The Space Between Dream and Reality

All photos by Shanley Cox

wait: [weyt] verb (used without object)

1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens;  hold oneself in readiness (for something)

The space between our dreams and reality is often where we exist. We’re trying to turn our goals and dreams inside out, make them become our every day, but some of us are not quite there yet.  We carry on with our day to day lives while our minds are drifting elsewhere, dreaming of the future we want and wish to have for ourselves. But how do we make the future right now? How do we manipulate our dreams so that they manifest themselves sooner rather than later? 

I’ve made a list of 5 things to remember and do while we wait in “the space”. 

1. MAKE A VISION BOARD

Last year I made a vision board of the things I wanted to change and wanted to achieve. Okay, it wasn’t a board,  it was more like pages out of a magazine and printouts taped and pinned to my bare naked wall, HA!. This board included job goals, a new living space and dream collaborations for my blog. I then broke down all of the things I would need to have ready in order to even think about achieving these goals. And then, I did those things. Seems pretty simple right? The thing is. IT IS. Don’t let people fool you into thinking that this is hard. Keep in mind that these things won’t happen overnight. But with a clear vision and positive attitude, things will shift. And with a little bit of patience, the universe will split wide open.

2. PREPARE AND TEND YOUR FIELDS,

Put in the work. Do the little things before you do big things. Because God is not going to give you what you ain’t ready for. What are you doing with where you are right now, so that you can actually be where you want to be later? 

Because I knew where I wanted to be, I knew the steps I’d need to take to get there. And last year, I simply wasn’t prepared. I knew I needed to build up my portfolio, so I shot more. I knew I needed to challenge myself in business/marketing so I took online courses and consumed all the information that I could. I knew I needed to design a media kit in order to pitch to dream brands and companies so I did that too. And I networked like a crazy woman. 

My point here is using the space to take time to prepare. Don’t wait for opportunities to fall into your lap, because 99% of the time that won’t happen. You will always be your best motivator. So get out there and do the work. 

3. FAILURE IS INEVITABLE, SO MAKE IT COUNT. 

You are going to fail, that much is true. The question is when you fail, are you going to make it count? Are you going to learn from your mistakes and apply the things you learned along the way to your new plan?  That’s up to you. 

Fail early fail often fail forward – John C. Maxwell

4. DON’T LET THE PEOPLE WHO’VE NEVER JUMPED, KEEP YOU FROM JUMPING.

Shoutout to my girl Denisse for giving us this reminder: Don’t always be so quick to take advice from people who haven’t been where you’ve been.

That was my mistake a few years ago, I let too many people give me advice on what to do and where to go. I remember I was working on a creative project I was super excited about, but let someone give their advice (that I didn’t ask for) and it totally drained me of all my creative energy so I stopped and never finished it. Unwarranted advice is completely different from constructive criticism. Advice from people who don’t align with your goals will eventually snuff out your flame, and constructive criticism from those you trust will only make you better and more equipped. 

PROTECT YOUR MAGIC. 

I’ve also realized that you don’t have to share what you’re working on with everyone! It is okay to go dark. Hibernate. Take the time. You should have a tribe of 2-5 people that you can share your ideas with. The rest don’t need to be included in your creative process. It’s not theirs to see, not until it’s finished.

5. IF YOU CAN’T GET A SEAT AT THE TABLE, BUILD YOUR OWN

“But how did you get where you are? No one has invited me to collaborate….I wish they’d ask me…I wish I could do that…must be nice…”

Listen up, the exclusivity of collaboration is illusory. if I was constantly waiting on people/brands to ask me to work together, I’d be waiting for a very very long time. 

Do NOT wait for people to come to you. I repeat, DO NOT.  This creative space is not exclusive. It may seem like it, but that is all an illusion. I’ve been frustrated with the lack of diversity in the blogging world for quite some time now. There are just some things I’m not going to get invited to, so I’m building my own table 😉 You CANNOT wait to be asked. Be intentional about surrounding yourself with people who’ve been where you want to go. Listen to their advice and get feedback. Build your tribe. Build your table.

I’ll admit it. Waiting is extremely hard to do, especially in this world of instant gratification. We want it all and we want it now. But I truly encourage you to be patient, to have faith, to put in the work and watch the opportunities blossom! I can’t believe that most of my dreams and goals on my vision board have come to fruition! It has already been a wild and crazy 2018 and it’s only February. I can’t wait to share more of the details with you guys soon. Remember to protect your magic, to keep learning, and to make that space between dream and reality count for something, if not everything.

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