I woke up smiling this morning. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, but if you would have told me that a few months ago, I may not have believed you. In the midst of what has been a difficult (to say the very least) season, I’ve learned a lot. I don’t claim to know everything, but I do claim to know a hell of a lot more than I did a few short months ago. And one thing I do know for sure is this: life is too short to be mediocre.
What does a fantastic life look like to you? Not what sounds impressive to other people. Not what path you’re currently walking down or what “finish line” is getting closer. But what would it look like if you lived the very best life you could imagine? If it was filled with the things that make your heart beat faster? The things you get so excited about that you start to talk louder and for longer and your eyes light up? The things you really love and matter most in the grand scheme of life?
What’s your thing? The thing that makes you have to pop a melatonin because you’re laying in bed tossing and turning thinking about it non-stop. That makes you sit up and turn the light on over and over because you have to write this epiphany of an idea down so you don’t forget it. It’s the thing that consumes your mind and is impossible to ever turn off.
If you asked me, without giving any thought I’d blurt out “travel” before you could finish your question. I've known for some time that I was hard wired with a desire to explore as much as I possibly can. But as I've been learning more, I've realized another part of me that I'm equally passionate about- and that's dreaming with people. It’s setting goals about living a fuller, richer, life. The delicious kind you savor every bite of. It’s getting people together to talk about what they would do if anything was possible. It’s abandoning the cant’s or should’s and believing in possibility. And it's doing this with each other rather than by ourselves, because I believe that relationships and connectedness are God's biggest gifts to us on this earth.
I say a lot of things that I hope on here. I don’t think I’ve ever written a post without saying what I hope you get from it. But this hope may trump them all: I hope that you can find your thing. The thing you were created for.
Because when you find it? Incredible things happen. Life suddenly feels like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when everything that was once black and white is now in technicolor. You’re so busy smiling and dreaming and ideating that you’re not weighed down by your problems in the same way. Things like hurt and fear start to shrivel up into tiny nothings, because this thing you love is growing so big, so fast, there’s simply not space for anything else to exist.
Last week I hosted my first goal setting dinner. We ate delicious food. We drank wine. We connected with one another. We sat outside under the stars. And then we started dreaming. We wrote out what our goals are. We evaluated our strengths- what we bring to the table. We named the things we want more of and less of in our life. And we left with an intention to focus on a dream that we could bring to life.
For me, doing this was a page turner. It was putting pen to paper, pulling the trigger, and taking action to do something that I’ve dreamed about. And it’s just the beginning of a lot more to come. I’ll be hosting more of these dinners. Not just with my friends, but with anyone who wants to dream. Not just in Nashville, but anywhere in the world. I want to sit with people, stop the monotony of day to day life and dream big together. To inspire one another. To have child-like faith that anything can happen if you’re bold enough to declare it.
You may be thinking “Pump the brakes, homegirl. You hosted one dinner." But that’s the exciting part to me. That’s what’s making me have to ferociously hit backspace as I’m typing this because of all the typos that I'm making. I’m so excited by how much possibility there is. How many ideas have stemmed as a result of all of this. I see how much potential this tiny idea has to grow into something much greater.
I don’t know how you landed here or why you’re reading this. It’s likely that you’re one of my friends or family (Hi Mom) that follows along to support me. But whoever you are, I’d love to dream with you. Whether it’s here in Nashville, or in Nairobi. So to make this happen, we’re going to be changing a few things.
Blonde Atlas has served me a lot of ways. It’s been a space for me to have a creative outlet. A platform for me to be bold and speak up about things I haven’t always spoken up about. And it’s given me freedom to grow through arguably the most difficult season of my life.
With that said, the original intent of Blonde Atlas has always been to inspire people to live the best life they can. And the heartbeat of that intention is going to start to show up more. More specifically:
We’ll be dreaming: Every month, we’ll be hosting these goal setting events (dinners, workshops, retreats- you name it). We’ll be starting in Nashville, Boulder, Chicago, Denver and then wherever else the wind blows. If you’re interested in having us come meet with your team at work, club, organization, school, sorority, whatever-we’d love to dream with you. Give us a shout at email@example.com and let’s make it happen.
We’ll be traveling: Because I'm in a perpetual state of wanderlust. Travel is the thing that no matter what I’m going through brings me joy. We’ll be traveling to dream with people, traveling to be inspired, traveling to write stories for the blog, and traveling to have a damn good time.
We’ll be collaborating: I believe in strength in numbers, and I have so many beautiful dreamers in my life that I’ve been ideating with. We have some seriously beautiful ideas that I'm so thrilled to bring to life. We’re going to be joining forces with these brands and creating events, blog posts, and all sorts of partnerships so that you can experience a wealth of goodness and be inspired.
These examples are just scratching the surface of what’s to come, but I couldn’t be more excited. These big, hairy, audacious dreams I’m dreaming are lighting a fire in my soul and bringing me more joy than I knew was possible. I’m humbled and honored by the support and encouragement that Blonde Atlas has seen, and I can’t wrap my head around all the good that’s still to come. You can’t wipe this stupid smile off my face.
I couldn't have done any of this without the generous love and servant hearts of Kyle + Wil Shults. Thank you for opening your home, cooking, serving, and being incredible friends. I love you more than you know.