June 8, 2012

Is This The Life Of Your Dreams?

 

By the time you’re reading this, chances are I’m three hours deep making lattes for people whose names I may never know, but whose drinks I have memorized.

Triple Grande Soy Latte

Iced Double Tall Mocha

Triple Venti Nonfat Caramel Macchiato

Yes, that’s right. This is me over here. Living the dream.

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t really see myself working at Starbucks at 29 years old. Not that there’s anything wrong with Starbucks. I mean, I worked in food service for years to help pay my way through college, and Starbucks is actually one of the best companies I’ve worked for in terms of how they treat employees and customers.

There’s nothing wrong with my job. It’s just…

I have a Master’s Degree.

I’m almost 30 years old.

I have “things” that I want to do with my life, and gifts I believe God has given me that I want to put to use.

Is this the life of my dreams?

Not exactly.

If you’re anything like me, you graduated college and had a really idealistic picture of how your life was going to work. You’d done your homework, gotten your degree, and this was it.

Now it was time for life to start.

The only problem is, that didn’t happen. Not for me anyway.

I spent the first couple of years just waiting for the “job of my dreams” to come to me. I figured it would show up on my doorstep or something. I prayed a lot about it, but I didn’t do very much about it, and surprise surprise — not very much happened.

Two years out of college I was basically just wandering around, doing nothing.

I decided one day that the waiting had to end. So I planned this epic road trip with my best friend. We quit our full-time jobs and drove across the country for six months, visiting all 50 states.

We carped the diem like nobody’s business. It was awesome.

But at the end of it all, nothing was that much different. You know? My life felt pretty much the way that it did before.

Was I missing something?

I don’t think that living the “life of your dreams” is as dreamy as we think it is. Or, maybe it is in a way, but not in the way that we expect it to be when we graduate from college.

This is it. This is the life of my dreams. Right now. Today.

Here’s why.

My work doesn’t define me. I might work with kids, make lattes, or design websites but no matter what I do, it isn’t the whole of who I am. Besides, I have all kinds of opportunities to make an impact on the people around me.

These people. Not other, nicer, cooler people. The ones right in front of me.

Making an impact will probably take more than just a passing thought or a nice idea about them. It will require action, which will also probably mean time, energy and (heaven forbid) even money.

Also, guess what? I’m not going to work at Starbucks forever.

Not by a long shot. In fact, I’d be disappointed with myself if I was working at Starbucks in five years. That’s not a slam against Starbucks, or the people who work there.

It’s a statement about the trap of “comfort” and how easy it is for us to “settle” for jobs or relationships or living situations that make us comfortable, when all along, growth and opportunity are waiting for us just around the corner. We just have to be willing to get a little messy.

Life is full of seasons. Don’t resent your season.

Embrace it. Learn what it has to teach you. Then, reach for your next thing.

This is the life of your dreams.

Okay, your turn. What’s the “life of your dreams’? What’s stopping you from living it?

This blog was originally posted at: http://www.allisonvesterfelt.com

Photo cc by ermakov on flickr.

Originally Published: June 8, 2012
Category: Christian Living
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Susan McClelland
I love this! Bloom where you're planted, but don't resist being re-potted when the time comes!
2 years1 month ago · ( 0 )
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Sean Pease
Nice work Allison. God really used your words to inspire me today. I am going through the same experience at 44!

Finished my undergrad and went to work for a state research agency (using my degree) and within a couple years moved into IT work in that agency. Grew there for the next 15 years. Then, felt God calling me into full-time
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ministry.

Spent a year as a youth pastor (awesome work) and then planted a church. The next three years were the hardest ever - trying to grow that church. In March of this year we decided it wasn't to be. Now I am working as a cashier and praying hard about what the next step is.

I try hard ever day to embrace the encounters and experiences God has provided for me. To make a difference today. Yet, when the bills keep rolling in. I have a family watching how I am leading. It is tough and I try hard to lean on God each moment of the day.
2 years1 month ago · ( 0 )
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Mark Grace
"These people. Not other, nicer, cooler people. The ones right in front of me." I love that. Thanks for putting this out there.
2 years1 month ago · ( 0 )
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Robert Alexander
I remember a quote I heard once that said "life is what happens to
You while your making other plans. " it changed how I spend time with
my Family and Friends. Great post.
2 years1 month ago · ( 0 )

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