Friday, April 3, 2009

If You Build It, They Will Come

Whenever I think of that famous line from The Field of Dreams, I'm reminded that by simply putting my wants, dreams, and desires out into the universe, they are more likely to come to fruition.

When I was a senior in college in 1993, I decided I wanted to move to Washington DC. I knew no one and had no potential job connections, but knew that if I got a hotel room for spring break and pounded the pavement, I'd create an opportunity. On the first day of my Spring Break, I got on a plane with a huge stack of resumes, my only business suit, comfy walking shoes, and a DC guidebook. I knocked on every door in Washington and made everyone speak to me until I found a job. Well, not a job, exactly, but an unpaid summer internship at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As August in DC rolled around, I realized I still was without full-time employment and would have to return to Chicago if I didn't have a job by Labor Day (per the deal I'd made with my parents). This was the last thing I wanted and I kept talking about the job I wanted in DC. Through the miracle of a blind want ad in the Washington Post, I landed my dream job the day after Labor Day and only had to return to Chicago long enough to pick up my winter clothes and drive back to DC. I had put my dreams out to the universe of being in DC, worked to make my dream come true, and I had seven of the best years of my life.

Fast forward to late 1999 when I was talking to a friend of mine and he asked if I'd ever return to Chicago. The truth was that as much as I loved DC, I missed my family and being able to attend the spontaneous family get-togethers. I told my friend that I might move back after President Clinton was out of office in January 2001. Much to my surprise, three months later, in March 2000, the universe presented me with the opportunity to return to my hometown and I took it.

Two years later, in the Spring of 2002, I was working for a company I wasn't terribly happy with. On two separate occasions over a two-week period, friends familiar with my work situation asked me what I'd do if I could create my dream job. I told them both that I'd be working in politics. Although I had volunteered on numerous political campaigns, I really wanted the opportunity to work in a paid capacity on a campaign. I had previously been offered a job in fundraising on a state-wide primary campaign, but something about it hadn't felt right and I had turned it down. About 10 days after my second conversation, my phone rang and I was offered a second opportunity to work in fundraising on a different state-wide campaign. Because opportunity doesn't often knock twice, much less more than that, I took the job. Again, I had spoken my desire to the universe and the universe answered.

I have two other dreams that are beginning to come to fruition. I can't talk about them yet, but they're both dreams I've had for years. I've slowly built the foundation for these dreams becoming reality and now that they seem to be happening, I couldn't be happier. And don't worry, when I can speak about them, Little Merry Sunshine is where I will break the news.

I know that many of you reading this will think it sounds hokey that I could simply speak my wishes and poof they came to fruition. Let's be clear, that's not exactly how things happened. I did verbalize my dreams into the universe, but I also worked to make my dreams come true by building up my qualifications or knocking on doors so that when my desires came true, I was ready. Sometimes it's a matter of unknowingly speaking my desires to the right person who can help me turn them into reality. But no matter what, putting my dreams into the universe is an important step in turning them into reality.

Just for fun and to remind you and me that it's not hokey to put your dreams out into the universe, take a minute to read the lyrics to "When You Wish Upon A Star" the famous Disney song. I know we all remember it from childhood, but until a friend pointed it out to me today, I hadn't ever really listened to or read the words.

When You Wish Upon A Star

Music by Leigh Harline / Lyrics by Ned Washington
Performed by Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards)

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those
who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

So get out there and start speaking your dreams and then get to work. If you build it, they will come.

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