A few weeks after my college graduation, I flew from Northern Ireland to New York City and slept on my brother’s futon for 3 days. At that point, all I wanted was a door. So I moved into a sublet across the park to a room with a twin sized cot and a mini fridge that doubled as a nightstand. I had my door but it wasn’t long before I wanted access to a kitchen.
A month later, I wheeled my two suitcases to another apartment a few blocks away. This one had a kitchen, two cats, and a roommate who was rarely around. Here, I had one dresser drawer and a bit of closet space to hang my work clothes. I had a small spot in the kitchen to keep my pasta and peanut butter and I didn’t mind sleeping in someone else’s sheets. But soon it was time to leave that and I began to think it might be nice to live with people my age.
I moved into a four bedroom apartment with four men also in their twenties. In four months, I’d gone from futon to door to kitchen to friends. But it wasn’t long before the summer heat took over my tiny bedroom and I dreamed of the day I’d have my name on the lease and be able to buy a window A/C unit.
A few months later, I moved again, this time to a five bedroom. This time, everyone had a door. And a functioning kitchen. I bought an A/C unit. I inherited a bed from an old roommate and a desk from the street. I bought hangers from the discount store and had a closet that was filled with just my things.
I think about these early New York days often. I think about how, little by little, I carved my way into the city and into a life I had only dreamed might be possible.
Of course there are things I’m still working toward.
At least one of my dreams has come true.
This line has been repeating over and over in my head. Anytime I feel like I’m not exactly where I want to be or doing what I want to be or whatever else feels lacking, I think about how at least one of my dreams has come true. And when I say that, I’m not thinking of big, once-in-a-lifetime, world changing dreams. I’m talking about having my favorite tea mug and a readily available stash of my favorite loose leaf.
I’m not talking about being a best selling author. I’m talking about how I wanted to buy a wax melter and how one day I finally did and how now I sit on my sofa with the soft glow of the wax melter and I think about one of my dreams coming true.
I can almost guarantee that some small dream has come true. Some part of you used to wish for what you have right now. Even if that’s as simple as a place to hang your jacket.
I’m a chaser. I love going after bold dreams with energy and enthusiasm. But I’m also learning to revel in pause. And I’m loving looking back and seeing just how many of my dreams I’m already living.