§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!

I Too Get Scared to Follow My Dreams

May 19, 2020

I’ve been really humbled by how scary it is to follow one of my biggest dreams.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve made sense of my world by writing. I have about a hundred journals stashed away in boxes. (For my kids to read someday??? Yikes! I may want to rethink this!)
And for most of my adult life, I’ve dreamt of writing a book.
This dream brought me to Colombia nearly nine years ago.
I was running my Passion & Purpose Life Course and found myself fascinated by what it takes to completely upend a life in the pursuit of a dream.
I interviewed nearly 70 people of all ages who have done just that to learn what it takes:







Openness to pivot


Faith in the dream and in the Universe

The interviews wound up not only giving me material for the book, but also fueling a dream that was even bigger than that of writing a book.

I realized that I didn’t want to sit in cold Massachusetts writing a book about people who have pursued their dreams and prevailed…

My dream was to be one of those people who followed her dreams!

What followed was a long story (which – SPOILER ALERT – I will tell in the book I’m finally going to write), but here’s the result:

Within 13 months, we were living in a small town in the Colombian Andes. A place where cows roamed the streets and hot pink exotic flowers bloomed year-around.

It wasn’t all chocolate and roses. There were many challenges, but I will save these stories for a different day.

What I will tell you is that I made sense of my first year of life in Colombia by blogging about it daily: the good, the bad and the ugly. I was very honest about my experience.

This earned me some new friends, as people who were moving to Colombia got in touch with me for advice.

I also lost some friends and gained some enemies. Several local friends stopped talking to me because they felt so offended by what I wrote. Even though I was writing about my observations and experiences that didn’t involve them. They wanted me to write only about the good of what I saw.

This was really painful for me. I understood the desire that we all have to only present the best of ourselves to the world. Yet to share MY experiences from the heart and feel the rejection and anger of those I cared about as a result, put me off from sharing my writing publicly for a long time. I had little passion for white-washing my truth.
The years passed but the dream still lived within me. The book idea now morphed to one about how women, like fine wine, just get better with age. I tend to write about that which is most personal for me.
Last year, I finally decided to write the book and hired a book coach.
I still procrastinated.
There never seemed to be enough time to write. My business and family obligations always took priority.
It was also hard to imagine writing the book without mentioning the people in my life. Would I offend them? Would I hurt them? Would I have to censor myself again to keep them in my life?
I’ve learned that these are questions which all writers grapple with. Looking for the middle ground of how to protect the privacy of those we are surrounded by with the desire for authentic self-expression.
When COVID-19 hit, I was reminded of how fragile life is. How everything can change in an instant.
I decided that it was finally time to write that book!
The Universe must have thought it was a good idea too. I received a huge sign: a writer whom I really admire, whose book changed my life nearly thirty years ago, invited me to be in her writing group.
The opportunity was too good to pass up, yet I was mildly terrified.

Is this group made up of serious writers? Would they all be better than me? Do I belong there? I haven’t done much writing, other than in my blog posts and journal!!!

Three weeks in, I can tell you that being in this writing group has been one of the most exhilarating and, at the same time, frustrating experiences of my life.

The other writers in the group are indeed much more experienced than I am.
I’ve been really humbled to realize how little I know about the craft of writing.
Overwhelmed by how many hours of work it takes and how many revisions I need to do to get a paragraph I’m happy with.
Embarrassed when I read the beautiful work written by others. It makes mine pale in comparison.

Almost daily, I think to myself, “At this rate, this book will take a lifetime to finish.”

I often want to quit.

But I don’t.

I notice how excited I get when I’m able to phrase a sentence just so.

How hours go by as I write.
How happy I am to be honing my craft, earning with each word, the right to call myself a writer.
The pride I feel that one chapter of the book is nearly finished.
How good it feels to be working on my dream.

Can you relate? Is there a dream that you’re working towards? How does it feel?

You know I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below or email me at natalie@nataliematushenko.com


Happy Tuesday!




P.S. My Wisdom Wednesday series is up and running and women are loving it!

These are FREE 5 – 10 minute short, actionable videos recorded with me FOR YOU by world-renowned experts to help you thrive in these challenging times.

Last week, I featured the great Marisa Peer, who shared with you how to transform your mindset to thrive in these times of uncertainty. Of you don’t catch this, make sure you do.

This week, I interviewed the great Laura Davis – author of seven bestselling non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal, I Thought We’d Never Speak Again, and a forthcoming memoir, Wholehearted – she will share with us how to thrive in challenging times. This one will be a true gem.

You can watch these short, actionable videos for FREE on my Extraordinary Life After 40 private Facebook group page or you can sign up here to watch it on my website.

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