Monday, September 30, 2013

A Dream Realized.

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. 



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22 comments:

E. said...

Congratulations! I'm excited to hear about this process!

Naan said...

Wow Sara, that is amazing news!!! I'm so happy for you and the team, good luck on the rest of the process :)

And you know what? It might feel embarrassing to admit that it took courage to plan a birthday party, but it's not! I feel it's best to be open and upfront about this. There are so many things that take courage, but we daren't admit the fact. For an outsider looking in, it sometimes seems as if you just do it, as if it comes naturally. And I know that I sometimes let myself be held back by the idea: I don't feel sure about this, other people just do this right? If it's such an effort for me, I must be doing something wrong, maybe I shouldn't do it. I try to push through though, go out on a limb and do organise stuff, even if occasionally it fails, but knowing that others need courage too, that they don't just do it easily, that helps. They struggle, but they can do it, so maybe I can do it too, even if it's a struggle.

You're an inspiration :)

Erin Curran said...

Congrats!!

colibri said...

Wow, look what you've done! All that labor is going to pay off in your kids' lives and the lives of so many children who might not be able to afford a private Montessori school. Also, your blogging about it gives a chance for others of us around the world to be inspired by your goal-setting and goal-reaching. I'm a stranger, and I still push myself to reach higher because of your example.

Good job!

Meghan said...

Sara!! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you and proud of you.
You are such an inspiration and a daily reminder to me to exercise my courage muscle.

Sara said...

Hearty congratulations to you and yours! Much deserved. :)

Gretchen said...

Congratulations! I am a teacher at a charter school and know what a huge help they can be to students.

AZ said...

Very proud of you! And inspired, on this Monday morning. Imagine what this week might hold!

andee said...

I'm so excited Sara! This is amazing! I love following your journey. Keep going, step by step.

Maureen said...

Congratulations!

Stefanie Hafey said...

Congratulations Sara! Your hard work and perseverance is seriously an inspiration.

Anne-Marie said...

Good for you!

Anthropolochic said...

Congratulations!!! I'm very excited for you. This is no small feat. Gives me hope for my current roster of considerably less important endeavors. Seriously, the importance of what you are working towards is deeply impressive.

I'm also really interested in learning about your next steps. Congratulations again.

Kylie D'Alton said...

Wow, wow, wow!! Congratulations Sara! You deserve it.

Mari said...

Yay! Congratulations!!!

Ellen said...

Congratulations, Sara!!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thank you, Everyone! You are making my heart feel very full. Let me know when you need me to return the favor and celebrate you, okay?

Kelsey said...

This made me so happy today. I am beyond proud of you and you are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your journey and for continuing to put one foot in front of the other towards your dreams. Lots of little steps can really get you somewhere!

Jules said...

So excited for you!!! You are amazing for all the hard work & dedication you've put into this endeavor, and I am so happy things are finally unfolding. Tate & Iyla may be classmates in a few years! : )

Carrie said...

Congratulations, Sara! I know how hard you have worked on this and how hard you will continue to work on it in the next phase. :)

sharmi said...

Congrats sarah!

Catherine said...

What an amazing accomplishment. I know that you have such great things ahead of you. Thank you for continuing to share your stories & struggles with us!

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