“What is it about having dreams that people can’t seem to understand or admit? We all have dreams but a great many people fail to realize their dreams for one simple reason; FEAR. We don’t admit our dreams to others because then we are on “the hook”. If somebody else knows our dreams and we don’t accomplish them, then we are failures. Not So. We are failures for not trying. We are not failures if we try and do not succeed.
Whether you have dreams of love, fame, fortune, business, adventure or whatsoever fills your heart; the only failure is not trying. Not all dreams will be realized or be successes, but living with the regret of not trying will haunt you until the end of your days.
Accomplishing a dream will most likely be a great deal of work; after all if it were easy we would have done it with no problems and hesitation. The very first step in realizing your dream is to share it with people, lots of people. Make yourself vulnerable to criticism, suggestions, and the possibility of less than perfect success.” — I posted this bit of philosophy before I ever left Illinois.
I now have a little over 4 months on the road and I want to share with you a little insight into accomplishing my dream.
As you all know, my journey is not unique. Loads of men and women have traveled the United States via motorcycle on very long trips and some even for years at a time. What is unique however, is that a vast majority of folks that do such a trip have finances to back them up and while they may budget, they don’t have to worry so much about where the next meal, bed, or gas will come from. There are a few nomad homeless bikers that make their way by the skin of their teeth and the grace of God. I have had the pleasure of meeting two men much like myself; Bean’re and Boston Mike. I’m sure there are others as I have heard tales, but these men I have met, I have talked to, and have shared stories of being a homeless biker. Being men, these guys have talents like carpentry and mechanics that can lend themselves to odd jobs. I have a computer geek background and do my best at my Virtual Assistant business. I make money, but the expenses still outweigh the income.
I have let a few financial obligations go into the toilet way back before I ever left. I maintain the critical items and simply know that my credit is crap. My priority is to survive and I do not need a credit card bill to add to my worries. Irresponsible, perhaps a little, but we must weigh all things in any decision and somethings outweigh others. I did the best I could do when I was gainfully employed and tried hard to make accommodations even after my food pantry, LIHEAP, 401k and savings had been depleted. There came a point when I had to decide whether I kept looking for a job in my field paying me far less than I ever made before or could pay rent on, take a piddly job that still wouldn’t pay rent but was something, or sell everything and set off on a life challenging, life changing journey.
Well, you all know what I chose. This decision did not come without much heart ache and input from folks I called friends. In vast majority, I had a great deal of support and still do. Those are the people that help fuel my fire and my bike from time to time. It was sad however when a small handful of ‘friends’ gave me grief over my choice, but like I said, you have to make yourself vulnerable to these things and you must give them consideration in planning. Here are a few things I heard:
“Take any job, it’s better than nothing.” – Yeah, ok and still not pay my bills, where’s the gain? (The girl that said this has never held a good dependable job for very long. Lack of dedication and motivation breeds fear, instability, and ignorance.)
“You’re just running away from your problems.” – Not really, the problems follow me, whether I can solve them or not is another story. (The guy that said this has always had a ton of drama in his life, to the point that I got tired of hearing his negativity all the time.)
“So you’re going to free-load off of others.” – This one hurt the worst, because I’ve always been a giver to a painful degree. (The guy that said this had given me a place to stay for a couple months before I took off but then kicked me out. He has his own demons and I can’t say for sure what provoked him because I was clean, quiet, and cooked. We had been neighbors and friends for two seasons and I really was hurt not only by his actions but his harsh words.)
“You’re setting yourself up to be beaten, raped, or worse.” – Geez, I lived near Chicago, didn’t I do that daily? (FEAR is your worst enemy and you’ll never accomplish anything if all you consider are the negative possibilities.)
“Your bike is old and you’ll be home in a few months when it dies.” – There was validity to this, but I do my best to ensure she runs great and hey, she’s doing well for over 32,000 in almost 2 seasons. (And, the guy that said this has a bike with over $35k into it and he rides maybe 500 miles a year. If my bike totally blows up today, she has lived a good life, she has given me more than my $4,000 worth of joy, and I have lived a dream on that old girl. I doubt that guy could say the same.)
And so, as I often do, I have been pondering in the past week or so my life, my journey, my decisions, my struggles, and my growing aches and pains; I have wondered to myself how long can I do this? I don’t know and when people ask, I shrug my shoulders and simply say, “Until the bike is dead, or I am dead. Either way, it’s been a hell of a great time.”
I’m a cheap skate for sure. I have been building my business (slowly, very very slowly) but it’s going up and not down so far. I have received a LOT of help from other people; friends and strangers. Even a $5 donation from a man that is disabled and wheel chair bound. He is mentally on-top of his game, but he shared with me this challenge: “I get interviews based on my skills, but when I go in for the interview, they see me and my wheelchair and end up never calling back.” People fear what they cannot understand and what makes them uncomfortable. It’s sad, because there is a great deal of humility and appreciation to be learned from all sorts of people in the world. I suppose my own challenges with abuse and depression have brought me to a place in life where I can accept and empathize that every person has “issues”. I do not however, sympathize with people that have no motivation or determination to improve their lives for the positive. We all have our friends we can vent to but I try my best not to put my challenges before the world, especially in this ‘Social Media day-in-age’, nor do I vent so much or so long that I lose the caring ear that was lent to me.
So I say to you now, no matter what your dreams may be, no matter what your finances may be, no matter how harsh the feedback may be; only you are in control of your destiny. Always remember, Dreams are merely realities you have not made come true yet.
I challenge ever reader of this post right now, to comment here and tell me:
- What is one great dream you have?
- What are you doing towards making that dream come true?
- If you are doing nothing about it, why?
You will see, as I have time and again, there are resources you never knew existed, there are people out there that will see your motivation and dedication and will be there to push you along in their own little way. And you will find that with every positive step forward you will gain more and more courage to push on. And with every set-back you will re-evaluate and wonder; the trick is to still push on.
Ultimately in this world, once your children are grown, you are really only responsible for YOU and nobody else, not a spouse, not a friend, not a neighbor. You are responsible for You!! Live up to your own expectations and expect more from yourself than you believe is possible.
I wish you all Peace, Hugs, and Pipes that Rumble ™.
PUSH YOURSELF TO THE EDGE,
YOU WILL EITHER FALL OR FLY,
BUT YOU WON’T KNOW UNLESS YOU TRY!!!
Your HELP is ways appreciated.
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