At this time last year, I was at the beginning stages of creating Sarah by the Sea. I was writing a plan for the site, creating some preliminary content and shooting inspirational photos. There was only a URL and an idea to go on. But it was an idea that excited me more than anything had in a long time. It still excites me.
A year later, I am still dreaming about year-round beach living. We just aren’t there yet. And we probably won’t be for a little while.
We still live in the country — though the kids and I will head beach-side in a few months for the summer. Our house still isn’t the perfect beachy oasis in a rural area. And my bank account shows no signs of readying for a new home purchase soon. In the world of big dreams, this isn’t that breathtaking rise from an idea to reality. Honestly, the realist in me knew that was unlikely. But who can resist the allure of a fantasy-turned-reality story? Not me! So I held onto a little hope there that something would magically materialize. And really, it wasn’t until the end of summer that I conceded that the beach living dream would have to wait a little longer.
While I was disappointed, it’s okay too. This dream is worth waiting for.
That doesn’t stop me from regularly questioning whether my dream of living and working by the sea will ever really happen on a full time basis. It doesn’t stop me from gazing at my vision board and wondering if that’s as close as I will ever really get to this. The fact is that we don’t live in a vacuum where going after big life dreams like this is a simple process of working hard, applying yourself and making it happen. There is so much more at play — responsibilities, budgets, careers and unexpected setbacks. The path to this dream, if we make it, will be messy and complicated — just like real life.
My story isn’t a fairytale rise to a dream life, but it is very real. In real life, seldom do big dreams become reality overnight. Or in a month. Or even in a year. They take hard work, dedication and planning to get there. I have that going for me. And it’s also nuanced. Over the past year or so, I have realized how important it is to me that I write things that matter — things that inspire others to chase after their own dreams and support them in knowing that dream-chasing can really work.
There are many things that are important to me — beyond this big life dream and inspiring people, I want my kids to be happy. I want my home to be cozy and warm. And I want to live a good life that gives back and helps others. These things matter too, and they are all part of my journey.
So no, I am not on the fairytale path to my big life dreams. But that’s okay. Because the journey is important too.