How to Capture a Dream

Life has been very good to me lately. Several things that I only dared to imagine are now realities. One of these dreams is a paid job as a writer with a flexible schedule. Here, I try to identify the key moments that helped to manifest this vision into reality.

Dreaming is part of the work. It’s almost impossible to work towards something that you cannot envision. For me, this dreaming was simply wanting to be a skilled writer. I felt my writing skills had stopped improving since high school. So, as soon as I had sufficient free time and mental space, I started looking for opportunities to write within the McGill community.

In September 2016, I began writing for the Tribune, a student-run newspaper. I knew it was what I needed when I felt empowered and more confident as the weeks went by. I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with experts in different fields through the interviews. I loved learning about current events and constantly challenging myself. Later, in January of 2017, I traveled for two months with the hopes of becoming more centered in who I am, and finding the strength to live out my convictions. And sure enough, those who seek do find. At the same time, I began blogging for CaPS to continue writing throughout those months (and here I still am!).

As a blogger for CaPS, I have complete artistic freedom. For one blog, I covered a workshop held by CaPS on how to negotiate a job offer. After attending the event, I emailed the presenter to ask for permission to write about the event — she agreed! I later emailed her a link to the finished blog along with a note of thanks. Now this is the moment of truth: the presenter (now my supervisor) emailed back, expressing that she enjoyed reading the piece and asked if I would be interested in a temporary position as a writer in the future. Fast forward a few months, and I am now interviewing professional geographers and writing for the Canadian Association of Geographers.

What could I share from this experience that may be helpful to you?

  1. Focus on becoming skilled and on improving.
    Having solid skills is the best safeguard against fears. Nothing can substitute for the work.
  2. Be clear on what you are working towards.
    It can be as simple as getting better at writing. It also helps to be intrinsically motivated – to be able to articulate why something is worth the pursuit and investment. Ultimately, in the end, you can become good at anything if you put in the time.
  3. Be flexible to the possibilities.
    Always do good work so that you will be prepared when unexpected opportunities present themselves.
  4. If you don’t believe in yourself, that is not a problem.
    But you must have a direction and trust the process. Your confidence will grow with your skill, and your skill will come with time and practice. Give yourself time and be patient.
  5. Structures allow for freedom
    Only by rendering many aspects of daily life automatic and habitual could we free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action” – William James
    A structure can be meal-planning, or waking up at the same time everyday, or wearing the same clothes – whatever works for you.
  6. Tell people what your vision is, what you are working on, and what you are looking for.
    Talk to people whom you feel connected with. It’s mind-blowing how many like-minded people I’ve met lately. I’m beginning to believe that this is the way life should be when we are in tune with ourselves and those we cross paths with.

There are two ways to move a mountain. One way is to move the mountain all at once, in which case we will need the help of alien spaceships. Another way is to move a few rocks at a time – boulders if you’re fit. Similarly, materializing a dream can happen in two ways. It can happen overnight, which is usually what it looks like when we peek into someone else’s life. But often, it starts with something more manageable, something that most people can do. The real test is if we will continue, and how we continue.

As I give my true self to life, life opens itself to me and helps me to become what I am; I dream about life and life dreams for me too. Why not take a chance and start dreaming about the possibilities?

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I’m very happy to have this opportunity to share my experiences on a larger platform than my personal blog. Sharing is a way to extend and preserve my experiences, and I want this sharing to be as helpful as possible! If there is anything I touched upon that you would like to read more on, please leave a note in the comments, and I will try to make it happen.
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One response to “How to Capture a Dream”

  1. David says:

    Great job, Chelsea! Stick to your passion, dream will reveal to you !

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