Jennifer Blake: dream big.

dream big.

March 5, 2012

Meet Molly from A Foreign Land!
Age: 35

After a brief stint below the Mason/Dixon line (where A Foreign Land was born), we moved back to the Midwest and settled in Chicago. A Foreign Land is where I chronicle the joy, humor, pain and the unexpected surprises encountered during my transition from newbie to native. While I learn and adapt to a new city, A Foreign Land is also where I share my "Average Joely" reviews and maybe even a tip or two.

Top three personal dreams you have and how you hope to reach them?

Live a Life more focused on Gratitude than Yearning

This sounds incredibly Pollyanna, doesn't it? Guilty as charged. Something I've learned over the past couple years, is just how much gratitude can change your outlook, your mood and your life. We've all seen the pin on Pinterest, "Gratitude turns what we have into enough." Having seen glimpses of this in my own life, I'm hungry for even more. Gratitude breeds contentment. And contentment opens the door for joy. I've made a practice of starting each day by making a list of several things for which I am thankful. It's amazing how an itty bitty little exercise can determine a whole day's trajectory. String enough days drenched in gratitude together and it can impact your whole life.

Learn to Share

I'll admit that being an only child for the majority of my life, did not equip me for being the most sharing person. I want my own space, my own way, my own everything. When I became someone's wife, it was like a bright spotlight shone on that character defect. Suddenly, after almost thirty years I had to take someone else's needs into account in a much more serious way than I ever had before. You'd think after five years of marriage, I'd have the sharing thing down perfectly, right? You'd be incredibly wrong. But I'm working on it. I'm learning to share by remaining committed and emotionally invested in my marriage even on days that it isn't all wine and roses. I'm learning to share by admitting when I don't want to; apologizing and sharing (even if I do it through gritted teeth).  And I'm learning to share by surrounding myself with incredibly generous people and trying to imitate what they do.

Live life like a Tourist

Think about how you look at the world when you are on vacation. Everything is fascinating, new and inspiring. What if our lives were lived with that wide-eyed curiosity? How exciting would that be? There's something exhilarating about discovery and exploration. I love to travel and I hope there is plenty of that in my future. But let's face it, not every day can be a dream vacation. So, I want to enjoy my own city with that kind of enthusiasm. It's a goal my husband and I set when we were living in a smaller city (to keep us entertained) and now that we're in Chicago it's going to be even more fun.

What is the inspiration behind your dreams?
The mistakes I've made, the grace that I've been given and hope for the future

Best advice for someone trying to reach his or her dreams.
Dream big. Work hard. Be patient. Take risks. Failure is a gift that shouldn't be feared.  Do those sound "inspirational poster" enough?

Favorite Quote 
“I’m not what I ought to be, but I’m not what I used to be, and I’m not what I will be.” 
–John Newton


  1. Thanks so much for letting me Dream Big, Jennifer! What a great series you've created!

  2. This is lovely, Molly! I love how your dreams are more about how you live your life every day, and less about things you will eventually do.


  3. I love your dreams! Great choices.

  4. Great post, Molly! Learn to share is such a great dream. :)

  5. I'm looking forward to reading about how the dreams pan out. :)

  6. Molly, this was such a nice "dream big" post. I loved reading it, and loved getting to know you a little bit! I have that same desire to live life like a tourist-- and I think I'm pretty good at it!

    Now I am off to check out your blog! :)


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