Day 7 – Who Knows?

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This morning I wandered Costco.  That is a dangerous activity.  Usually wandering Costco costs me 200 bucks.  Today I was very disciplined; I didn’t even purchase a shirt, a giant tub of chocolate almonds, or a pre-lit Christmas tree! I was there to look at the books.

I walked to the book section and circled the book tables a couple of times.  I fanned the pages and ran my hands across the covers. What would it take to see a book at Costco with my name on it?  A book written by me?  Where did those authors start? What was their first step?  What was the risk that they took?

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When I was in high school and college, I wanted to be a Doctor. I’m not exactly sure why, but it sounded very exciting to me.  To feed my interest I read books and watched reality T.V. programs about doctors.  I also religiously watched ER; my brother even made a tape of the sound-track for me so I could listen to it in my car.

In college I majored in Biology and was on track to apply for medical school. I didn’t get straight A’s, but I did work really hard and my grades reflected that.  By the time I reached my junior year, it was time to study and take the MCAT.  This is an exam that determines eligibility to med school, along with other factors.

I decided not to do it.

I’m not sure if I was tired of going to school, or I had genuinely lost interest, or if I was scared to try. I really don’t remember.  It was probably a combination of all of those things.

I regret that.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a doctor.

Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten in to med school.

Maybe I would have.

Maybe I would have been a fantastic doctor.

Maybe my life would be totally different from how it is now, or maybe it would be exactly the same.

Who knows.

The regret is that I did not try.  It was my dream. I should have pursued it. I should have taken the risk.

Obviously I have had a lot of other dreams since my early twenties.  Many of them have come true, and are better than I imagined. Other dreams have been epic failures. I did everything I could to succeed, risked it all, and still, it failed. I didn’t fail.  My dream failed. I am still standing, and learning and growing, and dreaming anew.

Maybe I can survive failure?

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Now there is another dream that I have.  A dream that is alive and breathing, and it’s not too late. I can hear it in my head. It is the dream to be a writer.  It’s a dream that I have always kept tucked away, safe in the confines of my own mind.  Sure, I have dabbled at it here and there, but I have never really gone for it. I know why.  It is easier to think about that dream, and visit it, and imagine what “could have been,” than to actually risk it.

Once I let it out of the box it may take flight, or not. It may be a short-lived phase that fills a gap in my employment, or it may be the beginning of an even bigger and wilder dream.

Who knows.

I am going for it.

(PS.  The exterminator comes tomorrow.  I will fill you in)

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Day 5 – Who Matters to You?

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Today my son’s teacher returned from her maternity leave.  She has a 2-year-old daughter and a 2-month-old daughter. I don’t know whether it was easy for her to leave them this morning, or heart-wrenching; I suspect I could guess. I have been there.

She is the captain of a ship full of 24 bright, energetic, and exhausting third graders. That is what I call courageous. I am home painting a dresser and musing about vermin.

I wrote her a card and included a Starbucks gift card.  It reads:

Thank you for leaving your babies, to teach mine.

What you do matters.

We are excited to have you back. Please let me know how I can support you.

Gratefully,

Dana Sandberg

Who could you encourage today?

-Dana