Mina West Learning How To Dream



I knew that I enjoyed the art of spoken word, and friends would tell me “you’re a good poet”, but I never knew that I would have a message that people would want to hear. I guess you could say that I didn’t know how to dream/fathom possibilities outside of the norm. As crazy as some of my friends would describe me, I was pretty much your “safe bet” and making stereotypical conventional choices was always the obvious option to me. I mean I went to university because that is what you do right? Achieved a safe 2:1 in my marketing degree, pursued a career linking to that degree as a Marketing Executive. I guess you could say in every other area of my life I’ve been stable since (money, family, friends), but stable and comfortable doesn’t always equate to happiness. And I felt for a long time I was stuck on stable not knowing how to dream.
I remember a conversation I had with a friend, they were pursuing their dream within entertainment, and as much as I believed that they were talented - if I have to be honest their dreams scared me - “leaving your job to pursue your talent, how are you going to live if you cannot pay your bills?” would often be the thought that popped into head, I would never say it out loud to them – partly because I didn’t want to upset them but the other huge part was that I was a little envious of their fire and ambition … thinking why do I not hold that same fire as well? So because I felt I didn’t it, I decided to run away from my creativity – literally run away. I stopped writing, stopped looking out for shows and pursued my career, because that was the sensible option. Any little fire that was left, I purposefully burnt out filling my time with my profession, friends and “life”. At least that way it would look like I was achieving “goals” in my life, getting compliments on my career journey, “you are doing well for yourself” I would hear, and I’d live my well formed cookie cutter life.
And then the year of death happened.
Nobody "close close” to me passed away, but death did feel like a running theme for a period in my life; a friend’s friend, a celebrity – and it wasn’t that death wasn’t around before – but in this period it just seemed to be so much heavier, the line “tomorrow is never promised” seemed to be singing all around me. Deaths made me want to open my eyes, and be conscious of what was around me. What energy was I bringing into a room and what energy was I allowing myself to be mixed around. As I started to wake up I realised I wasn’t ever comfortable I was just use to conforming … what I was doing was not a reflection of me. Morbid thoughts would entertain my brain “If I die, what mark would I leave”.
That realisation hit home hard. And it forced me to start accepting myself, getting used to who I naturally was – and who I naturally was, was creative and free. It was time to embrace it.
I’m still on a journey accepting that truth and in accepting that truth allowing myself to dream and changing that to my reality. It’s scary because dreams are not possible without action, so in learning how to dream, I had to learn how to break out of my status quo and be deliberate about my actions. This is only the start of my journey, if I’m being honest this blog post is really just for myself as a reminder when I feel timid and afraid to pursue – when I wrote “Let’s Be Honest” I would have been sooo happy with 1,000 views now it’s over 40,000 and constantly growing – in the grand scheme of everything that really isn’t much, but it does show when you step out of your comfort zone (which I really want to call “conforming zone”) the journey can be a pleasant surprise.
Dreaming is scary (so scary!) I guess that’s why my mind naturally rejects it. The heightened fear of failure, would cause a feeling of anxiety I wasn’t ready to bear. So I took on tangible means of “success” to suffocate my dreams, and it seemed to be fooling everyone except myself. And then you think, who am I really living this life for? My anxiousness was driven by how others may perceive me, forgetting that other people are truly living their own lives. I’ve found - now that I have started breaking out of my shell and growing into my skin, being true to who I am produces an atmosphere that invites positive energy and others will connect with that, allowing my mind to create a habit of dreaming. And that to me is achieving.  
Learning how to dream, is not a self-taught lesson. My mentors are my experience, the positive influencers around me and my core being. It’s a lesson that I have to revise on daily.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support me. It means more to me than you will ever know x
Mina West


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