In an interview last month, I was asked, “What would you tell your 5-year-ago self?”

My answer: “Chin up, you can dream too.”

These words replayed in my mind and the question, in particular, hit home.

At 20 years old, my mindset was focused on finishing my degree, getting married, and being a wife and eventually a mom. I thought that this was the end result. My dreams of one day traveling the world, having a “career”, being a passion-driven person seemed completely untouchable. For myself, doing the former (the stay at home wife) seemed like a more comfortable route. There were just some issues around this notion. 

— I didn’t think I could dream —

Here’s where it hit home. I am married to a dreamer. He’s inventive, creative, and does incredibly, passionate work. He’s secure in taking risks, and he’s confident in putting his dreams in tangible form. I love him for all of this and more. Being married to someone like this and surrounded by it froze me. They say you either fight, fly, or freeze in situations — well, I freeze.

Here I was married to this creative dreamer, and I felt like I couldn’t dream too. Maybe the practical part of me thought maybe it’s best if only one of us dreams. Or maybe my fear of taking a risk in pursuing my dreams stopped me from taking the leap. Not pursuing my dreams seemed to be the “easier” way for me when I first got married rather than pursuing my dreams — don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for the day to have kids and be a stay at home mom, and I love being married. But none of these are necessarily my passions or end goal. 

I moved to San Francisco four months after getting married at 20 years old and went on to finish my schooling at SF State. The epitome of the culture-less commuter school. My first semester I had a professor, Dawn B., for my advanced speech class. She fascinated me. She was this successful women who had worked high up at corporate companies in the past, was a teacher, ran her own consulting business — plus was passionately married. I had a hard time grasping this. She was a dreamer, she followed her passions, she loved relentlessly — and you could see it in everything she did. Her energy was contagious. I became her I.A. (assistant) the second semester. She became my mentor, my friend, and now my husband and I go on vacations with her and her husband. I looked up to her as a women in business, a confidently strong person, and someone who lives her dreams. She pushed me in ways I will never forget — she helped me form some of the habits I still follow today.

But, most of all she encouraged me to dream, too. 

After finishing my degree at the age of 22, I shortly realized that I didn’t have a clue what I was passionate about or how I could even begin to pursue my dreams. I knew I loved creating content, I loved to travel, and loved to inspire others. April S. booked my honeymoon a few years back and we reconnected via social media after I graduated. She has a successful business running one of the best travel agencies around, she travels regularly, works for herself — plus is passionately married. Again, how could she do this all? I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I took a position as an independent consultant on her team and she changed the way I viewed everything. She inspired me to have my own business, to do things for myself, to pursue my love for travel, and to be an entrepreneur. I looked at April as someone who was living her dreams of traveling the world, a successful business woman, and a goal-driven person. She made me step out of my comfort zone, take risks, and pursue my strengths.

But, most of all she encouraged me to dream, too.

Why am I sharing all of this? I think it’s common in both men and women to be frozen. Frozen and overwhelmed by feeling like they cannot dream.
Pursue their dreams.
Live their dreams.
Even have dreams at all.

I know I felt that way for the longest time. I felt like I would have to settle for what is comfortable and not take risks in pursuing my passions. I had to learn how to dream and even more importantly, pursue my dreams. There are still days where putting to paper the many dreams I have seems so far away and out of reach, but I always remind myself to continue dreaming and continue chasing. I don’t have it all figured out and I hope I never do — I love constant growth and challenge. 

So when I look back at my 5-year-ago self, what I wish I could of told myself earlier is that I could dream, too. And I want to say the same to you.

You can dream too.  

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Codie La Fromboise Reply

    Pondering which angle I needed to capture the tantalizing beauty of the seemingly magical entrée I just devoured, a picture of yours fell in front of my face. This day has been a pivotal point in my life, and your words above have nestled their way into a beautiful corridor in my heart. You captured a real emotion inside of me, a perilous fear, an indescribable dream, a remarkable passion, and you broke the seal of contentment pursing my eye lids into mere tears. Your writing is radiant, and I appreciate it so ever much. Last night I told myself today would change my existence forever, this morning I completed my first set of affirmations, and the results have been remarkable. Now you, you have helped rekindled a raging fire in my heart that’s been burning for so long, the only issue in feeling the flames seemed to be drowning out into the ceiling. You’re article reminds me of my own beliefs, I have no limits, the only ones that exist are those I set for myself. Thank You Bontraveler, all the best of wishes to you.

    With Much Love, Codie?(OneLove_Motion)

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for your kind and inspiring words. I am so proud of you! The hardest thing for a woman is to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. To find a career that supports your passion and a husband that is your cheerleader is an amazing accomplishment at your age. Your blogs are both informative, imaginative and inspiring. I look forward to our paths crossing again and again in the years to come.

  3. Avatar

    As a fellow dreamer I am encouraged by your blog! Thanks for sharing and keep moving. So fun to keep track of your travels and what you share.

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