Read Ep. 9 | Show Notes
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“Working toward your dreams starts with a planning phase, for which we need adequate time and attention.”
– Maya Gree
The above is a quote I really like about chasing dreams.
Below are a bunch you may have heard from super famous people that I don’t like as much:
“Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.” – John Wooden
Ok. But what about the not-so-great dreams? Like the one where I wanted to be a ballerina? Or, more recently, a rainmaking partner at a large law firm? Not all dreams are created equal. Some dreams are like broken marriages. You cut your losses, learn what you can from the experience, and give up before spending the rest of your life trying to salvage something that no longer holds value.
“It is better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left?” – Jim Carrey
…says someone who, while having gone through some hardship earlier in life, now earns hundreds of millions of dollars making movies–a career that is about as likely as winning the lottery, however hard we dream. Both my parents did nearly starve to death and it is precisely why they were so against me giving up my job at the law firm to pursue something as dangerous as writing books and creating videos for a living. While most of us are no longer facing imminent death from starvation, we still may not have the luxury of risking foreclosure, car repossession, or a reliable internet connection (which honestly isn’t just a first world thing anymore). Some of us may have more than ourselves to think about when calculating whether dreams are worth pursuing, and “what’s left”? Well, Mr. Cable Guy, a house, a car, decent wifi, college education for the kids, health insurance, and food.
“Don’t let your dreams become your regrets, chase them, go after them!” – Catherine Pulsifer
What does this even mean? Like, is there a manual that breaks down how one should “go after them”? And also, sometimes (probably more times than we hear about), dreams become regrets because we chase them. The truth is, we are far more likely to hear about the success story than we are the “fail story.” Which makes sense–how many people are going to broadcast what spectacular failures they are (unless, of course, it’s a part of an overall success story)? Did you know that 1 out of 5 small businesses fail in the first year? That only 1 out of 3 small businesses survives to see its 10 year anniversary? Realistically speaking, there is quite a bit of carnage out there in “regret land” when it comes to the pursuit of dreams.
So, in contrast to what you’re thinking right now, this is still a newsletter on chasing your dreams.
I know, it sounds like I’m here telling you to give up while you still have some dignity. But that’s not what this newsletter is about. We are here to talk about dream chasing–the strategic way.
If you’d rather go the “I’m going to keep ramming my head against the wall until either it gives or my skull does” approach, by all means: go right a-head.
However, if you’d rather hear about everything I’ve learned about making the jump from a steady paycheck to full-time dream chaser, stick around.
How I Started My Hobby, The Korean Vegan, While Also Being A Full Time Lawyer.
In 2001, I entered law school. As I’ve shared in the past, it was not part of a master plan. Rather, it was the direct result of my anxiety over being an adult. I’d just graduated from college and needed to do things like find a job, buy car insurance, even move out. I had school loans hanging over my head, as well as my parents’ dreams starting to bear down on me. But, I had no real plan. Law school was attractive because it did all the planning and goal-setting for me: get into law school, secure a full-time job as an attorney, pass the Bar, don’t get fired, make partner. This very convenient plan mapped out the next 15 years of my life, which was exactly what I was craving: someone to tell me what to do, while providing a good paycheck with health benefits.
I did all the things in the above plan on schedule. I made partner in 2015 and aspired to become a big-time lawyer at a big-time law firm. At that point, I’d already “given up” on one major dream: spending the rest of my life with my first love, the boy I set my heart on when I was only 14 years old. We’d gotten a divorce the year before, which was the one year I didn’t bill as many hours as I normally had. With that chapter of my life behind me, I was able to bang out another big year and finally reached the pinnacle of the mountain that had been set for me all the way back in 2001.
In 2016, I adopted a plant-based diet and started The Korean Vegan, a food blog, as a hobby, because a colleague said to me, “Joanne, you should start a hobby” in that way where the subtext is pretty clear: “I’m worried about you–please don’t burn out…” As it happened, I’d started tinkering with a camera in 2010–a Nikon D90 for those who know cameras. I mostly took photos of things like my office, the fat beads of condensation rolling down my iced latte, my mother’s hands, the Chicago River, my own body. I knew just enough about photography to shift the lens to food. Or, to at least think I could. I also thought I could figure out how to film, edit, and post YouTube videos using my DSLR in the same way I figured out how to use a VCR when I was 7 years old. I soon discovered that casually making YouTube videos wasn’t nearly as intuitive as I expected. And though I managed to bust out a handful of videos, each of which took me over a month to produce, I soon left YouTube in favor of still photography on Facebook and Instagram. Like many other food bloggers, I included recipes in the captions or directed them to my fledgling website (also not something that’s intuitive, but less expensive than making videos).
In 2017, as many of you know, I started sharing stories about my family in those captions instead of recipes. What you may not know is that this, too, wasn’t an overnight development. In fact, I’d started a writing blog on Tumblr many years before, around the same time I was fooling around with my Nikon D90. Pretty much by accident, I fell in with a bunch of online writers, many of whom were MFA candidates, who shared or inspired each other with original poetry and bits of prose. Though I’d long ago given up creative writing in favor of briefs, punchy motions, and acerbic demand letters, I dove head first into Tumblr #writing until I had four poems of my own published in a couple poetry journals in 2012. Thus, when I decided to share stories in my Instagram captions, I once more shifted my not entirely new pen to a topic that was, at that time, more pressing on my heart.
By the middle of 2017, I had learned a lot about food photography just by following hundreds of food photography accounts (many of which weren’t vegan), and I was just beginning to develop an aesthetic that would eventually become my signature. I had figured out how to veganize some of my favorite Korean recipes and I was dating someone that I referred to as the “Piano Guy,” while trying to develop a book of business that would validate the Firm’s decision to mint me partner, and training for my very first marathon. I will pause at this point in the story because I want to make a couple things clear:
- By now, you should have picked up on the fact that my transition into writer/entrepreneur was not overnight. In fact, I would say it started all the way back in 2010, when I purchased my first DSLR camera.
- I wasn’t posting on Instagram every single day. I was probably posting only a few times a week, when I had time. And there were often gaps in my content creation, periods at work during which I needed to give my undivided attention to a matter for not just a day or two, but multiple weeks.
- From 2015 through 2018, I was on one of the biggest cases of my career as lead litigation counsel in a multi-billion dollar chapter 11 case. I would say that it was on this case that I truly started to feel like I was becoming the “badass lawyer” I’d pretended to be for so long. I just happened to have this weird hobby on the side that I rarely talked about with my colleagues or clients.
- It was a hobby. A very expensive hobby. Though I knew other “influencers” were monetizing their food blogs, I had no interest in that. I was making good money at the Firm and I didn’t want the pressure of turning my hobby into a “side hustle.” I wanted always to have the ability to say, “Hey, I’m too busy, I don’t want to post today.”
How I Signed a Book Deal and Wrote a Book. While Still Being a Full Time Lawyer.
During the fall of 2017, a woman, who was also a writer and poet and vegan foodblogger, read some of my captions. She liked them so much, she introduced me to her literary agent. By this time, I had around 25,000 followers on Instagram and was flattered that anyone read my captions, much less like them enough to think I could publish a book. I was introduced to Charlie, whom I would subsequently refer to as “the Brit who made all my dreams come true,” and he asked me, “Well, would you like to write a book? It can be any kind of book. A novel, a memoir, a cookbook.” I selected “cookbook,” because I thought it would be easiest. Charlie gave me one assignment: write 1 page that describes your cookbook.
This took me over a month.
He then tasked me with writing a book proposal.
This took me over one year.
In 2018, Charlie shopped around my cookbook proposal for about 1 week and a few days later, I had an agreement with one of the biggest publishing houses in the world. While I cannot disclose the specifics of the deal, I will say I was absolutely thrilled with the advance and my parents were shocked that I could make that much money off of a “hobby.” This book deal was the first real evidence I had that “yeah..I can see how someone might make a living off of this.” “Someone,” as in, “not me, though.”
Receiving Permission to Dream Again. While Still Being a Full Time Lawyer.
I worked on my book all throughout 2019. Although my agent Charlie suggested I think of writing my book like I did a brief for a client (as in, “deadlines matter!”), I treated the book much more like my Instagram account: I’ll write it when my job gives me time to write it. I did things in spurts–come home and make 3 recipes and photograph them on top of Anthony’s Steinway (sorry, babe…) or even an old cracked fake leather ottoman (that’s where the cover was shot!). I told myself I could write the stories in my sleep (it usually took me only 5 minutes to write the Instagram captions, after all) and thus focused heavily on coming up with recipes and photographing them. In August, I rented a loft space in the South Loop for 2 days, flew in my friend and mentor Betty (the most talented food photographer I know), and
coerced invited my aunts, cousin, and mother to help me prepare, style, and photograph dozens of recipes for the book.
It turned out, of course, that recipe development and photography was easy relative to writing my parents’ stories. I had never written a book before, but man, I’d read a bunch of GREAT ones. And I wanted to be a GREAT writer. I had the prose of Min Jin Lee and R.O. Kwon rolling around in my head like polished marbles, without being able to admit to myself that I had neither the talent nor the skill to write anything like them. But I tried. I devoured books like I’d scarf down japchae. I even took a writing workshop. But, my writing came out stilted, uncomfortable, and exactly the opposite of the writing I included in my Instagram captions, the writing that landed me the book deal in the first place.
You know those moments in your life? Where everything around you is mundane, ordinary, just like every other day of your life? But, on the inside, it’s like a laser show in your brain and thus you remember, with meticulous detail, all those humdrum things that would otherwise elide with the day-to-day? Well, I remember… It was the fall of 2019. I was wearing my navy blue long-sleeve t-shirt, the one I got for running my very first Turkey Trot in 2014. I also had on a headband because I’ve always hated having to peel off the stray hairs that stick to my sweaty face. I was running on the sidewalk that tracked a baseball field in Lincoln Park, having just passed a porta potty that was frustratingly locked.
I was listening to a Rich Roll Podcast with David Epstein. They were discussing David’s book, Range, and the subject of late-bloomers, how some of the most successful people in life find their callings in their forties or later. Why? Because they’d given themselves permission to fail. Many many times over at many many things. They walked away from full-fledged careers to try something new without an all-encompassing pressure to succeed, the “pursue your dreams at all costs” mentality that is deified in movies and “self made man” narratives. If they failed, they’d try something different again. And again and again and again, until they found something that stuck. And it was this failing and succeeding and failing and failing and succeeding that created the perfectly unique tapestry, practically by accident, of both resilience and expertise that served as the common thread to their mid-life success stories.
I remember feeling that their conversation was dangerous, that it literally jeopardized my 401(k) and career and that I should just stop listening immediately. That my parents would want me to stop listening immediately.
But with that sense of danger also came a burst of joy, taut ropes loosening around my heart by just a fraction.
I learned two things in that moment:
- I was afraid to dream again.
- Oh wait. I still had dreams.
I was 40 years old.
Yes. TikTok Changed My Life. While Still Being a Full Time Lawyer.
I submitted my first manuscript to my editor a few weeks after listening to that podcast episode. By this time, I was on another case that was taking a lot of my brain power. Despite the seed that had been planted by Messrs. Roll and Epstein, the notion of shelving a legal practice I’d worked so hard to develop still seemed ludicrous. This was later confirmed when my editor came back to me after reading that first manuscript, saying, “Hey… I think we need to cut back on the writing and add a bunch more recipes.”
To me, it was the confirmation I’d been dreading: I can’t write. And if I can’t write, I can’t make a career out of The Korean Vegan. So, let’s stop with this fool notion of quitting your 9 to 5 and doing something else. You’re a lawyer and you should be grateful you have the job you do.
[And no, I didn’t say that in my mother’s voice at all.]
I spent early 2020 dividing my time between preparing for evidentiary hearings in my new case and writing a “bunch more recipes.” In March 2020, though, there was this thing called “the Global Pandemic” that put a crimp in my plans. I was not only having trouble sourcing ingredients for my recipes, but I was terrified of losing my job like everyone else in the world. And therefore, I was more focused than ever on proving my indispensability to the Firm and my clients. Somehow, I managed to turn in a new manuscript with far less writing and about 25 more recipes by the middle of the year, at which time, my big case had started to wrap up. I could sit back and rest a little bit.
Which is when I decided to start a TikTok account.
I will not repeat here what I have in countless interviews and podcasts (i.e., why I started a TikTok, my first viral TikTok, how my TikTok has evolved, etc.). Suffice it to say that at one point, I remember calling my mentor at the Firm in a panic because one of my “clapback posts” had gone viral (it had around 600,000 views) and a couple of legal blogs had picked up on the “Foley TikTok Lawyer.” I had a terrifying call with my CEO during which I was convinced I would get fired. I deleted the “clapback post” and promised I would stick to creating only food content. This was around August 2020. I had accumulated ~35,000 followers in a couple weeks. Fast forward to November 2020: I didn’t stick to posting only food content, I had around 900,000 followers on TikTok, and published my first Op Ed in The Atlantic. This all happened in the span of about 4 months.
And it was then that the seed that had been planted a full year earlier finally started to germinate.
Planning and Evidence Gathering. While Still Being a Full Time Lawyer.
I prepared for dream chasing like I would a trial. Over-prepare and collect all the available evidence.
I had multiple excel spreadsheets that set forth timelines and milestones, as well as financial projections and budgets. In my head, I repeatedly did rough calculations of annual gross revenue based upon all available sources of income that were opening up to me because of my TikTok: brand deals, speaking engagements, ad revenue, live cooking classes. I started socking away large chunks of money into a savings account that I could never touch, while also paying off every single credit card I had. I also began to aggressively pay down my school loans, with the plan of paying them off completely within a year. I scrutinized every dollar that came in as a result of The Korean Vegan (and not my lawyer job), to see whether it was (a) adequate, (b) sufficiently predictable, and (c) growable. I did this from November 2020 through June 2021, at which point, I decided two things:
- I wanted The Korean Vegan to hit the NYT Bestsellers List; and
- I was going to copy Rich Roll and withdraw from partnership when my book was published.
Oh wait, a third thing:
- I was going to run the Chicago Marathon (my fifth marathon).
[I realize I’ve skipped the part in the middle where we changed to more writing being added back to the book and then heavily revised until the manuscript was something I could be relatively proud of. It’s not terribly germane to this topic, so I’ll save that bit for a different newsletter, one that is focused on the book-writing process (if you all are interested…).]
I Finally Stop Being a Full Time Lawyer: Let the Dream Chasing Commence! [Sort of]
In October 2021, the following happened:
- I withdrew from partnership at the Firm and became of counsel
- The Korean Vegan Cookbook was published and became an instant NYT Bestseller
- I ran the Chicago Marathon
The Korean Vegan would go on to be listed as one of The New York Times Best Cookbooks of 2021, as well as The New Yorker’s Best Cookbooks of 2021.
And on June 11, 2022, my cookbook would be honored with a James Beard Award.
So, all my dreams came true, right? Yay! Story over.
Just kidding. Obviously, I skipped past a lot of things that happened throughout this journey that started in 2001, but this is a newsletter, not my memoir. And the point of this story isn’t so much to inspire you to chase your dreams–there are plenty of influencers and motivational speakers out there who can do that for you.
I’m telling you this story to frame the following seven (7) takeaways on strategic dream-chasing:
- Don’t be too precious about your dreams. Some of them are stinky and deserve to be forgotten. Can you imagine if it had been my dream to become a professional basketball player? Or an actual ballerina? Also, some dreams are new and in their infancy, and therefore, shouldn’t be taken too seriously. You might realize after a little research and soul searching, that they also deserve to be discarded. Before your dreams become real, you need to get real: about what you’re good at, what you suck at, what the world has space for, and where the market is saturated (i.e., supply and demand).
- Ditch the idea that dreams require all out sacrifice right now or you’re not good enough for them. That works for some people, but I’m not sure it would’ve worked for me. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it was one of those “pie in the sky” things. When I started my writing blog in 2010, I got to write, but I didn’t view it as my “make or break” moment. I think if I had, I might have been too scared to start or I would have given up at the first sign of failure. Without any pressure to do anything other than write–when I had time–I was able to sustain an activity that would become a pivotal piece of my dream chase later on.
- Do the things in your life now that can support the dream chase tomorrow. I was a lawyer for 17 years, which is what allowed me to develop my hobbies. Whether it was writing in my spare time, learning how to use a DSLR camera, or developing vegan recipes in my kitchen, I was able to do these things because I had a predictable income that whole time. There was never any need for me to “risk starvation.” Again, if we’re led to believe that “risking starvation” is what it takes to pursue our dreams, many of us won’t ever start. Why would we? Many of us can walk and chew gum at the same time and not all of us need to have our back up against a wall to try something different.
- Vision board, shmision board. Look, I’m all about goal setting, but setting arbitrary deadlines on your dreams can backfire pretty spectacularly. What happens if you don’t hit that milestone when you planned for it (like my first manuscript)? What happens when there’s an unexpected setback caused by something entirely out of your control (like a global pandemic)? You’re more likely to believe that your failure to meet these deadlines is “a sign” that you should give up, instead of merely just a bump in a much longer path than you realize. Many people think that my current career path started in 2016, when I began The Korean Vegan. But, if you were paying attention, you’ll see that it started all the way back in 2010, when I began my writing blog and picked up my first camera. In other words, it took me nearly 12 years–that’s 70% of my time as a full time lawyer–to get to a point where I felt comfortable to take a leap of faith.
- And that leap of faith? It had a safety net beneath it. Composed of backup plans, savings accounts, a 401(k), and a career in law I knew I could return to if necessary. Do you know what dreams need more than anything else to come true? TIME. If you really want your dream to become reality, don’t you think you should invest in giving it every chance at success? Do what you need to do in order to allow your dream to survive for as long as possible, even while incurring heavy losses, sustaining failures, making a litany of mistakes. However much Hollywood likes to make movies about it, success stories almost never happen overnight, so arm yourself for the long haul.
- Get honest about your dreams. Sometimes, we use romanticized versions of our dreams because we’re worried about what others might think of them. As we talked about last week, do you really want to be a pole dancer? Or do you want to be rich and famous? And, as I said last week, if it’s the latter, that’s awesome. Just don’t get so stuck on pole dancing, then, because it may be preventing you from realizing your true dream of becoming rich and famous.
- Finally, dude: enjoy the intermediate successes. ENJOY them. A really wise man once said: “Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” — Nelson Mandela.
James Beard Recap.
The JB Awards Video | Joanne’s Speech
In case you missed it, The Korean Vegan won the James Beard Award for Vegetable Focused Cookbook!!
Here are some photos from the big night. No, I didn’t think I would actually win. And yes, Padma is actually as stunningly beautiful in real life as she is on TV (actually, more so).
Looking for kimchi dumpling recipe and dipping sauce recipe from chibo class that I took with you a while back. I just loved your class. – Kaitlyn
Hi Kaitlyn! That is actually the recipe from my cookbook. I did a special “preview” for anyone who took a Chibo class with me. Hopefully, you should have a copy of my cookbook and you can simply look up dumplings in the index. Otherwise, you can find the recipe reprinted here. As to the spicy dipping sauce, that too is in the cookbook. However, you can mix together the following for a quick and easy version:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 scallions, chopped
TKV Meal Planner Recipes, Next LIVE Cooking Demo, and Updates.
In case you missed it, I shared a recipe for Tofu Fried Rice after a terrible Chinese take out experience. There’s nothing like an awful $20 meal to inspire you back into the kitchen! I’ll be adding the recipe for the Tofu Fried Rice to the TKV Meal Planner, but I’ll include it here for you, as well:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 cups day old cooked rice
- 2 scallion whites, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 to 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/2 box pressed extra firm tofu
- 1/2 cup chopped broccolini
- 1/2 cup corn (raw or cooked)
- 1/4 cup spring peas
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru (optional)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 scallion greens
Fry the rice separately in oil, in batches if necessary. Remove and set aside. Add a little extra oil and sauté the veggies and tofu, until browned. Create a well in the middle of the cooked veggies and tofu and add back the rice. Let it crackle for about 30 seconds and then mix everything together. Season with salt and pepper (and gochugaru), drizzle with sesame oil, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallion greens. Enjoy!
In addition to the Tofu Fried Rice, I’ve added Cajun Pasta, Mushroom Artichoke Casserole, and Mushroom Mac ‘n Cheese to the TKV Meal Planner. Each of the recipes will include nutritional information, shopping lists, and the ability to customize servings (e.g., I want to make this for a dinner party versus I want to make this for just me and my partner). The TKV Meal Planner already houses 2,000+ recipes, which I am adding to all the time.
Speaking of TKV Meal Planner perks, the next live cooking demonstration for TKV Meal Planners will be on June 29, 2022. And, as promised, we’ll be making Tofu Fried Rice! Not a TKV Meal Planner yet? You can try it out for a month, and not only will you get this LIVE cooking demonstration, you’ll get instant access to all the recipes, food coaches, and more! You can cancel at any time.
- TORONTO!!! Yes, I’m FINALLY headed across the border!! I’m working with an incredible non-profit organization, Han Voice, to celebrate a pop-up art exhibit, People’s Museum of North Korea. The event will be on July 2 and you can buy your tickets here. See you there!
- The winner of the We Were Dreams Giveaway has been notified. Please check your inboxes and spam to see if you’re the winner! Thank you to everyone who participated!
- Check out this awesome chat I had with Michelle Yee Hee Lee on the Washington Post’s Race in America series!
Feel Good Links.
Here are the ones that caught my heart this week:
- Lily and the Garbage Collector
- A Special Graduation Surprise
- Kitty’s Bath Time
- “I’ve Never Flown and Airplane in my Life”
- A Moment in Nature
Hustle culture is now mainstream. It’s no longer good enough to have one full-time job or be a full-time student. If you’re not actively pursuing a “side job” that is designed to one day be a multi-million dollar success story, you’re apparently doing something wrong. BULLSHIT. This is the same sort of nonsense that motivational speakers and self-help gurus are feeding you to line their own pockets, to create demand for their so-called expertise in self-actualization, when in reality, all they’re doing is exploiting our self-doubt for their gain. It promotes toxic productivity, ratifies the pursuit of commercial wealth at the expense of our well-being, and reinforces our deification of the 1%. In the end, “hustle culture” has turned “FOMO” into a disorder, and it leaves us feeling more purposeless, more powerless, less joyful.
There’s nothing wrong with working a 9 to 5 job that you don’t love, but you don’t hate. There’s nothing wrong with coming home from that job to throw the casserole in the oven, pick up the kids from drama club and basketball practice, run through the bills collecting on the top left corner of your kitchen table, hefting that casserole out of that oven, and tucking in while discussing anything other than what you did during that 9 to 5, because it isn’t that interesting to you. There’s nothing wrong with spending your free time reading a good book, watching a good Korean drama or the most recent Tom Cruise flick, or Facetiming with your best friend who’s spending a month in Barcelona in a dusty BNB with mediocre wifi and a sleepy-eyed neighbor who speaks not a lick of English. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things, unless you decide there is.
My parents gave up the life they knew in South Korea to take a gamble on the “American dream.” They were cash poor, spoke virtually no English, had no “friend of a friend” who could get their resume in front of “so and so.” They worked their entire careers at jobs that they didn’t love, but they didn’t hate. My mother was a nurse for nearly 40 years, mostly in the emergency department. My father was a mail sorter for the US Postal Service, working the night shift from 2 am to 10 am for as long as I can remember. Their purpose was clear: give their children the safety they wished they had when they were growing up. They didn’t have a side hustle, and I’ll put their story right up next to Gary V’s any fucking day of the week.
Instead of asking yourself “What is your side-hustle?,” ask yourself “What is your purpose?” From 2001 through 2021, my purpose was to be a lawyer, to learn everything I could about being an advocate, to push myself through the BigLaw furnace until I came out the other side with the kind of mettle I knew would protect me from far more than opposing counsel. When I got a divorce in 2014, I discovered a different purpose: to share my stories with all of you, and it turned out that between nursing a writing blog, taking photographs of Chicago, and putting together summary judgment briefs, I had amassed a lot of skills as a storyteller. It took me more than a decade to transition from telling my stories as a hobby to a full time job. I say all this to remind you that a quiet joy can be just as powerful and life affirming as a noisy one; that life isn’t really at all about what the day brings to you, but what you bring to the day; that chasing the dream is always a full-time job, one that begins and ends and begins again for anyone who makes room in their heart for hope.
If you feel locked up, don’t wait around for the door to materialize. Get down on the ground and start building it. Spend a few minutes a day or all day long if you want. However long it takes, you’ll find that you won’t have just erected a way out, you’ll have constructed the courage you need to walk through it.