Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Dreaminess

I love hearing stories of people who are living their dream. Whether it's a dream they've carried since they were young or a fresh, new, adult-onset dream, it's inspiring to watch someone do what they love.

My big dream is generally the same as most make a difference in someone else's life (and the more someone else's, the better). I want the planet to be a better place because I was here. I want to know I lived out my purpose for being alive. More specifically, my dream is to see women, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized, THRIVE. Over the last 10-12 years, I've seen a handful of things concerning women that have broken my heart. Things like:

  • A teenager who basically raised herself and did the best she could in deplorable surroundings. She wanted to go to college, but the cycle of poverty in her family was just too great and she got stuck in the trap. She works for minimum wage.
  • Single moms trying everything they can take care of their kids, but the odds are against them. How can they work enough to provide for their family when they don't have anyone to help with the kids? They constantly find themselves forced to make decisions out of desperation and more often than not, it's a no-win situation.
  • Teen moms. They have all the responsibilities of adult single moms, but they're so young that they don't even have a grid for how to live well. Most of the teen moms I know have zero support system. They feel like the only person supporting them is their boyfriend (who may or may not be the baby's father), but in reality the kind of "support" he offers only creates more problems (aka babies).
  • A 55 year-old prostitute who followed our introduction with, "I've been whoring for 27 years." She turned her first trick when she was 8 years old. For 25 cents. With her uncle. When we met, she had a broken femur because she had jumped out of a moving car when a john pulled a gun on her. She doesn't like being a prostitute, but she doesn't know how to get out.

When I encounter people in these kinds of situations, a deep desire gets stirred up in me. The desire to change the world for these women. The desire to see them live full and beautiful lives. Because when a woman is thriving, she gives herself to the people around her. She parents well and provides for her family. She contributes to her community and everyone is better for knowing her. I don't know who said it first, but I truly believe when you impact a woman, you impact a family. When you impact a family, you impact a neighborhood (or village). When you impact a neighborhood, you impact a city. And then a state. And then the whole world! Isn't that the most awesome and fun domino effect EVER?!

That's why I'm all about Bloom Home Cleaning. The whole idea is to empower and support women so they can succeed in every area of their lives...financially, emotionally, relationally, spiritually. It's social entrepreneurship at its best because it's all about providing relationships for women that will provide support and encouragement, but also challenge and push them forward.

I think, for the first time in my life, I can see the beginnings of my dream becoming reality. And guess what. It's not nearly as glamorous as one would hope. I'm sure anyone who's living out their dreams would say the same thing. The hard work of making the dream a reality usually overshadows any glamour that may come along. I came across a great quote today in the place where all of the most inspirational thoughts of human history are pooled together. Twitter. "Most dreams don't cost money. They cost sweat." Thank you, @prodigaljohn for putting into 8 words the struggle battle all-out war I live every day. I'm finding that when you're trying to live your dream, most days feel mundane and insignificant. Like when you're scrubbing a toilet for the 152nd time. You just have to keep reminding yourself that there's a point to all this mundane-ness. There are lives to be changed. There's a dream to live, baby!

Ultimately, the big dreaminess of the dream makes it worth it. What's your big dream?

Keep going.

Keep sweating.

Keep dreaming.