There’s No Deadline on Dreams | #49


How we’ve always thought about it: You need to go for your dreams “in your prime.” When you’re young and have the energy. Before you “settle down.” Adults need to have serious careers. Or if you’re creating something new and following a passion, you have to get it up and running FAST for it to be worthy. 

But y’all. There’s no deadline on your dreams and it takes as long as it takes to do without hustling. Pacing yourself means going as slow as you can while maintaining consistency, evaluating along the way, and being compassionate with yourself. All that stuff about getting it done fast is just thoughts. 

The poem I read at the top of the episode can be found here:

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Thanks to Leave Nelson B for music and Jennifer Hearn for photography! 



Hello, my run like hell toward happy hellions. My hand baskets. My… there’s not really a good word for what to call the listeners of this show, but Hey, hi. How are you? I hope that this episode finds you hydrated, and if you’re not hydrated, I invite you to get some hydration. And what we’re talking about today is the idea of like deadlines and rushing and how fast it takes you to do something.

And what we tell ourselves that that means about us and about our success. So I’m going to start this off. Um, literally like the day I had to shuffle some podcast topics around because I wasn’t able to get the interview I wanted to get this week. So that’ll be next week as a surprise for you. so I switched around some [00:01:00] topics and like the same day that I decided that this was going to be this week’s topic, someone posted a link to this poem in a group that I’m in.

And this poem is by Laura Weaver and it’s called the boat and I’m just going to read it. You have not missed the boat. You are not late to the party. You have not taken the wrong turn or the wrong ticket, or ended up in the wrong line. You have not made the fatal mistake that will destroy you for all things.

You haven’t overshot the bullseye or slept through the final moments of the ultimate opportunity. You have not missed the boat. You are the boat and the sea that gently tugs on the moorings on ties the knots. And it’s time when the wind is right, releases you to the drawing tide for you know this open water and this joy that breaks free for no reason, this unmovable peace that arises in spite of storms and high seas, and even the terrible losses that seem on bear.[00:02:00]

For there as all that comes and goes. And there’s that, which is indestructible, the essence that changes forms, but does not die. The one of you who laughed in love at the impossibility of being human, to be wired like this with the hurricane of the mind and the line of the heart and the rise and fall of the passions moving in us like sweet fire.

Yes, you are not the one running for the boat that is leaving the port, not the one who is seconds too late. You’re not the one madly deciding which way to go or the one who must discover the truth. You are not even the one trying so hard to find the last piece of the puzzle that would make you whole, you have not missed the boat.

You are the boat and this drawing tide.

And that basically wraps up what I wanted to talk about, which is the fact that you’re not too late and that dreams don’t have a deadline. So, [00:03:00] whatever it is that you want to do creatively, career-wise, relationship-wise, family-wise, you’re not too late. There are people who write their first novel in their fifties or sixties or seventies, you know, there are people who finish their. their very first college degree in their forties or later, I just say this with a particular friend in mind who just turned 40 and is finally wrapping up, I believe has four classes left to go like four, 14 credit hours or something like that before she graduates with her bachelor’s degree. And there’ve been a lot of starts and stops in her journey –in all of our journeys.

But that doesn’t mean that [00:04:00] you’ve missed the boat. You know, you’re not late. What if you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now? what if this is the time? What if it’s not the time? You know, what if the time hasn’t happened yet? I w whatever, I can get very existential with this, but what it comes down to is that you’re not late.

And we have this thing where for a lot of us, it’s like turning 30 and I say, this as someone who just turned 34, or as I’m calling it, I turned 33 again, or I’m early for 35. I just don’t, I don’t really vibe with the number 34. It’s just weird. I don’t love even numbers. I’m being weird and going off on a tangent.

Hey, we’re back. So when I turned 30, um, well I guess first I have to go back to when I was 25, which now islike, a baby of a person when I think about it. But when I was [00:05:00] 25, I had a five-year plan. I wanted to be remarried and have my first kid. By the time I was 30, uh, that did not happen at all. And I’m so glad that it did.

And I’m now 34 and in a very solid, very stable, very supportive. and actually good relationship and neither one of us wants kids. And that’s a far cry from where I thought I would be by 30. And I’m really glad that I didn’t rush that. So we’re going to talk a little bit about rushing as well. We’re going to talk about just sort of being at peace with where you’re at in the process, and also the thoughts that we have that make us feel like we’re behind.

This is also happening to me in a couple of spaces. I’m in, a mastermind, I guess it’s like a year long program, to help me grow my business, essentially like it’s marketing help and understanding like launches and like putting together sort of [00:06:00] strategies and stuff like on the sales side of things.

And because, you know, I’m very good at showing up and being like, I do this I’m bright and shiny and I change the world and I’m less good at saying like, also you can buy that from me. So that’s, that’s what I’m learning there. And because it’s a year long, Like, I’m going to, I’m going to be in this for the next it started in like February.

So I’ve got, I’ve got 10 more months, but I feel like I should have already gone through like the entire curriculum and already have everything figured out. And I’m like, oh no, I feel behind it’s like that, that doesn’t exist. Being behind does not exist in this context.

And I think that this comes from education a lot. Uh, there’s like a sense of being like above average for your grade below average for your grade being held back. especially during the pandemic, when learning has gone online in a lot of places, [00:07:00] we talk about like, sort of like atrophy of what students know and we’re like, oh no, they’re going to be behind.

And the thing is that if everybody is behind then nobody is behind, like chill a little bit, like there’s a, there’s a global pandemic going on and there are bigger fish to fry than like what grade level you’re reading at.

So if everyone is experiencing sort of like a, oh no, school is sort of. Plateauing. Like, that’s just sort of what happened in 2020, and we don’t need to freak out and solve it. My personal opinion as not an educator and not a parent, but that, that behind feeling. Sort of lingers. especially when we hit like milestone ages, like, oh, by 25, I want this, by 30, I want this, by 40, want this. And that’s really [00:08:00] just sort of arbitrary.

nobody’s keeping track and comparing you to other people and saying like, oh, well, Steve jobs did this when he was only 22 or whatever. Like, I, I don’t care about Steve jobs. Steve jobs had a lot of money and shit that I don’t have, so I don’t want to compare myself to him, but why do we feel like we’re behind.

Like, as opposed to what? As compared to what? That is my question for you. If you’re like, ah, shit I’m behind, I need to catch up. What are you trying to catch up with?

Magical questions to think about. We also have this thought that we need to do things when we’re like in our prime, in our youth, like, oh yeah. Grind it out, really hustle when you’re young so that you can enjoy life when you’re older, when you’re retired.

And it’s like, why can’t [00:09:00] you have both? Why can’t we be chill consistently throughout life? I don’t want to front-load my hustle because as it turns out, I’m chronically ill. And in this culture, we also we’ll just keep tacking on years to that, right? It’s like, oh, you can retire at 65. Oh, the retirement age is actually pushing like 68 now aw, 75 year old people still have jobs because it’s a fucking hellscape out there.

So if you’re going to have to work for your whole life because of the way the system chews us up. my advice is spread that work out and don’t try to front-load it and totally burn yourself out. I think that’s great advice personally. We have this thing where it’s like, oh, you need to do it, like when you have the energy before you settle down and then once you become an adult, wherever that line is for you,

[00:10:00] so that’s, that’s the norm, right. Is to have like a serious career, something that pays the bills. You need to have a college major that makes sense and is marketable and will make money. And when I was getting my masters in education, which I don’t super use, so, but when I was getting my masters, my mom was like, oh, there’s no money in that.

And I was like, I don’t want to do it for money. I want to do it. Cause I like it. I would like us to bring more of that energy back. Obviously we need money to survive and I want you to make as much money as you need to not only survive, but to thrive, like remember go back to those money mindset episodes. In season two, but season three, season three, I lied. Season three was the, I hate capitalism season with the money talk.

the other thing that happens is that when you do, like, pursue a passion that’s [00:11:00] outside the norm, when you do something that’s like fun or artistic or creative, we want that to go super fast. Like we want it to be an overnight success in order to consider ourselves like, oh good. I did a good job at this. So something that you build sort of slowly and pace yourself and sort of more sustainable… people aren’t always as interested in that because it’s not like a super cool viral story about somebody who started an art business and made a million dollars in the first four minutes.

Like that’s a cool story that we all want to hear about, and we all want to think that that’s possible for ourselves and the energy behind that is believing something that magical is possible, you know, something that fast and awesome and inspiring and impactful is possible, but also that’s the [00:12:00] exception, but you don’t have to be exceptional in order to be valid.

So, if you are building something, you are developing a skill or you are starting a business, or you are practicing a new hobby or an art form, you do not have to master it right away. That is perfectionism talking. That is. Comparing yourself to people who accomplished things in a shorter timeframe and comparison while sometimes can give you a point of being like, oh wow, that’s possible for me, or even giving you something to think about about like, why, when I compare myself to this person, it activates something in me and I feel jealous. So maybe there’s an insecurity or something reflecting back on me that I can improve about myself. There are positives that come from comparison, but, for the most part, if you’re spending all your time, [00:13:00] comparing yourself to other people, you’re over there in their shit.

Instead of being over here, working on your shit. So if you find yourself comparing a lot and being like, oh, their business is growing so much faster than mine, like that’s because they’re not sitting there being like, oh, their business is growing so much faster than mine. They’re just working on their business.

So pro tip, if you find yourself in the comparison, jungle, swamp, bad place. That’s a great reminder to just focus on your own paper, whether that’s about skill development or how good of an artist you are, or how many thousands of dollars you make in your business, it’s all just, it’s all energy.

It’s all possibility. It’s all capability and you can tap into it just as easily as they can. Obvious like societal marginalization and oppression, not withstanding, but speaking generally,[00:14:00] that’s possible for you. You can do that cool thing also. They are not stealing more of the pie. It’s not pie.

You can also have those skills and that growth.

I’m feeling really rambly in this one, you guys, I hope, I hope that’s okay. So there’s honestly no deadline on your dreams and it takes as long as it takes without hustling. So. Big fan of slow and steady big fan of going faster when you can, as long as it makes sense for you. For instance, I have a program called the 90 day goal glow up, and that is a 15 week program where you identify, outline a roadmap and then work on just one goal that you can achieve in 90 days. And it’s very, action-based like you have to show the hell up for your goal in order to achieve it. And so that is definitely like a faster pace than like [00:15:00] passion Pacers, which is where we kind of just are gradually becoming comfortable with the idea that our passions are as important as everything else.

Right. That’s a very, like, take it at your own pace ongoing membership and community. The goal glow up is, is more of like a, okay, you’re here, you’re here to take action. And you’re here to do this community. And I offer both of those because some people need help taking the action. And some people aren’t in a place where like, they need the whole glow up process, but they do need like a safe container to unpack the hustle culture.

And that’s what passion Pacers is great for. So pacing yourself means going as slow as you can while maintaining consistency, evaluating along the way and being compassionate with yourself. So that’s what we need. Right? One as slow as you can, meaning don’t rush. We are running [00:16:00] like hell toward happy, but that does not necessarily mean fast. You do not have to fling yourself at your goal. You have to take steps toward your goal. Calmly and confidently walking to the goal, maybe a jog. Maybe you run if you have the space to run, but if you’re just taking one step every once in a while, that’s okay too.

And that’s consistent for you. So number one as slow as you can while maintaining consistency. Two, evaluating along the way. And three being compassionate with yourself, everything else is just thoughts, all the stuff about getting it done as fast as possible is just stories that you tell yourself. And if you find yourself rushing and I sent out a newsletter about this, this week, I think actually, if you find yourself being like, I don’t have time for this, or this is taking too [00:17:00] long or any of those sort of rushing, panicky thoughts about being behind that is a great time to look inward and figure out why you’re putting that pressure on yourself.

What is the story? Are you trying to achieve something before a deadline? What’s the deadline and why is that important? Is it actually important? Can it be moved?

A great example is when I’m walking my dog. So sometimes if she sees a squirrel, she’s totally distracted and she completely forgets that we’re out there to do the important work of going potty outside the house. And she’s like, holy shit, a squirrel. And I’m like, I don’t understand like how you forgot that you were literally about to go pee when you saw that squirrel.

Like, cause now she has no interest in peeing. I’m like, I don’t have time for [00:18:00] this. I don’t have time for you to look at all the squirrels. Like I don’t have a time I’m really irritated by this. And it’s like, dude, she’s a dog. She’s a dog and she saw a squirrel and she can smell everything that happened.

And it’s like when she walks through the grass and she’s sniffing everything, that’s like her Facebook feed, like she’s just catching up on Twitter by sniffing the grass. And I don’t want to deny her that. I don’t want to be the asshole who’s like, come on doggy, we have to get back to, to capitalism. No, thank you.

So she’s been a good reminder for me, that rushing is often a place to introspect and be like, oh, why am I rushing? What am I rushing back to? Like, is it actually okay to chill right here? Like, I was super tired today at lunchtime. And so I watched an episode of TV instead of getting right back to work and that was okay.

one last note is that when you’re rushing, that is often a [00:19:00] sign of insecurity somewhere. So rushing is like, I need it to be done because I don’t trust that I’m going to do it. right here right now. So it’s a lack of confidence in the process when you’re trying to skip to the good part, You’re like, no, I want this to be done. With that sort of attitude about rushing and about achieving like as fast as possible, I really question if you’re going to take the time to celebrate properly when you get there or are you just going to be like, cool, check that off. Next thing, let’s rush to that.

And when you’re doing that, you’re not really experiencing things. And I would love for you to experience things, especially creative and passionate things. Right. That’s why we’re here. So there’s a little reminder for you when you are really rushing [00:20:00] something. It’s often a sign that there’s an insecurity somewhere going on.

It might be a thought you’re telling yourself it might be a feeling it might be coming from comparison to someone else as we already discussed. something that I rushed in my life was getting married. Like I married my first boyfriend, the first, the first boy, who ever wanted to kiss me, I married him because I didn’t think anyone else would.

And I was like, whoa, I better lock this down. This seems, this seems pretty good. And I don’t want to lose it. So I married him, even though I wasn’t even that happy. And even though like the day of our wedding, I was like, this seems, this seems ill-advised, but I’m already here. Um, so don’t be like me. Okay.

Don’t get married, just ’cause. And don’t rush things just because you think you need to achieve them [00:21:00] faster or by a certain time or a certain date. So like whatever whatever’s bothering you and what’s something you’ve been putting off or whatever you think you’re not allowed to do because you’re too old. Uh, fuck that.

Do it anyway. It’s awesome.

All right. Cool. I’m going to wrap it up here because I need time to edit this and I don’t want to rush it. I’ll talk to you next week.

Published by Caitlin

Caitlin writes and coaches about trauma recovery, relationships, motivation and confidence, self-love, queer identity, and social justice. They are the author of The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation. Find their work at

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