Chasing a Dream: Finding Courage

One of the comments I’ve heard over and over again during my dream chase is “I’d never have the courage to do that.”  More than a few times I’ve been asked HOW I found the courage to actually cut loose and just GO FOR IT.  And I’ve actually given a lot of thought to the answer.

“You’re So Lucky” Kind of Support

My best source of support has been my husband, Robert, and I’ve heard OFTEN how lucky I am to have the kind of support he has offered all along in my dream chase.  Truthfully, I have to admit that I am a very fortunate woman to have that kind of love and devotion.  There are probably not a lot of men for whom it would be okay to just leave behind a secure, relatively comfortable life and move across the country to complete unknowns.  So yes, I am extremely fortunate in that regard.  But there’s so much more.

My Upbringing

If you knew my parents, you realize that I got a whole lot of my “go-for-it-ness” from them.  For those who don’t know (or remember), my parents were married for almost 9 years before they began a family.  During that time, they had adventures that made them smile for the rest of their lives.  Among their adventures were:  living in a boxcar that moved up and down the railroad while they worked for the railroad–Daddy built bridges and Mama cooked for the bridge crew; they moved to Detroit to work (that lasted a week and they figured out pretty quickly they did NOT want to be in a big city working in the auto industry, so they moved right back to middle Tennessee); they lived in Saint Augustine, Florida for a while; they were part of a motorcycle gang.  My Daddy taught us that we could do whatever we NEEDED to do, and turned us into creative, problem-solvers along the way, and our Mama taught us that you don’t have to be loud to be strong.  Even though each of the four of us is very different, we all have one thing in common:  we are a determined, “CAN DO” bunch!  My brother, Cubby, writes music, “fixes stuff,” does mechanic work, and plays guitar; my younger sister, Suze, taught herself to be a software developer, is one of the craftiest people I’ve ever known (from stained-glass to woodworking to hand-rolled truffles), laid 80 tons of rock into a 2-story fountain and connected rock walkways and flower beds, and has developed and marketed a line of gourmet foods; and my youngest sister, Alice, does beautiful needlework, is a heckuva sales person, and taught herself to build stone fireplaces and rock walls.  So… we were taught to be creative bunch.

Facing Challenges:  What’s the Worst That Can Happen If I Go?

Going for the dream... from my America's Most Wanted Shoot

Going for the dream… from my America’s Most Wanted Shoot

My last source of courage came from learning to face challenges (and I’ve had to face a lot of them!) and make choices by evaluating one simple question:  What’s The Worst Thing That Can Happen?  And ultimately, “Can I deal with that?

In evaluating whether we could move across the country to pursue my dreams, I asked myself what was the worst thing that could happen.  Let’s see… I could end up broke.  I could have to get a job (please, God, don’t make me have to work for attorneys again!).  I could end up like 95% of the Hollywood dreamers and have to abandon my dreams and find somewhere less expensive to live.  I laughed at the question of whether I could deal with those things—because I’ve dealt with much, much harder stuff, so the obvious answer is YES.

What’s the Worst That Can Happen If I Don’t?

And then I looked at the opposite side of the question:  what’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t chase my dreams?  I could go to my grave without ever having given myself the joy of living my dream.   Can I deal with that?  I knew that I’d rather not.  Knowing all that gave me the courage I needed to make the move.

Find Your Own Courage and GO FOR YOUR DREAM!

If you have a dream—whether it’s to teach, to climb Mt. Everest, to run a marathon, or to be a star–look at all the possibilities and whether you can handle them.  Look at all the people who work hard until the day they die and leave this world without doing what they always wanted to do.  Decide for yourself what you can deal with, whether you’re willing to take the risks in pursuing a dream.  And if you can, GO FOR IT!

Dreaming is SO MUCH FUN!

Thanks for being here.


  1. I recall when they decided to start a family. when the first one was born the comment was “w
    Well the old bear finally got a cub” and that is how cubby got his nickname. As for you dad’s nick name I guess I was kinda responsible for that .When I was just a little thing he would call me Big un. So I teased him and started calling him Uncle tiny. so he elected to use that handle and was known that the rest of his life.Loved my uncle Tiny Fields (Even his dispatcher name).

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