March 15th, 2012
Cowboy Boots. Jeans. And Not Giving Up On Your Dreams.
Today I found myself doing something I hadn’t done in a long time. I laid on the bed, as flat as I could in order to zip up my jeans. Then, when I was able to, stiff-legged, roll off the side of the bed and into a standing position, I managed to get myself into a lunge position.
For any woman reading this blog. You know what I’m talking about. I’m stretching out my jeans that “shrunk in the wash.” I lunge. With a slight bounce, so as not to rip the pants. I walk around a bit. I sit in a chair. I take them off and put them back on. I literally do whatever it takes to stretch those buggers out. Because GOSH DARNIT!! They’re my FAVORITE jeans. And they’re the only ones I want to wear. I don’t care that they cut off circulation in my groin. I don’t care that they cause bruises on my hip-bones. I’m going to wear those freaking jeans if it’s the last thing I do! (raises fists to the air…”You hear me God??”)
And this reminded me of my new cowboy boots that are WAY too small. The first time I tried, I couldn’t even get my foot into them. The second time I tried, I got my foot in, but then it went numb. The third time I tried, I got smart…I oiled them up, stuck things inside that would stretch the leather. I even PAID to have a cobbler make them bigger. But yet…they are still too small.
But does that stop me from wearing them? No way. Why? Because I love them. I’m determined to make them fit me. I don’t care what I have to do, I don’t care that my foot is slightly deformed when I take them off. I’m going to do whatever it takes to have those boots in my life because they are the perfect boot, and I honestly believe they will fit me one day.
And this got me thinking about dreams. When it comes to dreams, it’s SO easy to just give up. To be all like “nevermind…this is too hard, I can’t do it, I don’t have what it takes.” And that is CRAZY coming from me, the girl who literally believes that shoes that do not fit in any way whatsoever, will all of a sudden fit one day. (and they will…you just wait).
Why is it that we can be so determined in one area of our lives (that has no real significance on our happiness), but so wishy-washy in another (that is the basis for all that we are here for in the world)? It just doesn’t make sense.
I know something about people. When we have a clear-cut goal (stretch out boots), and we want it bad enough (these boots WILL fit me) we will do everything we can to reach it. And when we find ourselves wishy-washy, it’s usually because our target of desire isn’t clear enough (meh…I don’t like those boots THAT much). We have an overall dream, but it’s not solid or specific. Or we sort of want something, but not enough to be uncomfortable about it.
The trick for dreaming is to make sure your dream is worth the stretch.
And so the question becomes…should we just keep jamming our feet into a boots that don’t fit, in hopes that they’ll stretch out to be perfect, or should we find some other boots? Is it better to have stretched and lost then to not have stretched at all? Are there other boots in the sea? How long do we keep trying?
What do you guys think?
And what I’ve come up with is that it’s always better to stretch. Always better to be uncomfortable. Always better BELIEVE that you can have what you want, no matter how impossible it might seem.
Be clear on your goals. Don’t give up. And do what it takes to get there. You will be uncomfortable for awhile. But that makes the perfect outfit (with the perfect boot) that much sweeter.
And with all this being said, I’m happy to report that my impossible boots fit. With every wear, I am one step closer to my dream boots. Magic?? No way. Determination Nation. All the way.
I’m taking my boots dancing tonight. See you on the floor.
Have you ever had this experience? Feeling like you want to give up on your dreams? What do you do to get past it? Leave a comment below and share your story.
Every once in a while, if I haven’t sold something in a long while, or I have a lot of things going on that are not good, then I will get in a funk (not Terry or Dory!) for a bit.
However, I personally am way to arrogant to stay that way for long, and usually take the time to go back to my site and change one word (yes, to me, one word can change the entire paragraph!), or something else productive, like maintaining my databases of archives, inventory, or product codes. Sometimes, I go to my “new” old standby…MAGAZINES! I’ll go into them and skim a few to get some good items to list for sale.
I’ve built what I had with no rule or guide to help along the way, and have gone from scouring garage sales and personal ads in the paper to having people come to me with their collections. I’m known as the go-to person for rare items or to have someone ask if something was ever produced, or to hep determine an original from a fake.
The ideas I have continue to be the most novel and unique, and I simply refuse to surrender. We all get down on ourselves every so often, but you build up again and put yourself right back where you were.
I always love your comments, so much. Because you’re such a great example of doing whatever it takes! Refusing to give up. Refusing to surrender. I am so inspired by your story, and by how far you’ve come and what you’ve created in your life. I LOVE having you as a part of this community. Awwwwwww…massive hugs your way. I’m so grateful for YOU!
YEESSS!! I love this Sally, soooo much. Thank you for this. I’ve been wanting to give up for a bit, cause it really is so hard sometimes, but just this week I’m finding new ways to stretch! Have fun dancing :)
Oh girl…I totally know what you mean. No one said stretching a boot isn’t a bit painful. But when your foot slides in, to fit just right, you’ll know if was all worth it. Stretch baby, stretch!
SALLY- Just so you know- I read all of your posts and they I love them. They move me and I am so happy in my heart that you are doing this! I always think of responding, because I pretty much always have something to say about what you write.
But, THIS one. WOW. So relevant, I almost feel like it was written for me, not that my jeans don’t fit and my boots don’t fit (you know me and what a stickler I am on things fitting properly) but the rest of it. I should call you. I’m SELLING EVERYTHING I OWN and FINALLY GETTING OFF THE CONTINENT. Your regular posts about life and stuff are part of what helped encouraged and inspired me to get out of the bubble in which I have lived for TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS! I love you very much and hope (know) we will meet somewhere tropical!
P.S.- my “bon voyage” sale is next weekend. I’m selling EVERYTHING.. Boots and jeans included ;)
Yea, the common wisdom is that if the shoe fits, then wear it. It’s the Cinderella syndrome that almost implies that if it doesn’t fit, then you shouldn’t wear it. I like your image better; that fit-ness is a perspective too. There’s a lot of shoes that COULD fit, but there’s only a few shoes that I WANT to fit. I kind of wonder what would have happened if Cinderella happened to be wearing shoes that were too small. Anyway, I think you are exactly right about the clarity of desire. I noticed that recently in myself: that I have little trouble going after the dream when it’s relatively well defined and kept in front of me. Of course there are obstacles and such, but clarity of desire has become really critical for me.
And I’ve come to learn that getting clear on desire is an experimental process, meaning I have to actually step into, or towards, the dream to understand and experience the real object of my desire. Your boot metaphor is so helpful for making this distinction between how the cool the boots (dreams) look on the shelf, and how amazing they look and feel on your feet. There is this somewhat awkward process of actually getting into a dream and making it real in a new sense, not as an object but as a way of life.
I’ve spent my fair share of time just staring at the dream on the shelf, “isn’t it wonderful and inspiring?” I would think. Putting the dream on and stepping into its contours is when things get interesting, and a bit uncomfortable and seemingly cramped. Sometimes the dream needs to stretch and adjust, and other times I need to slim down by shedding old aspects of myself that hinder the dream by being too constraining. For instance, I’m working on ridding myself of the accepted habit of pleasing other people all the time; of being the loyal soldier in someone else’s army; loyal to just about everything and everyone else but my deepest desires. Of course, one way to expedite the slim down is to actually put on the dream as this has the tendency of bringing me face to face with what doesn’t actually fit, or it brings clarity to just how great these shoes feel.
Hi Sally… your blog always hit the spot :) I am forwarding this to all my friends with stretched dreams :)
Thank you Miss Cecily! I think we all have a common experience in life, even when it feels like we’re the only ones going through it. Feels good to have others around, don’t it?
Hey, girl! Thanks for a great post! For over 30 years I’ve been very good & very comfortable at what a did (radio). Now, I’m in the “stretching out my jeans” stage of life. No more “restriction”. No more marks on MY waist! hahaha!
I’m so out of my comfort zone with culinary school, but willing to make the mistakes. After all, the end result IS comfort, right?