Thursday, January 5, 2017

What You Don't See

I am living in a one-bedroom apartment.

Thought I wouldn't bury the lead.

Many people think I'm nuts. More wonder if I've become a gambling addict. Over Christmas break people pitied me. I saw it in their eyes.

Oh, you poor dear. 

Oh my. What happened to Tracy and her family? I could never live like that.  

Turns out, this was one of the best Christmases my family has ever spent together. All of us under one roof. I felt like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with two or three kids in our sole, king-sized bed.

If you follow this blog, you know I've been writing about Big Dreams and waking up with enthusiasm every morning.

I want to share a crazy step I took toward mine a few months ago.

My next-door neighbor and former colleague at Channel 4 sold her house for a decent profit. She highly encouraged me to sell mine, too. 

As I considered the idea, I thought of our best family friends in Arizona. 

They're a tad bit older with kids the same age as ours. He's worked his whole life serving the poor at a Phoenix non-profit; his wife works her butt off as a freelance graphic designer. 

The humble Dennis asked his wife one day, "What is one of your biggest dreams after we get these kids through college?" 

Julie thought about it. "A VW bug." 

"Let's not wait," Dennis replied. "Let's do it now. What are we waiting for?"

They found Julie a red bug in darling condition. She was elated, driving around in her sassy car, looking like the spunky, youthful Julie she is.

As I started to pursue the idea of selling my home and finding a smaller one here (we are NOT leaving Nashville!), knowing we will have fewer visitors once Luke's senior basketball season ends, I considered the Flynn's red bug...and the dream I've held since 2000. That's when we moved from Lexington, Kentucky for my opportunity of a lifetime to host my own show in Phoenix. As part of that deal, which I assured the kids would be a "three-year vacation," I promised we would move back. 

It's been 17 years. 

We sold the Nashville house in one weekend. 

Bye bye Brookwood Terrace (and the world's most adorable neighbors!)

We found a place to build in Kentucky that will fit our Paul Bunyan-sized furniture, where we can escape on long weekends and holidays. 

No more suffocating our poor, generous family members and sleeping in their basements. God bless them all these years. The Kornets are not an easy, tiny bunch.

We found a dog-friendly, ground-level apartment near Centennial Park. When we hear the pitter patter of neighbors' feet in the apartment above, we tell ourselves, It sounds like John, Nicole and Luke are home!  

Change can be sooooo hard, but it can also excite and inspire.

New experiences, new locations. 

It's why I'd rather not stay in the same hotel twice. Why every 8 years or so I've shifted roles at work or changed genres of television. 

The downside is that we've moved more than the average family. I confess, I have felt relief reading a couple of recent stories in which the kids said some nice things about how they grew up.  

So again I ask: Is there a decision or move you've been considering but are too afraid to try? A dream that continually nags at your heart? 

If you're bored or discontent, I encourage you to take one step. 

At the very least, it will lead you somewhere new. 

And that can be exciting.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The LaLa Land Effect

Her dad brought these UCLA trading cards back from a trip to California.

Something about seeing the stack on the kitchen counter sparked a strange, familiar feeling inside.

And this time, it wasn't just motherly love or mountainous pride in my little girl, Nicole.

I'll call it the LaLa Land effect: that exciting, feel-it-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach, something-big-is-happening-here kind of moment when you start to believe that maybe you're actually going places.

I saw the movie LaLa Land over the weekend.

While I wasn't overly in love with the Emma Stone/Ryan Gossling flick, it did something to my subconsciousness.

The pseudo-musical stimulated some vivid, colorful dreams later that night, following a living room sing-along with my talented BFF and her daughters who saw it too (which I couldn't help but stream on Facebook live unbeknownst to them).

If you're not familiar with the premise, LaLa Land gets you thinking about the Big Dreams we (hopefully) all start out with in life and the different paths it can take you, along with the bold, sometimes humiliating, put-yourself-out-there moves required to make them come true.

And the loneliness. So much loneliness.

LaLa Land captures it well.

But back to Big Dreams.

I'll never forget walking into my dorm room my sophomore year of college, seeing the light blink on my answering machine, pushing play, and hearing that voice with a strong Japanese accent: "Tracy Wing, this is Tokyo Disneyland. We would like you to be Shin-derella in Japan."

Or answering the phone in my bedroom while my toddler sprayed my legs with Windex, as my future general manager offered what would become my first t.v. anchor job.

There is nothing like these life-affirming moments when you're singled out and offered the gig.

So why do so many of us stop dreaming? What is it about being a full-fledged grown up that erodes that ability?

Why can't we remain inspired! Filled with anticipation about what the next day may hold! Hopeful about the oodles of opportunity soon to come knocking at your door!

Can we reignite the flicker, folks?

I want to believe it's still possible.

I dare you to join me in a little experiment.

Let's take one step every day toward making something exciting happen, something to get you ready in case opportunity calls.

Get in a workout to get back to your "fully confident" self.
Set up a coffee date with someone who may connect you to a fellow dream-builder.
Research that grad school.

I don't know about you, but I'm too young to stop dreaming.

Who's with me?

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