Dinner Inspiration

I have been very nervous about leaving the excitement of learning
and the comfort of the familiarity of school.
Moving on to the uncertain future  … is scary.
No matter how I feel about tomorrow, it will still come.

I know that I am not alone.

School will soon come to an end for me.  Many of my classmates have just finished or will be finishing their degree soon, as well. And so the conversation often turns to questions about employment and the future.
Recently,  a friend of mine asked, “What is your dream job?”
OOOooohhhhh …. what a lovely question.
His question made me think of a quote that I wrote on Glory’s wall a year or two ago. It’s tucked in the corner, under the bookshelf and partially hidden by a lamp, in this photograph.  You can see the word “fail” at the bottom of the quote.

The quote reads:

What would you attempt to do
if you KNEW that you could not fail?

Of course, if you “attempt” something but do not fail, then you aren’t just “attempting” it, you are completing. But, there is something so perfect about the wording of this question. The wording of the first line queries us to consider what we might do …. but the certainty of the last line solidifies our outcome.

Too often, we doubt ourselves. We listen to that little voice inside our head that says we are not
good enough,
smart enough,
or creative enough
to  ____________.
Maybe we’ve shared a dream and been told that our dream is outlandish.
Some of us don’t even have the boldness to share our dreams
because we expect to be told that they are too grandiose.
Maybe we’ve been told we are a “loser,”
and we believed it.

I have seen the talent that lies within the spirits of my classmates.
And I wanted to encourage them.
So, I planned a dinner party around the challenging question,
“What would you attempt to do if you KNEW that you would not fail?

And it was wonderful …. absolutely splendid … magic even!

With ten places set, we gathered around an extended table,
dined on salad,  lasagna and crusty bread …
and we shared our dreams.
Asian eyes, blonde curls, chocolate brown skin, Irish roots and dishwater dreads
sat side by side.
Just as beautiful as the plethora of external differences
was the diversity of our gifts and talents.
We listened to dreams of working for Google, managing an ad agency, being an Oscar winning movie director, and being an entrepreneurial, independent artist. We heard people confess that they knew where their strengths lie and then we took turns reaffirming that we, too, saw those strengths and knew that their dreams could be reached. We topped off our night with a champagne toast raised high. Then went as a group to a local coffee shop to celebrate with a classmate who had a reception for the opening of his photography show.

My dream of inspiring my friends was fulfilled.
Before I went to bed that evening, one of my friends wrote me a note to thank me for the evening. He’s a quiet fella; a man of few words. After opening the night by sharing my dreams, I asked him to be the next to speak. He has a tendency to stay on the sidelines and watch and listen long. So, I wanted to make sure that he had a chance to speak. He thanked me for putting him on the spot. He said he often feels like he’s out in left field, but he was encouraged by the evening.What he thought were far fetched ideas, we all thought were incredible and very attainable.  A few people even had ideas or connections that they shared to get him moving down the path towards fulfilling that dream.

I sent everyone home with a photo frame for their fridge.  Joy was with us so she received one as well.  Hers sits on her dresser.

My goal was fellowship and encouragement. I think my goal was reached.
And I was so richly blessed … by the presence of wonderful, warm friendship.
So, May I ask you a question?
Where do you see struggle or discouragement around you?
How could you encourage that person to step out and take a risk?
What risk would you like to take but you haven’t found the courage?
What is your dream job?
What would you attempt to do if you KNEW you would not fail?

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One thought on “Dinner Inspiration

  1. Two thoughts came to my head as I read this. First was the conversation I had with Josh when we were doing Science experiments last week. I was explaining to him that the outcome of an experiment, either way, is never a failure, it’s a recognition of the truth about the hypothesis. In the same way, maybe if our outcome is technically a “failure” it’s really not. Maybe it’s a bit of insight into who we are vs. who we thought we were. Another thought was a memory of a similar question that was asked of me 9 years ago… “If you could do anything what would it be?” My answer was “have another baby”… I was 2 mos pregnant with Kate when I said that not knowing the incredible adventure that was ahead for me.

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