Apparently, you are supposed to announce and declare your WAGs (Wildly Audacious Goals). This is not only garners support from your friends and loved ones, but it also holds you accountable to ‘doing what you said you were going to do.’ I’ve repeatedly read in a number of self development books that declaration is step 1. So, what better time than my first blog post ever? I, Katie Bland, want to be a best-selling author, and a motivational speaker in the world of personal development. That’s a scary thing for me to admit, but ‘scary’ in this sense that I feel a tickle of excitement knowing it’s true and it’s right. It’s been quite a journey to get me to this conclusion.
Ever since I was eight years old, I’ve wanted to be an actress. Lucille Ball was my first inspiration and my hero. And my over-achieving ambitious self started that dream early by filling out an application to Yale Drama as a third grader. From that moment on, instead of spending my summers playing outside and my winters skiing like every other Coloradan, I was in an air-conditioned dome in the middle of Boulder putting on musicals with 100 other kids. And I was good. Eventually I earned the coveted status of ‘professional actress’ in the Peanut Butter Players’ Lunch Bunch. This company boasts prestigious alumni such as Sutton Foster and Celia Keenan Bolger. I thought I was clearly on that same path to stardom as well. I had it all mapped out. First, I’d perform at Boulder Dinner Theatre. Next, I would move to New York and perform on Broadway (an easy step between local dinner theatre and Broadway, I’m sure…) Then I’d naturally move into film, and win my first Oscar in what I dreamed would be a period piece so I could have the best costumes. I even had a little ‘bit’ planned for my acceptance speech. I’d wear a dress with a long slit, and during my thank yous my finely toned leg would coquettishly slip out as if it had a mind of its own. I practiced my interviews on the Rosie O’Donnell Show in the shower. I fantasized about who my first celebrity boyfriend would be (Luke Perry). I wanted to be a star and I had been preparing since childhood.
This is where my mom would say, “God laughs when you make a plan.” In the end I didn’t actually apply to Yale Drama when the time came. My heart had fallen into musical theatre, and I went to Webster’s Conservatory Program in Saint Louis. And I didn’t perform at Boulder Dinner Theatre, but my first gig was a children’s tour—which is the well-known rite of passage for recent BFA graduates. And I didn’t get to Broadway (yet) but I did make it to Off-Broadway in a show I both loved and loathed. And then, the craziest thing happened. My dream changed.
It is hard to admit, and I know a lot of people back in Boulder still think I’m a star, but I took a look at what it would actually mean to perform on Broadway and… it didn’t feel right. I didn’t want that lifestyle. As we get older, I’ve found my friends and I become more concerned with what our day to day looks like. When I had my first date with my fiancé I asked him about his ideal day. Both of us were similar and craved a peaceful day with yes, some work, but neither of us were competing in the olympics or winning an Oscar. We were reading and drinking tea in our dream home. Of course, I still want to accomplish wildly amazing things, but I quickly realized my drive to be a star was not going to cut through the hustle and grind that is required to become a successful actor. I didn’t want it enough. Changing dreams can be hard. If anyone is as ambitious as I am, leaving a pursuit behind for something that excites you more can feel an awful lot like ‘quitting’ or ‘failing.’ It took me two years to forgive myself for this change of heart (future blog post on this later). And who knows, I may want to perform again one day, but for now, we are on to my WAG.
Since leaving that dream behind, I’ve started looking at what other creative pursuits I may enjoy. I will always consider myself an artist and a creator, as I think all of us are, and I wanted to find something that could light me on fire again. And what’s something I love talking about, thinking about, and reading about as much as I love performing? Personal growth! Spiritual journeys! Dreaming big! Reading or listening to a personal development book has been a part of my daily routine for almost four years. Some I’ve loved, some I’ve hated. Some I’ve integrated, and some I haven’t. But boy am I passionate about it. And boy, would I love to help other people dream big and go on their own spiritual quests!
But Katie, why would I read and take advice from YOU?! Good question. On my journey to find what the hell else I was gonna do with my life, I looked at becoming a life coach. As far as I can understand it as a layman, it’s like being a therapist, but without the degree, and you get to tell people what to do a little more instead of that pesky ‘listening’ thing. Sounded like a dream job to me! As I dived into the various programs available, most came with the disclaimer ‘You’re going to have to work on yourself first before coaching others.’ Website after website was very subtly telling me to get my proverbial shit together. And some may think that I actually currently have said shit together. I’ve been able to financially support myself living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, I have a successful network marketing business, I’ve found myself in a healthy romantic relationship, and I have enough energy and time to write a blog. I’m #adulting, everybody! But I’ve also gotten into an embarrassing amount of credit card debt, I’ve taken longer than I wanted to grow the aforementioned network marketing business, I’m writing this blog post in the time I had scheduled for ‘business admin,’ and I ate an entire box of Thin Mints last night. See? It’s all about perspective.
This blog will be a super honest look at my own spiritual journey. The successes and the failures. Hopefully, some of it will be funny, because I find humor the best form of healing. And hopefully, you can connect with it, too. This blog is a step towards a dream that one day this could transform into a book that Oprah loves so much that I’ll be interviewed in a Super Soul Conversation. Are you there, Universe? It’s me, Katie. Make it happen, please. But what would be even more exciting and fulfilling to know is that someone read this blog, totally related, and took one step towards positive change. If that’s my legacy, then I’m a happy lady. Enjoy, and I hope you take this journey with me. What is your WAG? Has it ever changed?