Stepping Out and Stepping In

by theashruiz

There are plans and dreams I’ve had for quite awhile. Plans and dreams that upon opportunity to pursue, I seem to shy away and find an excuse that makes me unqualified and not yet ready. It’s only March and I’ve already lived in three different states so far this year. From my life in Texas, to a month in Georgia, and now settling in North Carolina. Having been in a consistent three month long state of transition, it’s brought me to a place of opportunity to pursue the things I’ve dreamed of for years. A place where opportunity is so blatantly in front of me, I’d be stupid to miss it.

Of these are three main dreams, all of which- in a way- are connected.

1. Become a writer

Writing is something that I never really came out about until about a year ago, I actually have an entire blog post that explains the reasons why (you can read that here). I’ve always let insecurities hold me back from ever making my writing public, whether it be a deep, heart-felt post, a biblical teaching, a simple book or review, or just something to keep me disciplined in writing consistently. I spent a month in Atlanta and about three weeks here in Charlotte not working a typical hourly job. Having the time off from a day-to-day job opened my mind to wander and brainstorm of all the writing possibilities. I’ve spent many hours, days actually, in coffee shops just getting my thoughts into words. The fact that I’ll be going back to school this fall encouraged me to wait until I was back in college to make my writing public. But we all start somewhere. I decided to make my stuff public now and not make excuses for content, hence book reviews. Doing this has motivated me to write regardless of if I feel like I’m good enough right now. I’ll get better as I go. But I’m starting here.

2. Make my own schedule and be my own boss

Last Spring I started using products from a company called Perfectly Posh. I was first intrigued by their products because of the similarities to Lush; I was completely drawn in by the fact that the products are cheaper than Lush (everything is under $25), they don’t do animal testing, and they ALWAYS offer a buy 5 get one free. I got completely hooked on literally every product I used. Posh is direct sales, which is something that I said I’d never do, but it seemed like a great opportunity for me to bring in more income and get to cut back from my hourly job, enabling me to invest more time into ministry and writing. So I went for it. In the beginning I was very hesitant about reaching out to market that I was now selling Posh. I felt like I was bothering people and brought me to a vulnerable state. Time passed by and I held back from even making people aware that I’m a distributor, I shared the products with friends who began to love them, even my mom was asking for recommendations on new products because she had loved the ones she had tried from my own stash. I realized that taking a step out and promoting the products that I love is a key step into giving myself the opportunity to support myself while pursuing the other dreams that I have.

3. Open a coffee shop

I’ve been consumed by the idea of opening a hot-spot, fair trade, creativity-sparking coffee shop ever since I worked as a barista in a hipster-y coffee shop when I was 18. Almost six years later, the dream has grown and the vision has been more detailed than ever. No, I don’t know how to run a business. No, I don’t yet have the money to open said business. But yes, I am taking steps towards this dream. Firstly, I must mention that this is a dream that my fiance has also envisioned for years before we met; so I not only get motivational support, but I also get someone to dream with and pursue goals with. We think of locations, floor plans, color schemes, and furniture. Last week I accepted a job at a coffee shop that pays significantly less than the salary that I’m accustomed to, but this job will give me the opportunity to relearn how to make coffee drinks and get the creative juices flowing for new drink ideas. In addition to simply relearning the art of coffee, I also wish and will work towards advancing in the company so that I can learn management hands on.

We take steps and make preparations, though we’ve not yet entered into the fullness of the dream. Each step brings us a little closer, but there are times when it seems they’re taking us further way. It’s a process. We take steps, sometimes leaps, but mostly steps. What steps are you taking today to step into your dream?