When I was little, I thought it would be cool to have a brother. My best friend, Shane, was a boy, & he had three brothers. My cousin, Sara, had three brothers. While I’m sure the whole boy thing got old to her really fast, I thought it was funny when they charged in her room to spray us with squirt guns. There was just an element of liveliness when boys were added to the mix. For Shane’s birthday one year, it was pirate themed. This was pre-Pinterest. There was no balloon arch or a life-size pirate ship photo booth made out of organic milk cartons & tissue paper. This party was circa 1994. We all showed up in pieced together pirate costumes, feasted on a giant sheet cake, & went on a treasure hunt for plastic gold in the backyard. Also, Shane’s dad dressed up like a pirate & chased us around with Shane’s little brother’s poopy diaper he attached to his toy hook hand. It was hilarious. It was disgusting. It was very boy.

I grew up on Griffith Avenue, a street full of old houses & giant trees. I loved our house. We moved out of it when I was nine, and for years, I planned on buying it back when I grew up. On the corner of that street lived a house that had been abandoned. I pretended my ten older brothers lived there. Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big, right? I never got super specific & named them or anything. I didn’t go around talking about my pretend brothers to my 4th grade teacher. I don’t know if I even told my parents. I was just bringing that dream to life a little.

first trip to Disney World with the closest thing I had to a brother– Shane (more commonly known in the ’90s as Shaney).

I think we do that a lot with our lives. We have these little dreams that show up in our minds—they make our hearts beat faster when we think about them, & we imagine what life would look like if it all came to life. But just like a kid not being able to conjure up a real life brother, we act like we don’t have the capacity to bring our dreams to life, either.

I was talking with my cousin, Sara, who is now squirt gun free because she lives in her own house, brother-free, about our travel dreams. We both consider ourselves lovers of travel but realize there is a whole slew of places we haven’t visited yet. I assumed because I love traveling, those trips would naturally happen. Life would pause & I’d find myself on a plane with a suitcase packed for Italy. And then Hawaii. And then Ireland. Like if those destinations were meant to be, they would just happen. We say that kind of horse nonsense a lot, right? If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. Actually, if we want to go on a trip, we do the legwork of planning & saving for the trip & make it happen. That’s how you bring a dream to fruition. You do the legwork & you make it happen.

What is your big dream? If you could picture your best life, what has happened between now & then? You may have several dreams. I sure do. Some dreams may be bigger or smaller than others, & that’s cool. I have a dream to travel somewhere new every year, & I also have the dream to become a New York Times Bestselling Author one day. Totally different dreams. And I won’t spend my time wondering if those dreams are meant to be & hoping they’ll happen one day. I’m doing the work now. Yes, it’s daunting putting yourself out there & putting effort into something, having no idea how it will turn out. But here’s the kicker—when you’re working on something you love because it’s a dream of yours, you don’t have to justify it. It’s already worth the effort, no matter how it all shakes out. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a NYT bestselling author. That’s not really in my control. But what I can do is do something to bring me closer to that dream. And the good news is because it’s my dream I’m working on, I don’t have to wait for the completion to feel the success. If you’re pursuing something, you’re succeeding in it. Am I making that up to make myself feel better? Maybe. But it’s true! Your dreams are yours for a reason. Don’t wait until you feel super prepared & equipped because it was never about feeling super prepared & equipped. It’s about the journey of pursuing something you love because you love it. That’s what makes it a dream. That’s what makes your life a living success. Get after it, girl!

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