Vivente In Somnio

1st April 2016

(I am posting this today without any edits or changes at all.  This was my voice at the time I wrote it down with a pen and paper.  I then typed it from my journal.  It may be juvenile writing, but it was what I wanted to share today from my thoughts.  Thank your for reading)

Grateful.

I am so grateful.  I am hyperventilating from gratitude.  I am sitting here in the sun, by the Hudson River in the Upper West Side of New York City.  My apartment is a Brownstone in the 80’s.  That refers to the area of streets.  It is almost embarrassing to say that I am living my dream, but I am.  I am sure my friends from the city could find amusement in my childlike dreams as a woman in my 50’s.  So many people have gone before me.  Many people come to New York with the dream of becoming an actor, a dancer, a writer, an artist or a financial wiz.  I am here to live, grow, work my program of sobriety, experience life here and then write about it.  Those are my dreams.  Not to become anything, but just be here.  

A few years ago I had the great fortune to paddle the Tennessee River from Chattanooga to Iuka, Mississippi 260 miles, 10 hours per day for nine days.  30 miles a day for eight days and 20 miles on our last day (I think this is the correct math).  Three of us made that trip.  Two of us in a canoe and the other on a paddle board.  The trip was a fundraiser for the Tennessee Riverkeeper. I was a board member, and my only assets to the board were fundraising on social media,  my strength and determination and my adaptability to my surroundings.  But, I had no gratitude for my situation.  I actually felt as if I was doing something great for the organization. At the beginning of our trip, we camped out in Stevenson, Alabama.  Anyone who knows me knows I am not a camper.  The park service sent over a park ranger to meet us to ensure we had our camping spot and to welcome us.  The ranger was a down to earth guy about my age.  We all talked about what our organization was doing and our fundraising paddle.  The ranger said something that stopped me in my tracks.  I will never forget it.  He said, “All my life I have wanted to canoe this river.”  I still get emotional when I think of this.  I was struck.  I was living someone else’s dream, and I had no gratitude.  From that moment, my entire attitude about what I was doing changed and it shaped my experience.  With miles and miles of green trees, I began to see them individually.  Every time I saw a species of wildlife I squealed with excitement.  I saw a beaver swimming across the river, and I just wanted to thank God and the universe for such an experience. 

You see when you are living someone else’s dream you must be grateful.  

I sit here sobbing now because I got it.  I am so glad I got it.  I became grateful that day.  I am now sitting here steps from my apartment writing and experiencing.  Today, here in the park  I met a new friend who has a beautiful dog and we have a lot in common.  She is a real writer.  The kind who gets paid for her work.  I am living my dream, just being.  If it’s not your dream and you are living it, then become grateful because your dreams will come true.  

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