“Remember: to succeed beyond your wildest dreams you need some pretty wild dreams to begin with.”
That really got me thinking. About success, and about dreams.
Sometimes I wonder that I achieve things almost by accident. When I’ve stopped trying and am just getting on with life, some wonderful opportunity falls into my lap.
Take my writing. I had spent a number of years working away as a magazine journalist, trying my hand at blogs and columns and having some success in national publications and minor roles on radio. Then, when I had put it to one side, I ended up co-writing a book (the deal was done in a matter of weeks) which was published by Allen and Unwin. Way beyond my wildest dreams.
And then there’s music. I started out many years ago as a solo folk singer/songwriter. Back in 1999 I could be found at the major Australian festivals, and the following year I did a solo tour of the UK. It was fun, hard work, and quite lonely at times. I dreamed of becoming a headline act, having my songs loved and remembered by folk fans all over the world. Then I stopped to have a family, only I didn’t stop completely, I still sung all the time to my kids at home, and continued writing songs. Ten years later I recorded those songs on a new album and I started slowly working my way round to performing again. I put a band together, playing local gigs at clubs and festivals. It was fun.
And then, one afternoon, I got invited to perform not with my band, but with David and the kids at an open-air house concert. And there it was, the wonderful opportunity, falling straight into my lap. It was like receiving an incredible free gift. Like winning a lottery. Like being sent on a holiday somewhere I’d never dreamed of going, but that looked amazing all the same.
Now we are about to set off to the National Folk Festival in Canberra for our first major booking as a family. Am I excited? Yes. But not in the way that I used to be, with thoughts of fame and recognition always there in the background spurring me on. This time I am excited in a ‘heart glowing’ kind of way. The kind of excitement that can’t be disappointed, because I never expected this to happen in the first place, never planned for it, wasn’t aiming for it, didn’t even know I wanted it.
I am totally in it for the ride, and I hope it is a wild one.