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Where the Streets Have No Name

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

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Fieldstone Hill Design

Meet Darlene.

We met on the airplane, on the way to the blogging conference I’m at this week. When I boarded the plane and went to find my seat, there was Darlene, right next to me. I had a hunch she was headed to the blogging conference, so I asked and by golly, I was right!

Darlene is owner, interior designer and blogger at Fieldstone Hill Design. Little did I know, I’d sat down next to a conference speaker! Darlene is slated to speak TODAY on the topic “You are a Master Designer: Finding Your Personal Style.” Wish the woman well, will you?! And by the way, she has a master’s degree in OPERA performance. Talk about a fascinating woman, right?

Darlene and I chatted non-stop, from the second I sat down until we picked up our luggage at baggage claim. (And we’ve connected at the conference a few times since we arrived.) Let me tell you, there’s something special about this woman. In the not-so-quiet rumbling of the little plane that took us from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Greenville, South Carolina, we shared our God-sized dreams, the secrets of our hearts, with one another. Don’t ask me exactly WHY I trusted and connected with this woman quite literally out of the gates, but I did. I saw her heart, and I’m pretty sure she saw mine, too.

So I asked Darlene one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This was her response.

Darlene would live a whole lot of love if she didn’t have to worry about money.

1) When it comes to her husband and three children, They’d “all be together all the time as a family.”

2) She’d travel with her family, see the world, and “let the world be our educational oyster.” Darlene would specifically love to travel to Italy, Switzerland, Hawaii, Tahiti, and Brazil. She’d definitely bring her kids, but would also bring a nanny along so they’d be free to go out for date nights and enjoy a little adult time together. (I hear ya, girl!)

3) Darlene would “decorate her house exactly as [she] wants to.” Even though she’s an interior designer and could do it herself, she might even hire someone to help.

4) Darlene would keep homeschooling, but would “hire more tutors” for her kids.

5) She’d set regular spa appointments and would “definitely add that into her life more.”

6) And Darlene would “give without limits.” She’d love to do some “audacious giving” as she felt led. (Yet another reason I love this woman.)

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So what can we learn from Darlene?

Darlene and I connected. I mean really connected. We had a 30-40 minute plane ride to converse, so my interview with Darlene was longer than any other this month. We had time to engage in deep and meaningful ways. And there was conversation beyond “the question of the month.”

One thing I’ve learned and will be expanding on as I wrap the 31 Days series later this week, is that we need TIME with people. We need TIME to hear people out. We need TIME together, in community, if we want to arrive at a place of vulnerability. If we really want to share our hearts, support, and encourage others in their lives and dreams, we must have TIME to pour into their stories.

Thank you, Darlene, for reminding me of this beautiful truth. All of you, the whole of you, is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your dreams, for letting me enter in to your private and vulnerable spaces. I’m the lucky girl who just happened to get a seat next to you on the plane. Thank you for your love, and for inviting me in to the beautifully designed home of your heart.

Today I want to challenge you. Who have you been vulnerable with lately? Find an opportunity and open up, just a little. You might just be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

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DSC_0773

Meet Elsa.

She’s my 9-year-old daughter. Two nights ago, she asked if she could start her own blog. I told her I would support that, but maybe it would be nice to try writing a guest post on my blog first and see how that goes!

So I asked Elsa one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This is the response she typed, word for word, all by herself.

“I would probably be a dancer, because whenever me and my sister are bored, what we do is dance in my room. Sometimes when I’m just bored, I act like I’m a real dancer. I’ve been in dancing for 4 1/2 years. I like dance a lot. This year I have dance class on Wednesday. The type of dance I’m doing this year is hip hop. This year is the first year I’m doing hip hop and so far I love it.

I would also like to give a chunk of my money to people who need it. I would like to because I like giving to others. I would give the money to people like my sponsored child, poor people and much more people, but I can’t think of anyone else. If I were you, what I would do is give at least 5-10% of your money to charity and other people groups. What I would do is give 30% of my money to anyone that needs it.”

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So what can we learn from Elsa?

Elsa is passionate and generous.

She knows what she loves, and at this point in her life, she’s willing to believe anything is possible. Elsa loves to dance. It energizes her and it’s her go-to activity when she’s bored. What did you do when you were a little girl that still lights you up inside as a grown woman? What if we let that little child shine again?

Elsa’s generous heart allows her to think big when it comes to giving. I love how she’d give “money to…much more people but she can’t think of anyone else” and “anyone that needs it.” Elsa is willing to step out of her comfort zone to serve. Her heart is open. She doesn’t personally know every person that needs help around the world, but what she does know is that there are “people groups” who need help. Bless her soul, she just wants to help.

Leave some comment love for Elsa, will you? Encourage her in her dreams, compliment her writing, or just share a little of what’s on your heart for my sweet nine year old. I’m gone at a writing conference, but she’ll be reading the post and your comments with daddy later tonight. Thanks, friends.

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

31Daysgraphic2014

DSC_1422Meet Cassie.

She helped me checkout when I went into Michael’s arts and crafts store to buy some fall stickers for speech-language therapy.

I asked Cassie one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This was her response.

She’d “dedicate more time to improving the arts.” “That’s a career goal,” Cassie noted.

Cassie would like to get into cartooning and animation. She “draws on a daily basis for now, to improve for when she takes classes to make it a career possibility.”

Full Sail University would be Cassie’s “Harvard” in regards to schools for cartooning and animation, because they work with Disney and Pixar quite a bit. Cassie’s other dream would be to work at FUNimation Entertainment in Texas. There, they specialize in anime, which is one of Cassie’s loves.

If Cassie didn’t have to worry about money at all, she’d also make sure to leave time for more exercise and video games.

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So what can we learn from Cassie?

I love how Cassie’s found work that’s in line with her dreams. She dreams of getting into cartooning and animation someday, so she landed a job at Michael’s arts and crafts store. She’s not wasting her time doing work she dislikes. She’s not wasting her time on some random job that has absolutely nothing to do with cartooning and animation. She’s spending her time as wisely as she can, and she’s moving in the right direction.

Cassie’s not currently enrolled in cartooning or animation school, but she is drawing on a daily basis. They say practice makes perfect. So even if you’re not anywhere close to achieving your ultimate dreams, keep practicing. Because you never know where all that practice will take you!

What are you practicing? Even if you haven’t achieved your ultimate dream, are you somewhere along the way? What could you do, today, to propel yourself towards that dream, even if it seems small, even if nobody knows or notices but you?

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

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Meet Jose.

I met him at a skateboard park at sunset. As you might guess, I don’t usually frequent skateboard parks. But I’d gone to the park for a relaxing walk before my mom’s night out at the movie theater. As I was driving into the park, I looked up the hill and noticed two young men skateboarding. I decided it might be interesting to go up and watch for a while. It was then that I met Jose, who was sitting on the ground watching one of his sons skateboard.

I quickly realized that Jose might be a perfect person to interview for this month’s blog series, so I approached and asked him one question. “If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your life?”

This was his response.

Jose “would travel.” It’s his biggest passion, for sure. When he was younger, he got a scholarship to study in Portugal. He traveled all over Europe and visited relatives in Spain.

Jose noted that in Europe, “they work to live, not live to work.” He really appreciated how Europeans “work enough to get money to live.” Since I haven’t been to Europe yet, I asked Jose for more details. I wanted to know what this looks like in real time. Jose expanded. Europeans want to “have fun, a good meal, enjoy each other, and help each other.” They’re just “more human,” he said.

Currently, Jose works from home as a web designer. It’s been a great job for him. He’s of Puerto Rican descent and has been living in the United States for 30 years. All of his family and friends who still live in Puerto Rico have “a great life.” (Special note Minnesotans: Warmer weather is definitely a part of Jose’s ideal, great life formula! As a southern soul displaced in the north, I couldn’t agree more!)

Jose’s traveling to Puerto Rico to visit his family for the holidays this year. He’d like to bring his children when he’s able, and when they demonstrate readiness and maturity. They’re eager to have an opportunity to be immersed in the culture and learn Spanish. Ideally, Jose would love to do his web design work from Tampa, Florida, where a lot of Puerto Ricans live. If he lived there, it would be easier to travel back and forth to Puerto Rico to visit his elderly mother, family and friends.

As we wrapped up our conversation, Jose made some excellent points. “It’s very important that you love what you do,” he noted. “Why wait to enjoy life until you’re 65 [and retired]? We’re here for a little bit. Why not enjoy it?”

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So what can we learn from Jose?

The concept of “working to live” NOT “living to work” is the most notable learning from Jose as far as I’m concerned. So many of us climb the ladder, dreaming of the day when we’ll finally reach the top. We climb and climb and climb some more. After a while, after we’ve earned the big bucks and bought the big house, we realize there’s more to life than work. This “dream” we spent years, perhaps a lifetime pursuing, isn’t the end all be all of life. The things that truly satisfy us in life aren’t things.

Perhaps instead of dreaming about better jobs, higher pay, bigger houses and all the disposable income we ever wanted, we should be dreaming about things that aren’t easily quantified – spending time with one another, helping one another, enjoying meals together, being “more human,” and loving what we do?

So what do you think? Do you “work to live” or “live to work?” I’d love to know a retired person’s perspective. Now that you’re no longer “living to work,” how have things changed in your life? Or maybe you decided to climb down the ladder in pursuit of a simpler life. Tell me more. I’d love to chat.

greensig

 

 

 

*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AmyBPederson where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at facebook.com/AmyBPederson! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

  1. Carol Femling says:

    I LOVE The second to the last paragraph, Amy. I’ve always thought this way and still think those things matter the most. 🙂

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