Dare To Do More Than Dream…

Anyone who knows me knows that my journey hasn’t been the easiest, nor has it been the hardest anyone’s ever experienced. I’ve been through the ringer in the pursuit of my dreams and still pending…

The funny thing about DREAMS is that a lot of times we are looking at those who are already living their dream, but we don’t see the journey it took them to get there. We don’t see the tears, the blood, the sweat, and often times the unfair, broken moments crashing down around them. We don’t feel  the lonely nights choosing not to do what everyone else does in order to stay on track. We don’t feel the pain, the disappointment, the frustration, the heartache that made the fact that they actually made it happen that much more impressive. We don’t always get to see, read about, or understand the DNA of other’s successes.

For many, a dream is just that… a DREAM. Something unattainable. Something you go to sleep for, so you can fantasize about. Waking in the morning; crashing back to reality. Back to that mundane job you hate with coworkers who don’t want to be there either. Back to that weekly routine of waiting for the weekend. That 9-5 grind on repeat. Something that only those lucky individuals you read about or watch on TV are blessed to be living. Something other people do or live. Like they were “dropped” into that role or won the lottery for it. Praying for that miracle life to be sprung on you.

In my opinion, too many people are just “dreaming” and not “doing”.

Ask yourself: What makes you happy? What motivates you? What kind of change do you want to make in this world? What kind of impact do you want to make in your short lifespan? How do you really want to live it? What kind of work are you willing to put in to get it?

Dreams are meant to be chased. Dreams are meant to be clawed after. Dreams are meant to take pieces, take chunks out of you along the way. Dreams take work! It’s your dream, so why shouldn’t it take parts of you and your time to fuel, to create it?! They say nothing good ever came easy. I believe it.

The pursuit of my dream has broken me physically and mentally. It has tried me over and over again. Most recently, it has put me through not one, but TWO Category 5 hurricanes playing in Puerto Rico. It has left me lonely, staring at the ceiling of a gym at 3 AM wondering what I was even doing. Asking myself, “What am I thinking for daring to dream something so BIG, that at times feels unreachable?” It’s created a lifestyle where having a real meaningful relationship with anyone worthwhile is nearly impossible. Again, staring at the ceiling in a foreign country, where I’m all I have, wondering what’s wrong with me? Taking me to the darkest parts of myself with every knee operation on my resume. It’s left me bawling my eyes out alone in my cold Poland apartment, knee swollen in unbearable pain and heartache knowing another surgery awaited me after a 28+ hour travel day back home. It’s driven me to push my family and my friends away at times so I could bask alone in the crappiness of it all, knowing I’m the only one who understood the heartache I felt. The only one who could see the details unseen or read the language of the pain inside my soul. It’s taken pieces of me inside and out and at times, without meaning to, from those around me as well..

I’m nowhere close to achieving my dream but I do know I’m closer than I would be sitting on my ass dreaming of reaching a destination without the ambition to get in the car and drive. Basketball isn’t my life but it has given me a platform and the confidence to share my struggles with others. It’s given me the ability to help others and motivate young minds. In a way, I guess I’m already living my dream.

In my silence, I found my voice…

In my breaking, I found my making…

In losing myself, I found myself…

In my journey, I found my dream…

The struggle is a part of the dream process. Your steps are the keys pressed down to make the notes, creating the music to the masterpiece of your life.

The question is: How much of that masterpiece are you willing to write? How much are you willing to fail? How much are you willing to fall apart, only to put barely put yourself back together again and again and again?

Dare to DREAM! Dare to claw after them and make them a reality! It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be fast. It’s not going to be instant gratification. You have to climb to get to the top of that mountain. Ever notice that books are written about and movies are made about those people who faced adversity and overcame it? Those are the stories we like to hear. Those are the people who have the best stories and those same people were dreamers once too. Don’t settle to be less of the person you’re capable of being! Whether you would love to open a business, succeed as an athlete, graduate from college, or even just to live your life you want! Make those steps. Get up and start walking! Start working! Just simply START! Wake up from that fantasy every damn day and start living into your dream, until it starts to become your reality. You’re capable of so much more! You’re capable of more than just simply sitting around dreaming.

Start “Doing”…

 

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Help Us Give Back to Puerto Rico…

I wish I could say that I’m overjoyed to be back in the states after spending a month in Puerto Rico pursuing my basketball career, but it’s almost more painful to read what’s still going on back there, and not be able to do much to help. To say it was miserable for my teammate and I for those few weeks stuck there wouldn’t be giving justice to those people who actually lost their entire homes, loved ones, or all their belongings. It would be selfish to say we were suffering when we were the ones well-enough off to be able to get out, even if it was weeks later. I can’t imagine having to stay there longer and survive under those conditions for months at a time. Let alone, live in an area where I lost everything I own, all while trying my best to acquire food, water, or medicine for my family. Waiting in lines miles long to get fuel for their generators and cars. Searching for places to purchase or collect clean water and waiting in lines for grocery stores to feed themselves and their families. Grocery stores, where many shelves sit empty. Stoplights where police officers stand around all day directing traffic in the scorching heat. People just trying to help each other get by.

The sad truth is that majority of the people still left in Puerto Rico are those who aren’t fortunate or well-off enough to be able to leave, even if they wanted to. They didn’t choose to stay and struggle to make it through the week, trying to provide for their families and neighbors. They didn’t choose to spend these next few months without power, water, cell service, or a good supply of food. And unfortunately, it’s the low income families stranded up in the mountainous areas that got hit the worst and are struggling the most out of everyone.

Leaders in the media speak about the low death toll, as the numbers steadily continue to rise. It’s not just the storm that can take precious lives away. Disease, illness, malnutrition, dehydration, and hazardous areas can take them just as easily. Trump talks of “real disasters” like Puerto Rico isn’t in one.

I know. I was there. I saw the aftermath. I saw the destruction, and I saw the speed at which help came trickling in.

On an island, where people make most of their income off of tourism and the beauty of a rainforest completely stripped away. Living in towns that are almost unreachable and still in complete disarray. Where over 100 bridges have been destroyed and about 18 of them closed indefinitely. Families and neighbors coming together to get through the week while draining their bank accounts and resources one day at a time. Entire livelihoods stripped away by winds and mudslides.

Everyone I speak with back on the island says there hasn’t been much change from when I left. The help is still coming just as slowly as it began and just because the hurricane has passed doesn’t mean it’s time to stop talking about it or helping those who still need our help more now than ever. It’s not a time to have tunnel vision about our lives, thankful it’s not us, ignoring the hands of our fellow Americans reaching out for help. Power and clean running water won’t be available to the majority of Puerto Rico for months and it will take years for the island to recover fully. The people there will be in need of volunteers, food, medicine, water, first aid kits, lanterns, and plenty of other supplies continuously throughout these next few months. Right now, Puerto Rico is the equivalent of a developing country and the hardship is something difficult to fully imagine unless you’re in it.

In order to help as much as we can from afar, Hallie Christofferson and I have paired up to help raise support for those affected. We’ve designed two T-shirts to sell and donate all proceeds to the organization, Unidos Por Puerto Rico (United for Puerto Rico). I’ve listed the links for the shirt sites and link for the organization being donated to below in case you wish to have more information on how your donations will be put to use.

With that said, please PURCHASE a shirt for yourself or others and SHARE our link with as many people as possible! You are also able to donate extra on top of your shirt purchase at checkout, if you wish. 

There’s is a heavy burden that no one should have to take on their own and at the end of the day everyone needs a little help. In your biggest struggle, how much would it mean for you to see and feel love of perfect strangers, from a country that doesn’t always see you as their own? From the hardest of times rises the most powerful of love.

Thank you for your help in making a difference!

Organization being donated to:  http://www.unidosporpuertorico.com

Shirt Sites:

https://www.bonfire.com/unidos-por-el-787-1-1/

https://www.bonfire.com/unidos-por-el-787-2-1/