Now the passion is even stronger, the ideas are getting clearer, the con's are getting solved and I think...when I am all ready and set then I will be able to jump joyfully into my bliss, My Dream.

So I start the process, look into this, sort out that, how long till I can afford to do such, make yet another budget, and then another re-vised budget. My life turns into a non stop meeting of my mind, my sense, and my passion. I have less time for friends or social gatherings...I am busy planning my bliss.

Off I go, yet again to my “real” job and now My Dream has affected me to the point of feeling rather...depressed. My job is not My Dream and I feel like I am stuck. I pull myself back up by saying, ”You are getting yourself ready and set so that you can jump!” Oh yes! I remember! I pull through another week of shifts.

I start to save for this dream. Save so I can catapult. This feels like I am doing something valuable towards My Dream and my spirit feels like it is getting closer to launching. Then life steps in. Something inevitably comes up and drains the know, an emergency of some sort.

Sigh. I feel stuck yet again. If I could only have what I need so that I could indeed be ready...set...and then I would jump!

Does any of this sound familiar? Well, dear one, this was absolutely my world. I have not only been there but swam in this pool of hope for most of my adult life. I literally saw in the recent past that I was sitting on the edge of my own possibility for going on three years of serious planning (that after about ten years of dream drifting).

One day I realized that if I continued to wait until everything “looked” proper so I could “back” myself up for taking a chance (in my own and others eyes), well the realization was I'd still be sitting in that room drawing lists and expressing hope instead of sitting here now, writing about how I jumped and have never looked back!

The only story I have is my own. My reason for telling this is that perhaps it will inspire you to jump off and live your own story. So here goes...

I'll start with My Dream. My Dream is to make fabulous hats and art all while living in New York City where I meet the man of my dreams and we live happily ever after in deep and true love. While in New York City I dreamed of taking classes to learn classic hat making and blocking. I have been designing and making hats for twenty years. I am self taught and I did not know how to block (a hat term) a classic hat.

I have always had a love affair with New York City. I dreamed of walking through Central Park, having a coffee in the village, shopping along Fifth Ave., mixing with the Fashion movers and shakers...truly growing my business in the heart of the fashion business.

As stated above I have been designing hats for two decades. I am an artist. I paint, create, and creatively live. That is just me. I also love business. This is one of the unique parts of me. Business Person and Artist...not always a sure mix. For me, it's who I am. I simply love both.

Now my launching point was the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. I lived on the north shore in a wonderful home, on a great property, three dogs and a cat that belonged to the landlord but adopted me daily, 400 square feet of artist's space that I could paint, re-arrange (and I did over and over) and two and a half acres of lawn and trees. Aaaaaaaaah. Lovely.

My island home

The pups

Mi casa!

Here I created collections of hats, painted paintings, held soiree's and events where I sold my works in this divine space in paradise. I had a circle of wonderful loving friends and supporters. Life was good. Very good.

Besides being creative in my home studio I also held a job. My inner entrepreneur struggled that I was working for someone else – which I now realize is silly, but at the time was very vibrantly in my spirit.

My job was about a five minute drive from my home which I enjoyed as I cruised in my convertible Miata I named Daisy.

Driving Miss Daisy!

 I was a manager at a small country grocery/gas store (absolutely nothing fashionable about this). The job had a title, paid just enough to get by, had some benefits and some thought it was the best job this artist/dreamer ever had (I wasn't one of the some).

So I made lists...NYC how to get there, etc. I talked about it, cried about it, did everything I wrote in the first few paragraphs of this chapter...literally.

I also prayed. A lot. I kept asking for a sign. To hear that still, small voice say “now.” I retreated often, just into my space, but went into deep heartfelt sessions where The Dream got clearer and clearer all while still trying to get ready and set so I could/would jump.

Well I can truly say that all of that time spent making lists and inner prep was indeed useful and I highly recommend truly listing your options. It clarified for me what My Dream actually was. Like peeling an onion they say and it was. I peeled and peeled and got down to the heart of it all.

Problem was I was drowning in the real world. I was starting to hate my job because it wasn't My Dream. As I got closer to the heart of My Dream I realized it was indeed me and I honestly had a hard time living life in the regular way I had been living it (which for some was steady, balanced, beautiful). For me it felt stifling, suffocating, unbalanced, and hopeless. I realize it wasn't for many, but for myself, My Dream, had become such a power in my life and it wanted to be actualized as my reality.

It all happened for a reason. For one day what seemed to some as a dreaded horror of horror's happened and for me it was a champagne moment (literally).

I had gotten to a place where I was going to was time, period. I sat down with my boss at the time and told her that I was ready to give her a two month notice (because in my planning I had budgeted out that two months would be enough to squeak me into my new life). She said to hold on and in two weeks she had an announcement. The universe had other plans and squeaking by was not the plan.

Let me tell you those two weeks were torture. Here I am feeling and knowing I had climbed the mountain of my life and walked through the crossroads, I had stepped to the edge of the cliff, I was on the tips of my toes, one foot off the ground, leaning forward, arms stretched out BUT stuck in this position for two weeks till I heard whatever she had to say to all of the staff.

Sigh. It was painful in the spirit. But something told me to buy champagne that afternoon when I went to I did. The entire staff was stressed out as we waited for “the meeting”. I was full of glee and had to actually contain myself from smiling like the Cheshire Cat through it all. We all sort of knew what was happening and I was very excited.

My boss was leasing her store, a sign of the times. There was a choice: apply to the new lease holders to possibly be re-hired to your position OR apply for unemployment. It was embarrassing how I had to keep myself from squealing with delight.

Darlings, I had my out!!! I was prepared, I saw opportunity disguised as something else and I took it!

Be assured I was not set. I had no savings and unemployment benefits would certainly not be much and it really wasn't about simply was my sign.

I came home, popped the cork, lifted the glass, smiled, sipped and jumped off into My Dreams. Nothing holding me back, it was time to take a chance.

That's what crossroads are for my friend. The opportunity to try a new direction and this time my direction was/IS My Dream.

Dream ~ January 2011

Reality! ~ May 2011

I booked a ticket, packed my life, sold and gave away the rest, stored very little on Maui, and headed to spend a month with my family in Arizona. I celebrated my birthday and two days later I was aboard the plane on route to New York City. Well, Jersey City, New Jersey actually. I had a friend there and rented a room from them which is just cross the river from my destiny.

It doesn't stop here. This was simply the jumping off point, truly. Check out what happened immediately upon arrival.

I actually have to back it up a bit to the night I purchased my plane ticket while in my Maui home. While waiting till midnight for the fares to change I thought I would peruse Craigslist and see what types of work were available for this hat-making-artist-living-her-dream-gal. I could not believe my eyes. There on the list was a title for: Millinery Production and Sales.

Millinery Production and Sales!?!? I AM a Milliner (that is what hat makers are called!) and I am excellent in sales (that is what I do)!

So I sent an was February and I wasn’t going to be in New York until May but how could I deny that this job was totally me and I just wanted to introduce myself and hope we can meet when I arrive (pretty much what I wrote).

I didn't know if I would get a response. It's New York after all and everyone is so busy,etc. However, later the next day I did get a response...yes, stop by when you get here, you never know. Great!

So fast forward to my first official day troll-oping through New York City and telling my new housemate this story and how I am planning on visiting the store next week when I am settled. Just to introduce myself and see. On my second evening, pretty exhausted from traveling, I went to Craigslist, again just to see what jobs were know, new life, new job. Low and behold, just posted that day: Millinery Production and Sales.

Really? Really! Four months later posted again! Of course I know whose company this is so I head to my email to's me! When I get to my email there is one waiting for me saying “Did you come to NY?” from the hat company!

Now the amazing part about this is that there are not a lot of hat makers out there, let alone hat companies, let alone hat companies needing hat makers and here I am, a hat maker...well I am certain you understand the brilliance of this.

It's Dream Power or as I refer to it God working gracefully in my life.

So I met the hat maker the next day, was asked to come as an intern unpaid for three weeks but I would be learning, get this, blocking (what I came to NYC to learn)! So while no money would be exchanged I wouldn't be paying for my education! Okay!

I started work two days later. At the end of the first day the store had the highest sales in its recorded history and my new boss insisted on paying me starting that day.

I have now gone from a free education to a paid education working in the East Village in New York City and four months later from that day I received a raise.

My first blocking

Just a quick review. I am now working in my preferred field, in my preferred city, doing what I love, what I am excellent at and being promoted while doing this, as well as, learning new skills each day I am there. All this within three days of arriving to the east coast. All because I did indeed jump.

A place of blessing I have heard it called. Having the simple faith to trust that I will be more than okay to stretch out and take a step into what brings me passion and vibrancy...I am living proof that indeed even if you are not fully ready, nor totally set, you might as well jump anyways...your life just may open up and give you a great big kiss.

Mine most definitely did.

I truly hope that you will take those chances that happen in life and claim them as your own crossroads into your very own absolute bliss. Be the beautiful Dream that you have deep in your heart. You will glow.

I do daily.

  Oh yes...remember My Dream?

A day in Central Park

     Coffee in the village
Out with the Fashion Makers! Tiffany's 5th Ave.

Katherine Living Her Dream ~ NYC 2011