Dream Logistics

Written by: Sheena Jeffers for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins

Happy, happy June! This is the last month of working my full-time, day job... so that I can focus full-time on my dream life! {Cheers!}

It has certainly been a journey. Back in 2008, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. Then in 2009, I discovered I wanted to be a teacher. Then in 2010, I wanted to be a yoga teacher. Then in 2011, I discovered I wanted to be a leader. Then in 2012, I applied for graduate school.

The path has been beautiful, exhausting, emotional, stressful, creative, joyful and so, so much more than I ever expected. I look back on photos from my "post-graduation" days (ranging from 2008 - 2012) and I can't help but smile. These years were my years of discovery and learning: Who the heck I am, What the heck I want, How the heck I can make that happen, Why the heck I should, and When the heck I should make that happen (I'm still working on the Where the heck I should make that happen).

And so years 2008 - 2010 became my "Years of Discovery," and 2010-2012 I call my "Dream Logistics" years.

Once I discovered that law was not my calling in life... I knew I needed to find that calling, and once I did, I knew I needed a plan; a road map, something to get me from Point A (current life) to Point B (dream life). Important to note: This is where I must mention my fantastic team of life advisers! New section, because they are awesome.

So here is how I figured out my Dream Logistics:

I have beyond amazing life advisers/mentors/superheroes in disguise. My mentors (some of which know they serve as mentors to me, and some have no idea - I just watch their lives secretly from afar and stay inspired) have played vital roles in my every day life. They are the people who sit there and read through my ramblings as I'm trying to figure something out.  They are the people who read my long lists of bullet points and then send me back another long list of bullet points with "Well you didn't think about this" points. They are also the people who have pulled me up when I'm down, let me vent when I'm frustrated, and told me straight up, "You are wrong about that." They are the people who hold up a mirror to my life and force me to examine every detail with thorough thought, logic and deeper understanding. I won't reveal their names (they're my covert cabinet of advisers like top-secret weapons) but they know who they are, because they have put in hours and hours of dealing with me! (Thank you x a million!) And to those who have no idea I admire you... keep living your inspiring life! You are making a difference.

So Rule Number One to figure out the logistics of your dream: Find and maintain strong relationships with mentors.

I work really, really, really hard. They say, "There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream." That is the truth. Since 2008, I've worked 60+ hours a week, and even more if you include all of the time I spend thinking/dreaming/analyzing my work and how I can be better at what I do. Enter: Flashback photo to when I first started my full-court press on bringing awareness to arts education in Richmond, VA!

I was willing to do anything I had to do to accomplish my main goal: Bring awareness to the arts, and have people dance, dance, dance! If I was offered a job opportunity to teach or do a workshop or stay a little extra longer to help a student for their talent show... I said "yes" to the job, and I did it! I didn't factor in how tired I was, or that I hadn't had "Sheena time" in well over 2 months. I did the work because I believe in the work and the difference it makes in people's lives.

Rule Number Two: Be willing to work very, very, very hard (and say "YES" more times than you say "NO.")

I re-programmed my life. I stopped focusing on the moment and started planning for the future. I shifted from making last minute plans to being the girl with a five-year plan. That requires a change in your thinking, and a change in your behavior. Instead of working all day and then "catching a happy hour" 5 minutes before leaving work, I decided to start "catching a happy future" (say cheeeese!) This meant saving money, resting my body so I was able to do more work, staying inspired, asking questions, investigating, learning. Instead of wasting time away, I made my time useful.

Rule Number Three: Be ready to take on a new life to prepare for a new life.

I worked with the people who are currently doing what I want to do. I sought out jobs that provided purpose to my life. Law job = health insurance and steady income. Dance job = experience in what I want to do (like an apprenticeship). Everything you are currently doing should serve a purpose to move your life to the next step. If you can't identify the purpose, than perhaps you should re-evaluate why it's in your life. Go somewhere and with someone who can teach you and help your life grow to new dimensions you never dreamed possible.

Rule Number Four: Find a purpose for everything and everyone in your life. Figure out what it's bringing to your life (look for joy, happiness, stability and stay away from anxiety, stress and drama).

I asked so many questions, while never doubting my ability to follow through with expectations. Life is difficult (not because it's emotional and you feel like it's hard) but because there are many details and hoops to jump through. Paper work gets lost. Phone calls don't get returned. E-mails get sent back. Downloads don't download, and uploads upload only half way. All of this causes stress and miscommunication when you're trying to, hello, make a dream life happen! So I kept a notebook. I wrote down everyone's name I spoke to, I printed off every e-mail that provided me with directions, I wrote down every plan / idea / activity just because... they aren't going to make my dream life happen, I had to make it happen!

Rule Number Five: You must stay on top of the details and you must believe you are capable of following through with all of them. On time. And provide them all documentation better and earlier than they expected.

The truth is: Figuring out how to make your dream happen is very possible. But you have to cut out the noise and listen to your heart and prepare yourself for hoop jumping. Once you've done all of that, you're halfway there.

So... happy, HAPPY June! I have waited and planned for this month for a very long time. The month of transition from Point A to Point B.

June 2012, I am so glad to finally meet you.

Written by: Sheena Jeffers for Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins


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