Monday, March 29, 2010

Dream Meeting.

Dan & I at my new favorite New York hangout: Alice's Tea Cup

I've walked past Alice's Tea Cup many, many times on both the East Side & the West, but have never gone in. Even though it is dripping with magic & charm & seems to call to me as I walk by, I just never had a reason or opportunity.

Well, that all changed yesterday. Dan & I decided to have a little 'dream meeting' (meaning, we intentionally set aside time to talk about dreams, plans, jobs, ideas, life, etc.) and I thought, what better place to talk dreams than Alice's Tea Cup? Even though there was an hour wait, it was so worth it. The tea & scones were delish and it was the perfect setting to get us inspired.

This dream meeting was inspired by a couple of things. Well, first off, it's fun (you should try it :), but we've also been experiencing a wee bit of (job related) discontentedness lately and are just feeling like we want to live life to the fullest, starting NOW, you know? And then the clincher was stumbling upon this fascinating story over the weekend, which really inspired & sparked the dream conversation. It's the story of this adventuresome couple from Kentucky who are traveling across the country on a 5-seat tandem bicycle with their three children ages 7, 5 and 3. (!!) (here is their blog). They've literally gone coast to coast and will end up in Alaska where they plan to settle for at least a year. Some people might think that's crazy but I, personally, think it's AWESOME. Here is a clip from the news:

Stories like this really resonate with us (not that we've ever specifically dreamed of biking cross-country -- though it *does* sound fun, doesn't it?). But we've long talked about living a life "outside the box," full of adventure & travels and fun. That was one of the things that initially drew us to one another (he had me at "I want to travel the world by sailboat one day" ... ummm, that's been a secret dream of mine for YEARS!!!). And though it's easy to look at all the traveling and risk-taking we're NOT doing at the moment and get discouraged, I think it's fair to say that for the amount of time we've been in each other's lives (almost three years now) we've accomplished quite a bit: marriage, living in a city that we love, little getaways to different cities, etc.

And I don't want this to sound like I am not grateful for where we are right now, or that our lives don't feel rich. I feel incredibly blessed at the moment, and think it's so important to savor all of life's moments, large and small. But I still dream of that sailing trip. Of gondola rides through the canals of Venice. Of studying painting in the South of France. And swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. Of owning a winery in Virginia one day. Or California. Or Italy (why not?).

We've filled pages in a notebook with dreams like these. Mostly involving travel but some not. Some are career & family focused (ie: do missions work together. build an awesome treehouse one day (for our kids...and for me. an art studio in the trees would be pretty fab, right?). work together in some capacity someday. write a book. go to seminary, etc.).

Our dream meeting yesterday stirred up some new ideas but also landed us back to old dreams, as well. We don't have all the logistics worked out (2 rules of a dream meeting: 1) nothing is too crazy or out of reach & 2) there is no pressure to make it happen NOW), so there is nothing at all set in stone. But I believe that the more we talk about these ideas, the more likely it is that we will actually put some of them into motion one day (like the cycling family did). Because life is too short to not embrace all of our beautiful, crazy dreams, right?

*And two (very different) books that I highly recommend reading for inspiration on living a life full of meaning and richness and all that good stuff: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years & Live What You Love.


laurie said...

oooh how i love this idea, of a dream meeting!! :)

That City Girl said...

You & Ben should do it! And you have an Alice's Tea Cup on the East Side near you :)

axisyg said...

Wow! I think we went to highschool together, and somehow while on facebook I stumbled onto your blog (I think you are friends with one of my "friends")... I LOVED the idea of a dream meeting and enjoyed the tip about the Tea House.. There is one in VA here that I like to go to with friends and family... I have family in NY,NY so I will have to check it out. Thanks for being so inspirational! I love the idea of a tree house art studio!!! WOW... I was an art major... so I totally get it. Oh, and I loved the quint bike story too.. My husband and I talk about living abroad for atleast a year someday... Thanks
Irene (Schinkel) Bristow

That City Girl said...

Irene -- just saw your comment now! Yes, I totally remember you! Actually I think we went to high school AND college together. I was an art major at Mary Washington. You were too, right? Anyway, so nice to see you on here :) Thanks for the comment!

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