What the heck does that mean?
For me, it means, not letting fear hold me back from a goal or trying something.
Let me go waaaaay back to how these words came about.
I was asked by my girlfriend at the time what I wanted to do with my life; I was 34 and halfway through my Associate degree but contemplating a master’s degree. She already had her MA in Education so she knew how much longer I had to go. I had no idea what academia was going to be like and we were just bouncing dreams around.
The phrase we used at the time was actually “Crack Smoking Dream” so I responded, “my Crack Smoking Dream would be to fly helicopters.”
She said you should do it. I said really, you support this. She said if that is what you want to do, then do it.
So then next day I looked up helicopter flight schools, booked a demo flight and was hooked riding co-pilot for 30 minutes in the cockpit. I started training that week. (See But I Fly Helicopters blog.)
My mom was terrified, but she was on board for me to start training to be a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor), I had a lot of fear but I also had a lot of support. I spent 12 months training like a CFI to unfortunately run out of money at the very last hurdle. I. Was. Crushed. I had passed the FAA written test, the medical flight test, and all I had to do was the actual flight test.
I was stopped dead by $1000. Mind you this was the last $1000 of a very expensive training program. I couldn’t ask for anymore money from anyone. I was on my own. So what to do?
Get a job, work on plan B which was my MA, then if I really wanted to finish my training go back and take the test. I had one year to go back before all my training would be lost.
So I got a good paying, part time job and resumed my studies toward my MA. My gf and I had broken up so I moved back home with my parents and started the process of building myself up all over again.
This time the plan was to have a degree to always have something to fall back on and if I ever felt like flying helicopters again, I would.
I was determined to not let anyone or anything get in the way of this plan. I spent ten years straight in school, working both full time and part time while getting my AA (at one time I was working 5 gigs: I was freelancing for 4 music publications, and worked a part time job—sleep was optional 0-o), then my BA, then MA (I tutored part time and was a Teaching Associate—once again sleep was optional). I was fried but dammit I had done it. I had eaten my dream: I got my Master’s in Literature at 40.
I had a lot of fear during those ten years, but I always had support. I had dreams and goals. I knew I could do anything after my Air Force career (I lived in Turkey for 18 months this was right after Desert Storm), helicopter flight training, and lastly surviving grad school.
After reflecting on how far I’d come and what was next, I decided that “Crack Smoking Dream” was not the best phrase and started saying “Eating My Dreams.”
Now that I had tasted and eaten the helicopter, grad school, coffeeshop and cabin in the woods dreams, the next steps are to work on my rebooting my podcast and lastly my blog-to-book project.
Both projects are currently underway and I am super excited to sharing a coffee while chatting with some friends and sharing my very first blogs from my first website.
Stay tuned as I continue to eat my dreams and see where my tastebuds lead.