You guys. It's real! The state recommended us for a charter!
It's kind of hard to write a post when a) you're still pretty speechless with excitement and b) your fingers are busy pinching yourself to make sure you're not dreaming. But here it goes.
This dream. This dream has been at least five years in the making. It wasn't always easy to share openly and honestly about all the times I felt insecure about pursuing this dream. In such a public space, it's easy to inadvertently compromise my professionalism. For example, this blog (with posts about miscarriage and everything else) has been read by potential funders during the due diligence process when they're deciding whether or not to give us money.
I tried my best to talk about how--in those moments of intense uncertainty--I just had to put my head down and focus on the very next step in front of me. I've learned that I can't stop myself from feeling insecure about my abilities or from thinking that I'm unworthy of pursuing such a big dream. In those moments, I embrace the space between my feelings and my actions. I can't control my feelings, but I can absolutely control my response to those feelings. I always pushed myself (or listened to Matt when he was pushing me) to take the next step forward, no matter how impossible that step felt at times.
And getting here was the easy part! I have no doubt that actually opening and running a school (and then opening a second one in San Antonio and more throughout the nation after that) will be really, really hard. Insanely hard! But I'm building up my courage--experience by experience.
It takes an immense amount of courage to pursue our dreams. I almost said "follow our dreams" in the previous sentence, but "follow" doesn't capture the persistence and courage that it takes to make things happen for ourselves.
I'm learning that courage is like a muscle that has to be exercised. There were so many things--big and small--that helped me strengthen my courage muscle. And I continue to try to exercise it daily. I started small by planning unconventional birthday parties, like a Random Acts of Kindness Scavenger Hunt. It's embarrassing to admit that it took courage for me to plan a birthday party, but it did. I worried that people wouldn't come to something so out-of-the-ordinary or that they wouldn't enjoy themselves if they did come.
That process strengthened my courage muscle enough to plan a year-long sabbatical. I was so worried that people would judge me for not working or that I would compromise my career by stepping out for a year.
The sabbatical led to planning a $2,000 wedding, despite many naysayers who said it couldn't be done or said our wedding wouldn't be fun.
Step by step, year by year. That's what it takes to exercise our courage and pursue our dreams. Life is too precious to do anything less.