So Many Thoughts…

Do you ever have those days when there are so many things to do, so many things to think about, your mind is literally swimming from one thought or idea to the next? I know this is typically a food or entertaining blog, but today I’m going to share all (ok, maybe not ALL) that is on my mind; and together we are going to make the connections and move forward from all these individual thoughts. I promise you – stay with me – we will unpack this in a way that will make sense and will hopefully bring you some personal clarity for those thousands of thoughts in your own mind, those same thoughts that may also be preventing you from moving forward. At least I am hoping the process does so for me!

  1. Why does all this matter? Because there is a reason these thoughts are on your mind, but what are you going to do about it?
  2. What is your word for 2021? Mine is DREAM.
  3. They said ‘build it and they will come,’ but what if no one shows up?
  4. What if no one likes me, or likes what I have to offer?
  5. Am I good enough? Do I know enough? What if I make mistakes? (yes, that is three questions rolled into one)
  6. When and how will I meet the RIGHT people who can help me move forward with my goals?
  7. When I fail, who will be there to help me up?
  8. What if I CAN’T do all I WANT to do?

Ok, let’s stop the list there because honestly I could go on for a really long time and I have my suspicions you may be able to, as well.

Dreams can come true. Maybe all dreams aren’t meant to come true but just think about the process we go through, the growth we achieve when we chase a dream, EVEN if what we thought we wanted never becomes reality. Remember Garth Brooks’ song “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers?” For example, I wish I could sing. I can dream about having a gorgeous singing voice and sharing it on a stage, lifting up the hearts of many through my work. It’s a dream, and one that is never going to happen unless Aladdin’s magic lamp shows up. The joy of singing can be on my mind, but I am not going to prioritize that dream because in all honesty, it will never come to pass. There are plenty of other dreams that we think we want but The Higher Power knows it is not in our best interests.

On the other hand, I have dreamed for years about being an entrepreneur, owning my own business, being in charge of my own destiny. Could I fail? Absolutely. Do I know what I am doing? Kind of. Sometimes. Yes. No. I won’t waste your time covering all I know about being a business owner watching both sides of my family thrive, struggle, and slave away owning their own businesses. Bottom line – I know there is no yellow brick (golden) road along the way! But there are plenty of other joys and blessings – all for the taking by those who are willing to make the leap.

When I said my 2021 word is DREAM, it is because I am finally going to make my dream come true. The last 4-5 months of thinking, planning, dreaming, and imagining has been glorious. It has been hard, mind blowing, exhausting and inspiring, all rolled into one. This blog will soon not be just a blog. Yes, the blog is still going to remain and it will keep its identity as Montana Mountain Maven but it will link to a whole new sister entity, La Cuisine, a retail kitchen store. More on that story in the future, but I (we, thanks to the undying support of my husband) are going to make my dream come true – with eyes wide open there are no guarantees for success. What I can guarantee you, and myself for that matter, is that I will work harder than I have ever worked (and that’s ALOT!) to make this dream as successful as possible.

Will people come see me? Will they buy from me? Will they tell their friends good things about me? Will they like what I offer? I hope for all those things. And I spend hours every single day trying to make sure I am creating a YES to all those questions. I am building a brand, a social media presence, an e-commerce platform, designing an inviting, homey and beautiful space, drafting multiple revenue streams, networking, navigating partnerships and working to build a stronger, collective community of small businesses. There are times that I am exhausted. My brain hurts from so much learning, thinking, and decision making. But the beauty of it all? It makes me happy. I am at peace with my dream. I have learned over the past 50 years, everyone isn’t going to like me. Everyone isn’t going to love what I have to offer. Everyone is not going to be happy for me. And that’s ok. What matters is that the right people support me.

I’m sure you have already identified that many of my questions and ideas are rooted in self esteem and the “Imposter Syndrome.” Honestly, I believe it is our own selves who typically get in the way of any and all success. We talk ourselves out of why things won’t work. Are you doing that? How do you stop? I don’t have all the answers and that’s not what today’s post is about anyway. But I do have some insight to share.

For the last month, Andy Stanley with NorthPoint Community Church in Atlanta has been preaching about making good decisions, wise decisions. Honestly there could not have been a series more timely for our work right now. What I am learning through his messages is that God will bless my decisions when I have taken the time to be thoughtful, committed to His greater plan, and by making decisions that are wise, prudent and honest, rather than convincing ourselves it is the right decision. His messages are so much more than all that, and well worth a listen if you haven’t done so yet, but what has been so amazing since October 2020? Every day comes another blessing, another connection, another encouragement, another “message” pushing me forward, giving me the insight and guidance I need to make those wise, prudent and honest decisions. I am not saying all my decisions are right and will pay off! I know there will be hurdles along the way and some will cause me to fall on my face. But I can get up, and those who are encouraging me today and probably going to be the same people who will help me up when it matters most.

When I was in elementary and middle school, I was a sprinter. I can’t run a half mile, but I could run short distances and fast. With an older sister, just 13 months apart, there was a bit of competitiveness between the two of us. One day in a special track event, we had the opportunity to run against each other which rarely happened. I don’t know why or how, but at the gun, I tripped over my own two feet, falling flat on my face instead of sailing toward the finish line. Obviously, she beat me. That pivotal moment redirected any confidence I had in myself as a runner. I allowed the fear of tripping again to stop me in my tracks. It slowed me down when I did take a risk and run. The whole experience impacted my willingness to put myself out there and join the track team in high school. While I don’t have significant regrets about not running track; let’s be honest I don’t really like to run much more than 100 meters, but I do have regrets about so easily allowing one failure to impact me so significantly.

For the last 30 years I have been an educator, safely, an educator. Yes, I have done some different things over the course of my career and ventured into slightly new territory but in a nutshell, I have and will always be an educator. Very soon, my story will change and chart a new course. I am allowing my dream to take root, building upon a strong foundation and I hope you will join me. We will be online, in a store, in video, in writing (check out this blog regularly!) and maybe even someday soon in hard-back print! There is such a journey ahead of us and plenty of wisdom behind us. There are family and friends cheering alongside us and hopefully at times, holding us up. It all starts with a dream and I’m ready to make it come true.

It starts with a dream.
Add faith, and it becomes a belief.
Add action and it becomes a part of life.
Add perseverance it becomes a goal in sight.
Add patience and time and it ends with a dream come true.
–Doe Zantamata

I pray that God will richly bless us, as well as every single one of you!
Tina