A dream without a plan is just a fantasy.

Like everyone else, I have many dreams and aspirations. For years I thought living on my own and working at a place I love was going to take a very long time. But at 26 years old, I live in my own apartment, I have love again, I have bunny children, and I work at an amazing e-learning company with a group of fun and hard working people. I would say I have accomplished many of my biggest dreams and am the happiest I have been in a long time.

And now, while I lay in bed at night, I think about all the other dreams I have and how I am going to get them. Every year I give myself New Years Resolutions, but aside from lose weight, be productive, save money, etc etc, the goals and dreams are getting bigger. I mean I JUST moved into an apartment and already I find myself thinking about how am I going to afford a house now?

Not sure if this is typical of a 26 year old adult. But as much as I wanted to be carefree like my kandi kid counterparts, or my art school classmates that partied all the time and somehow still survived art school, my goals were clear to me and working towards the long-term was far more important than a short lived party. That meant me being a boring youth working all the time. Has it paid off? I would definitely say yes. Am I still boring? Probably. But I do not want this youth to go to waste. I want to experience new things, leave my comfort zone, and come out feeling more confident than ever. (But still save up for retirement haha).

So what are these big dreams I have? Well listed below are a few.

  1. Establish The Jolly Jawbreaker as a business
  2. Sell my art at conventions and online stores
  3. Invest in a cyntiq, printer, and work computer
  4. Push myself further to become fit and buff
  5. Work in TV animation in Canada
  6. Pay off my $36,000 loan debt
  7. Sharpen my artistic craft
  8. Finish My Ephemeral Paradise
  9. Create more art
  10. Take a week off and travel

These are pretty large goals. I always think about everything at the same time and how much I want to do, because I want to do it all. (Like now that I went to a Taiko show I want to take taiko classes? haha) I become overwhelmed with the short amount of hours I have and the tall order of what I want to accomplish.

One of the biggest goals/dreams since graduating MCAD was to start a Kickstarter and finish My Ephemeral Paradise, but at this moment, right now, I want to establish my side business and travel. I think it is important to remind ourselves that it is okay to change paths and try new things. But it is also important that the path we choose is clear and not vague. For example, the small steps I have taken toward my business is developing my logo, doodling everyday the products I want to sell, opening up a storenvy, putting more art online, researching other businesses, and applying for a booth at Anime Detour. Even though there is still much to do, by giving myself 5 items to do every week I have gotten myself closer to my dream. It is the small steps over a large period of time that make the difference.

The second item that I really want is to travel. This is something I have ALWAYS wanted, but now I am really buckling down to figure out a way to do this. I mean, traveling to me is something that luxurious rich people do. But more and more I am seeing people that are just as poor as me and or my age going to these amazing places and I am like I WANT THAT. HOW DO I DO THAT?

My best friend’s Kirsan went on a trip to his homeland Russia this summer. When he returned and told me what he saw and experienced, he made it sound so EASY to just up and leave. He and his cousin traveled on an extreme budget and was able to travel to places like Amsterdam, Czech Republic, Paris, and now New York. He was bitten by the travel bug and after seeing how easily he did it, I thought, ” why can’t I?”


(Images courtesy of Kirsan’s Instagram)

Yesterday I looked up how much tickets cost to visit Japan and London. (At the moment it costs $980 roundtrip to London and $2,000 roundtrip to Japan) I looked at my monthly spending and brainstormed ways I can cut my spending and save up. With the financial burden of student loans taking what I have every month, I believe it is possible to still make this dream happen before I am 30 years old. Which I really want. I do not spend my money on trivial things like cigarettes, alcohol, or fancy i-phones, so not driving often, not buying the coconut water I love so much, selling my art on the side, and selling things I do not need, will help bring me closer to having a week’s vacation.

So what really pushed me to think about traveling? Well, sometimes I feel too comfortable in my life. But also, like everyone else, I have been dealing with a lot of stress. And with that stress I find that I want to travel, I want to escape, unplug, and draw for myself.  I draw for myself on lunchbreaks, but even then I am still not satisfied. I want to draw more than just 30 minutes a day. I want to visit rabbit island, see the gardens of Japan, visit London where my musical heroes called home, visit Sheffield to visit Steve Clark’s grave, and visit Ireland,Scotland, and New Zealand to see and experience the organic and green lands they have. I want to go to all these places and draw what I see and feel enlightened and inspired. And I plan to make it happen.

One step at a time.

So whatever your dream is reader, believe it is possible. Work towards it. Do not keep it a vague idealistic fantasy, actually write down the first three steps you have to take to bring you a little closer to your goals. Otherwise you are going to be person that just “talks” about doing stuff and never actually doing it. Make it happen.

For yourself. No regrets.

You deserve to be happy and able to reach your dreams too.~

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