Sunday 12 February 2012

Sometimes Dreams Die by Andrea Schroeder

About 15 years ago, I was finishing University in a big busy city and dreaming of moving to a tiny quiet magical town in the mountains.

So I took a big huge crazy leap of faith and moved to that magical town.

And it was pretty much a disaster.

Well, a disaster all wrapped up in magic and big lessons and amazing adventures that I wouldn't trade for anything. It was a disaster only in that I really couldn't stay very long because there was no way for me to make money there.

And so I called my parents.

Ugh. But I was going to need a place to stay, temporarily, as I figured out what to do next. So, ugh, I went back to my parent's house. (Not that my parents aren't lovely people but I am sure you understand the ugh about going back to their house after having been on my own.)

And so there I was. In my parent's house, reading the paper every day, looking for jobs.

And I had all sorts of interviews and trial days for different design jobs and none of them felt like a fit.

And one day there was a little ad in the paper.

Fashion shop for sale.

I called. I went to meet with them. I fell in love with this idea.

The fashion shop was in this adorable little mall in an old railway building near the river. Gorgeous. I saw myself getting a latte in the mornings, and drinking it while sitting on a bench looking at the river and happily planning my day. This was one of my favourite places to hang out. I saw myself working really hard but being really happy with it all.

Given that I had just graduated with a degree in Fashion Design and a dream of one day having my own shop - this felt a big giant spark of Creative Dream Magic. Like maybe my other dream died so that this one could live?

The owners were so sweet. And the business was going well - they were just ready to retire and move, ironically, near to the little magical town in the mountains that I had just come from.

My parents were supportive and willing to loan me the money to buy this shop, if their accountant could look at the numbers and agree that this was a good idea.

I was on pins and needles. I could not believe how long it was taking... getting files, having meetings, getting more information, having more meetings. Ugh!

And in the end the accountant said yes. This was a smart move.

And my parents loaned me the money.

And I raced down to the shop, papers in hand.

And they had just sold it to someone else, 15 minutes before I got there.

I don't remember what I did next. I probably bought a coffee and went and sat on that bench overlooking the river.

I've thought about that day many times over the last 15 years.

I have to trust that what happened was for the best. I have to trust that my dream didn't die - just that one path to it was blocked off. That there are other paths and other opportunities and that I would find a way.

And then - a lot happened.

A lot has happened in the last 15 years and now here I am. In a place that is better than what I had imagined for myself back then.

And things are going really well for me and my business. All sorts of great things happened and one Monday morning last Spring, I wanted to celebrate.

Monday mornings I had been going to this sweet little coffee shop near a park, to sit by the window and look at the park while making my plans for the week. (Patiently waiting for spring to come so that I could actually sit in the park)

This Monday morning it was sunny and warm and spring was finally here and I wanted to do something special and celebratory and be outside so I went down to that spot by the river. I got a coffee and an ooey gooey fresh baked cinnamon bun and found that sunny bench.

coffee, cinnamon bun + sunny bench

And I thought about the fashion shop that I missed out on by 15 minutes. I thought about how my life would be totally different had I just gotten there earlier.

And I thought about how happy I am with how things turned out.

me by the river

Your dreams don't die

Certain paths will end. Obstacles will come in from nowhere. Sometimes you have to start over on a new path but the dream does not ever die.

It's always there, waiting for you to find your way to it.

With a paintbrush in one hand & a glitter-gun in the other, Andrea Schroeder lovingly mentors men & women who want to lead creatively abundant lives — and do ‘impossible’ things, with ease & joy. Express the greatest parts of who YOU are, at


  1. Beautiful post Andrea - a great perspective to be reminded of. Thanks for sharing. I only wish I could see your pictures by the river...they're not coming up for me? Cheers to dreams, Lisa

  2. I love this! I really needed to read this today. I am at the jumping off point now in my life for changed dreams, miracles, answered prayers and magic...

  3. Andrea, I appreciate you talking about the rocky path forward! The real ins and outs of pursuing your dreams, and how hard things happen and how to make those hard things part of the path and to live the parts of your dream that you can and that are the heart of things. Thanks for sharing this piece of your story!