The Gift of Dreaming Big

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This month in Spain, I’ve been thinking about a life-changing conversation I had almost 20 years ago.

Just months before I was supposed to leave for Peace Corps, I called my recruiter to drop out.

“I can’t do it,” I said, exhaling the anxiety attack I’d been having for weeks.

“You’re going to do it,” she said. “You’re going to go, and you’re going to learn Spanish, and you’re going to be able to travel all over South America and talk to people.”

The vision she gave me helped me climb Anxiety Mountain and get on the plane.

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Gratitude for that moment has been washing over me — as I’m able to get recommendations from the woman next to me at the market about which fish to buy with the bottled peppers, as I joke with the server about the singer on TV being my boyfriend, as I absorb a historical tour in a language that used to feel like an impassible jungle of sounds.

So much of what I envisioned has come to pass. I finished my first draft of my novel this year. I’ve had 17 pieces in The New York Times. I’m here in a laundromat in Barcelona, the nomad I always wanted to be, meeting with the assistant I used to hope I’d one day have.

Today, my last in Barcelona, my developer Rafa and I had lunch to celebrate the launch of The Writer’s Mission Control Center and to create a vision for the next 1, 5, and 10 years. That vision has me excited to get to work.

The emotion is the engine, and without the vision, the gas tank runs empty when it’s time to hit the flash cards, write your morning pages, or send another proposal.

May you find excitement in envisioning your future!

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