Dreaming and Figuring it Out with Friends #65 and 66: Rashad and Dacia

On Tuesday, July 19th, I had coffee in the morning with Rashad and happy hour in the afternoon with Dacia.  Rashad and I played in orchestra together in high school, and Dacia and I met in 6th grade when she came to my school.  Both of these visits entailed sitting across the table with people in very similar life circumstances as myself–commiserating, encouraging.  And being able to say, “Hey, I haven’t seen you in awhile, but this is what I see in you, and this is who I’ve known you to be.”

Whenever I meet with people on the trip, they always ask who else I’ve seen, and I think that Rashad has begotten the most reactions.  Comments like, “I love Rashad!”  “Rashad was always friends with everybody.”  “Rashad is so talented at so many different things.”  All of which are true.  But Rashad hasn’t yet landed into a niche that suits him. He’s in grad school and looking for work, but still searching for that thing that beckons him out of bed in the morning.  I can identify.

A little while ago, I remember seeing a lot of traffic on Rashad’s page on Facebook.  It turns out he’d written an article that was published as a response to someone else’s article.  Check it out here.  It was very well-written and received some great feedback.  Witnessing all that happen from afar is one of many little things that gave me courage to proceed with the trip and to write.

Dacia is someone else whose risk-taking has inspired me.  She had a dream to open a ranch serving at-risk youth and bringing them into contact with horses.  And sure enough, the Building Dreams Ranch became a reality.  I remember bumping into Dacia at Target on a trip home a couple years ago and hearing about it and practically taking laps around the store out of excitement.  The vision for the ranch flowed directly out of Dacia’s passions and gifts.

But recently, Dacia made the excruciatingly difficult and courageous decision to close the ranch.  But it has put her in a place of re-evaluating.  When a dream is realized, then doesn’t last, where do you go from there?

With both Rashad and Dacia, faith and spirituality were also part of the conversation, figuring out how it all fits in when everything is going great or when it all falls apart.  Making belief a personal expression rather than what was fed to us in our upbringing.  Seeking, questioning, pondering.  When wrestling with big life questions, you might as well throw in the “What does it all mean?” questions for good measure, right?

This day and these conversations with these friends were such a gift.  Speaking for myself, I think once I crossed the threshold into my 30’s, it felt like there was more I should have accomplished, either vocationally or relationally.  It’s easy for me to put expectations on myself of where I should be.  But with Rashad and Dacia, I was able to look someone else in the eye, take a deep breath and say, “It’s OK.  We’re getting there.  We’re figuring things out.”

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