Goals

Big Dreams

Josie Davis

I’m a realist. Actually, I’m more of a pessimist with an annoying penchant for pointing out any and all tiny little problems that might potentially happen along the way, no matter how unlikely they may be. All this to say that I’m not much of a daydreamer. My brain tends to shoot down lofty dreams pretty quickly. Of course, it’s a lot of fear too. Fear is the jerk who likes to whisper in your ear and tell you it’s totally not worth dreaming because it’ll never be anyway. I’ve never spent time thinking about what my dream house, or dream car, or even just dream pair of shoes would be (are dream shoes a thing? I’m so bad at dreaming stuff I truly don’t know what people dream about).

I’m trying to change that though, and I’m trying to learn to dream big. A few years ago I sat down with my husband and tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my career. At that point I had really no experience in the job market besides retail, and some very painful years in college waitressing (sorry to all of you who had to put up with one of the most awkward and clumsy waitresses while attempting to enjoy some Mexican food). I remember Frank asking me what my dream job would be, and after a lot of thinking, I told him it would be to style homewares for Terrain, my favorite brand. At the time it seemed like this crazy insurmountable goal. Their parent company UBRN is notoriously hard to get into, and talent teams are basically buried alive on a daily basis with resumes of creatives trying to get positions at the Home Office. But I got scrappy. I did whatever I could, and well, to make a long story short, here I am. In the exact job I had seemingly no real right to even hope for.

Looking back it seems like a small dream, even though it felt huge at the time. I recently started seeing a therapist again, and when I talked to her about my career she told me a little more than sarcastically “well, I guess you should have dreamed bigger then, huh?” Ouch. Nothing like having a mental health professional roll their eyes at you and tell you you’re thinking too small, but I supposed that’s also what I’m paying her for, and seriously, she was totally right.

As a little exercise I decided to think of my dream house. I’d never really thought of that before. I had thought about houses that I liked for sure, but a dream house, like a legit, wildest dreams house had never been something I had spent even a minute considering. It was actually really hard to put myself out of my pessimistic box and out into the open of dreamland. At first I thought “Well, I’d like to be near the beach” and then I had to remind myself “DREAM house” and said “okay, okay, ON the beach”. Even giving myself permission to think of a dream house that’s on the beach felt like I was really stretching myself.

I truly believe you don’t luck into things. If I’ve learned anything from Micheal Scott (and apparently this Wayne Gretzky fellow) “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. I also think you miss 100% of the dreams you didn’t bother dreaming. Obviously there’s a lot of hard work behind getting to those things, but I’ve found that hard work is the easier part for me. I’ll gladly put my nose to the ground and bend over backwards to reach my goals, but sometimes you gotta dream big.

I am a Writer

Josie Davis

It’s weird to write those words.

“I am a writer”

No one gave my permission to say that. No one else told me that I’m a writer. I haven’t written any books that have been on the NYT best seller list, and heck, I've barely put pen to paper over these last few years. But I’m done with waiting for someone to give me permission.

Writing has always been something I’ve loved. During my teens I spent almost every night spilling my angsty little heart out into my journal. I still have those journals packed away in our basement, just sitting around for anytime I feel like I could use a little dose of teenage drama in my life. As I went off to college, journaling got lost in the shuffle. I still wrote papers and essays and any number of collegiate things, but that personal connection with writing slowly faded away.

The past few years I thought about writing a lot. Like this little bug stuck in my brain, buzzing around reminding me that it’s still there, waiting for me to get myself together and get back to it. Even in the past when I was blogging regularly about style and DIYs and other fun things I found myself wanting to write more, but having no idea where to start, worried I’d alienate followers by writing more, or worse, just be bad at it.

One of the books I finished off 2018 with was the much talked about “Girl, Wash Your Face”. One of the ideas I loved that I took from that book is her belief that how we talk about our goals and dreams has a huge effect on how or if they come to be. It really made me examine how I think about my aspirations. For years I’ve been thinking “I want to be a writer someday”, meanwhile I never made any effort to write more, or at all really. This year, I’ve stopped saying passive things like “I want” and am instead swapping it with phrases like “I am” and “I will”. I feel a lot more drawn to write every single day when I’m regularly telling myself “I am a writer” because after all, writers tend to, ya know, write.

If you’re waiting for some magical day when you can say that you’re this or that, stop. Just own it. Run at it full force and stop waiting for permission.

Seeing the Good

Josie Feather

I have a lot of goals for 2019. 

I tend to do that. Stack my goal list like I stack my bookcase - unwilling to accept that I might have too much on it, and maybe I should stop adding to it (spoiler alert, I won’t - especially when it comes to the book case). 

But I’m trying to cut down how many goals I add to each area of my life. So this year I’m focusing on one big personal growth goal: being a more positive person. 

As those that have known me closely for a long time can tell you, sarcasm is my main language, with English coming in a distant second. I can be snarky and more than a little pessimistic. On a more serious note, I’ve also struggled with chronic and sometimes debilitating depression for most of my life, which has often made it hard for me to see the good. 

Last year I made some big life changes that have really helped me to gain control over my depression and anxiety. It certainly hasn’t made it completely disappear, but It’s been truly amazing to finally feel more clear headed on a daily basis. However, having that clarity has helped me realize how naturally negative I can be. I can quickly get sucked into letting the little things eat away at me and zap all the enjoyment out of daily living. I’ve had my sights set on this little goal of mine for the last few months and I’ve already noticed a big difference by just being more conscious of it. I definitely still getting sucked into that vortex of negativity at times (you don’t even want to talk to me when I’m hangry, let me tell ya) but I’ve already noticed I’ve been happier and more content on a daily basis, and better at warding off those little annoyances.

Part of this goal of mine is that I’m also working specifically to be positive towards myself this year. I’ve lived my life with a constantly string of negative thoughts about myself running through my brain at all times. I’m not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not smart enough. Truthfully, this voice has felt beyond my control. A little bird sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear. I just can’t get rid of it, or maybe I’m even a little afraid to ask it to scram since it’s been with me so long.

Part of my plan to try to change how my brain instinctively thinks with these things is by repeating a little positive mantra in my head whenever I feel those nasty thoughts make their way in. I know, way cheesy, and feels more than a little hippie-ish. But what do I have to loose? Feeling a little silly to myself? Nothing changes unless you make it change, and even if some of the things I try don’t help so much, then at least I can cross those off the list and move on to the next method to try.

More than anything in 2018 I learned that I don’t want to be the person content with always being the same. Change it good, and if I’m not striving to be a better person, then I’ll always feel stuck in the same place, being annoyed by the same things, having the same arguments, and never being able to fully enjoy all those silly but beautiful things in life.