About this post: Is there a dream that’s nagging at you? Do you wonder how to make it a reality? After watching my daughter reach for the stars…here’s the advice I can offer with “5 Things to Help when Chasing Your Dreams”. #LivingCreatively #LivingtheDream #ChaseYourDreams
In December of 2018, I sat in my living room with my daughter and her volleyball coaches, as she explained how she was leaving university and the team she’d worked so hard, for so many years, to be a part of. (Read the Post: Changing Directions)
As her Mom, I was terribly worried…plus, her new dream – to be a tattoo artist – took me a little by surprise. I supported her because I wanted her to be happy, but I’ll admit to two (of many) concerns:
- I struggled for the first while, both in trying to be ok with the fact that she left university and worrying about her future, but also feeling the mom-failure when telling people that she “quit”! Plus, there was the fact that she wanted to work in an industry that I knew so very little about…and again, felt “mom-judged” that my child was choosing something completely different than any of the kids I knew at her age! (Read the Post: I decided my word for the year would be acceptance, but then changed my mind.)
- I honestly couldn’t fathom how my daughter was going to pull this off and whether or not she had the gumption to make it happen.
I’m super happy and incredibly proud to say that last month, my youngest, Megan Kate, finished her apprenticeship with Sin on Skin Tattoos in Halifax, and will continue to work full time under their guidance while she’s absolutely thriving and loving her chosen career as a “creative”.
So, how DID she pull it off?
Over the last few years, I’ve learned quite a bit from my daughter and I’ve put together a list of the 5 things I believe you need to do, to chase your dreams and make them a reality.
1. Listen to Your Heart:
Megan was miserable! While she’d reached her goal of playing volleyball at the university level, was on the starting line and adored her coaches…she really didn’t love school, struggled to haul her butt to classes, and couldn’t imagine being “stuck” in the situation she was in for four years…the happiness of volleyball simply did not balance the unhappiness of daily life as a university student. Meg had a dream…her heart and soul were screaming at her…and all she had to do was convince me, that she needed something different from the expectations I’d had in mind for her.
2. Do Your Research
Meg’s dream began from watching multiple YouTube shows about tattooing and the industry in general. She read everything she could get her hands on, learned about the local shops and the artists within, researched techniques and styles, and began putting together a portfolio of illustrations in various styles, while taking night courses at the local art college. When the Tattoo Festival was in town, Meg visited the booths, chatted with artists, booked herself a tattoo session (while I watched on and asked a ton of questions). On the second day of the festival, she signed up for and attended a course with a local artist on various colour techniques. Meg stayed in touch with a few folks she met who offered her lots of advice, and by the time she brought her portfolio around to various shops in search of an apprenticeship…she was well aware of how the industry worked, knew what would be expected of her, and was excited for the next steps in her journey.
3. Surround Yourself with People Who Believe in You
While it took me a little bit to wrap my head around it all, when I did, I was ALL IN! Megan had the support of her siblings, her partner, her extended family, her grandparents, her friends, my friends…all wanting the very same thing…to see her HAPPY! Legit…Meg had a PARADE of people supporting her…many who said they couldn’t wait to someday get a tattoo from her! BUT, her biggest support by far was from the folks at Sin on Skin…the owner’s, Kyle and Nicole, who spent a bit of time getting to know her while she volunteered at the shop on her days off, then a few months later offered her an Apprenticeship, and were there to guide her, encourage and support her, every step of the way. Kyle and Nicole saw in Meg what many of us already knew…and joined the parade, cheering her on each step of the way.
4. Maintain a Positive Mindset
A positive mindset is a glorious thing! While I had my apprehensions, Megan remained steadfast to her dream, stayed optimistic, and completely believed in herself. Whether she was cleaning the shop, setting up for the artists, or sitting quietly in the corner while they worked and she watched…Megan completely enjoyed every aspect of her journey. Meg learned something through her apprenticeship every single day and counted down with anticipation until she could finally practice on grapefruits, then HERSELF, and finally REAL PEOPLE!! Through it all, Megan was full of gratitude for the opportunity in front of her and treated every single day as a new learning experience and new adventure.
5. Put the Work In
And finally, no amount of positive attitude, support, passion or knowledge…will do a thing, if you don’t PUT THE WORK IN! Megan showed up at the shop, every single day…in fact, for quite some time she went to work at 3am at a coffee shop in order to make it all work! When she finally left the coffee shop, it was a huge celebration as one job was much easier than two…plus, she could focus more time on drawing and her personal life as well! Meg put the work in. She showed a work ethic that I didn’t know was in her. She didn’t take a single day for granted. SHE did it…and she did it well!
While Megan is still learning her craft, she’s reached the point where she’s a full-fledged tattoo artist whose days are filled with meeting folks and hearing their stories as she works to put those stories on their skin. This week, I gave Megan a “graduation” gift…a lovely pair of earrings and a print from KDP Letters…that will hang on her studio wall as a constant reminder that she did, indeed, work incredibly hard to reach her dreams.
And I’m so freaking proud of her!