“This is a situation that calls for coffee. Lots and lots of coffee,” our diva thought to herself as she picked up her phone to text her cousin. “In fact,” she laughed to herself as she remembered the quip she just read on Instagram, “I need a little something that’s more than coffee and less than cocaine…” Her cousin was just the person who could provide that. Not the cocaine. This isn’t that kind of story. Her cousin was the only one who knew how to give a swift kick in the pants that’s more than coffee.
She had fallen asleep the other night thinking about “I thought I was doing everything right.” It felt like a different kind of kick — a kick deep in the gut to think that maybe she wasn’t. Maybe she was trading in “shoulds, buts, and if onlys” and never really getting to the good stuff. She made plans with her cousin to meet for coffee downtown that afternoon.
The Day 3 challenge on your journey is to ask “has the dream changed?”
Walking into the coffee shop, she was met with the scent of freshly brewed dark roast and something wonderfully sweet, comforting, and carb-laden. That smell meant “this shizz is about to get figured out.” Her cousin always had a way of asking the right questions to uncover the next direction on the roadmap. Our diva had turned to her cousin for matters just like this for years. Even though they were almost a decade apart in age and her cousin hadn’t lived near her when they were young, they somehow just clicked when our diva was in high school. Luckily, their life paths brought them into the same zip code later on. Her cousin wasn’t a performer. But, she had majored in theatre in college. Currently a marketing manager at a design firm down the street from the coffee shop they currently sat in, she had just enough insight into what it meant to follow our diva’s path without being on it herself.
Tell me about your life
Her cousin burst through the doors, a ball of energy and light, her curly brown hair desperately bouncing to keep up with her momentum. A half a dozen people stopped or waved to her. Our diva wondered what that felt like to nonchalantly know so many people. She quickly ordered her chai latte and settled into the booth with our diva.
“Darling, tell me about your life,” she demanded.
“Well, uh, it’s okay,” our diva demured.
“Just okay?” There was a long pause as her cousin just looked at her plainly. She wasn’t kidding or being decorous. She clearly wanted to know about our diva’s life.
“Well, uh, I need to talk to you.”
“Of course. That’s why we’re here. Let’s get at it.”
“I, uh, I’m stuck,” our diva started, “I feel like I’m still stuck before the moment of ‘what are you going to do with your life.’ Like I haven’t really started living it yet. I feel like I’m still just treading water waiting for a sign that reads, ‘here’s your chance to save the world.’ My arms are getting tired of treading water. My heart is getting a little tired of it too.” she quietly admitted.
“Ahh… yes. I see.”
“It’s as though there’s an idea beginning to form. I can really only see the blurry outline of it in my mind.” She kind of stared at her black coffee for a second and thought about stopping there or perhaps changing the topic of conversation. She pushed herself on, “passively collecting experiences doesn’t feel like action.”
Has the dream changed?
They went on like that talking back and forth for over nearly two hours. Patrons of the coffee shop cycled in and out. Many more unfamiliar faces, to our diva, stopped to say hello to her cousin. There were short little chats about her kids and something about dance costumes and an upcoming fundraising gala. Her cousin let her hands fly about as she illustrated her points and asked her questions. They touched on all parts of what her cousin called “the whole self” such as her physical, social, financial, spiritual sides in addition to her career thoughts.
Then her cousin inadvertently dropped a bomb on the conversation, “Well, darling, what if the dream has changed?”
Our diva experienced something that could only be described as some sort of giggle, choke, gasp fusion. She looked back at her cousin and half-smiled. Then, she looked down at the table again. She frantically scanned her mind, “what if the dream has changed?”
“No! No…” she laughed and then whispered. “The dream hasn’t changed. This is exactly what I want to be doing. Why would you think that? Why would you ask me that??”
“No need to take offense, darling,” her cousin floated on somewhat indifferent to our diva’s prickliness on the subject. “Ya know, it’s just sunk costs and all that jazz. Either way it’s all fine. You know where I stand. Speaking of standing, it’s time for me to get up otherwise this is liable to go on well into the evening.”
Reclaiming the jovial nature of their conversation they headed out to their cars and off to the rest of the activities of their days fully caffeinated with ideas.
Where do we go from here?
After grocery shopping and practicing and responding to emails, our diva decided to treat herself to a little bit of a Netflix binge that evening. She was into the fourth episode of the series when the screen of her phone lit up on the coffee table. She leaned over and saw that the email was from her cousin:
“Okay, so I couldn’t stop thinking about what we talked about earlier. Had a great time, by the way. Anyway, I had some more thoughts. You seemed to be really preoccupied with taking action. I thought to myself, action goes beyond observation, calculation, and passive experiences. It’s meant to invoke transformation, manipulation, fabrication, etc. It’s truly this function of interaction with the world. Okay, so, that made me start wondering, where do you have opportunities for interaction with the world in a way that you crave? How can you commit to those opportunities?
The email went on, “So you know I’m obsessed with how to make stuff happen. I was thinking, okay, but like where do we go from here? I’m thinking that the roadmap is like first think about five ideas that you have that are really good and five ideas that you have that are just freaking awful. What is the difference between those ideas? Then, pick one of those ideas that you super love and think about whatever the critical hurdle is to making it happen. Ya know? And then, like, why is that hurdle the hurdle?
“Anyway, like I said, had a great time. Let’s do it again next week. In fact, I have that gala thing coming up. Maybe we can go to that.
“All my love.”
List five ideas…
Setting her phone back on the coffee table, our diva turned her attention back to the television. She sipped her merlot. She pursed her lips for a second; not because of the wine but because of her thoughts. “List five ideas that you think are really good,” she mused. She leaned back and adjusted her socks. She took another sip of wine. Concerned, she said out loud to herself and the tv, “what ideas?”
29 Days to Diva: The Worksheets
Try it out! If you like it, I hope you’ll sign up for the email list in the box below and share this post on your favorite social media channels. You can find me @mezzoihnen or feel free to use the hashtag #29DTD or #29DaystoDiva.