Dreaming versus planning



Dream mode is a comfy, fun place to be. Nobody can criticize, shame, or tell you how impossible it is to achieve your dreams. Except you. While dream mode is extremely cozy and warm, it is an infinite loop where you dream, tell yourself how far-fetched your dreams are, and then you’re back in reality… sitting at the desk-job you hate. Or maybe you don’t hate it, but it’s not very interesting and it doesn’t bring you joy when you talk or think about it. Not to mention, this shame, criticism, discouragement self-talk is SO toxic! AND, it’s YOU who is providing all this ammo to not really go after something that makes you feel… wild and free!

This is the place where I was for a good chunk of time after grad school. I can’t tell you how much I hated my job. I was miserable and depressed because I knew it was a dead end, even with my fancy, new Masters degree. Eventually, I ended up quitting due to some big life changes and had some time to reflect.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of applying for a job on a new career path related to your degree. But I will tell you this: while unemployment sucks, it gives you time to do stuff like think and make. While I am appreciative of the time I had, I was sick of having great ideas   and plans (IMHO) swirling about in my head and none of them being my reality.

One day, I got fed up with my whiny self. So, I took my butt straight to the nearest coffeeshop, ordered an Earl Grey with steamed milk (cause coffee gives me migraines) and spent about three hours mapping out my goals. After mapping out my major goals, I made a sub-map as to how I can achieve my goals. After that, little by little, I started to see some victories. I was selected as a volunteer with a fantastic, non-profit. Shortly thereafter, I landed a job. Though not my dream job, it was with an organization that very closely aligns to my degree, which is what I wanted.

Currently, I feel like I am at a cross-roads again. I had and have a couple of opportunities to really grow as an artist, but again, the ideas are a-swirlin’ and screaming to be materialized on paper… and to be perfectly honest, I think I am back in dream mode.

I encourage you to set aside time to map out your wildest dreams on paper. Write down actionable steps that will lead you to your dreams. Make a weekly appointment with yourself to do a check-in with your map. Maybe you had an idea during the week that you need to figure out how it fits into your map, or maybe you can improve upon your ideas that you wrote during your first mind-mapping session.

These steps can help you get out of the infinite loop of toxic dream mode to creating a reality you desire.



A Conversation about Love Letters

Part of the deal to exhibit my work was that I had to have a “conversation” with the public. At the time I accepted, I didn’t think too much about it because the timing was months away and I had a lot of work to do. It didn’t actually dawn on me that my nerves were going crazy until moments before the Q&A. Of course internally I was screaming, “what the heck were you thinking, Laura?!! You’re socially awkward tendencies will shine through! You will be in front of living, breathing, PEOPLE!!!” Needless to say this was my very first time ever in life to discuss my artwork IN PUBLIC. I was jittery, my feet got stuck in the microphone cord, my voice decided it wanted to revisit puberty at that moment… mostly, I was a mess. But I got through the talk, felt good about it afterward (probably because I don’t remember much of what I said), and I was even quoted (what?!)!

The point is, this exhibit has pushed me out of my comfort zone in many different ways and I am so thankful for this opportunity.

Click here to see an awkward snippet of A Conversation with the Artist: Love Letters at the Corvallis Art Center.

Art is a gateway to other cultures. -Laura Rodriguez (that’s me!)



Photo by DLRfoto


Photo by DLRfoto