Nothing But The Best (We are/do/get): Dreams You Should Never Give Up On – Leigh Newman –

Nothing But The Best (We are/do/get): Dreams You Should Never Give Up On – Leigh Newman –

Dreams You Should Never Give Up On – Leigh Newman –


tiny little thing you were meant to do
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
As life goes on, it may finally dawn on you: You’re not going to win the Olympic gold in figure skating or discover a new species of toucan in the Brazilian rainforest. But there are other valid insane dreams, says columnist Leigh Newman, that you absolutely must pursue.

1. The Dream of the (Tiny Little) Thing You Were Meant to Do

Look, we all know what I was meant to do: sing jazz in a Paris club (except that I can’t sing) or write a novel (except I tried that—it didn’t work) or become a large-animal country vet (except I’m too old to go to vet school, and also word on the street has it that it’s harder to get into vet school than medical school). At times, the big yucky struggle of our life direction and purpose (which, by the way, is the most important struggle in our lives) is just too big and yucky to contemplate. Take a day off. Figure out the tiny little thing you were meant to do. My friend Rachel was meant to dance in nightclubs. At age 42, she goes out once a week and shakes it until 3 a.m. in Minneapolis. My friend Marie was meant to look at paintings and just walk around admiring them on her Saturdays off. My mother was meant to take hot baths with scented candles. (Not just everybody can do this either; I find hot baths scalding, confining and panic-inducing.) Find your one tiny little thing and make it a big part of your existence.

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Published on February 09, 2012
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comments (69)
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Posted: Fri 11/15/2013 8:46 AM
I loved this so much!! Such a fantastic optimistic and realistic viewpoint all at once!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Posted: Thu 10/10/2013 12:04 PM
Although I agree with the notion of a general feeling of discomfort upon arising; I have taught myself to snap out of it by the time my feet hit the floor. I count to ten and meditate on gratitude. Many that went to bed at night did not arise. I have a home. I once woke up to my home being ablaze and I did not sleep in my own bed for 22months. I make my way to the bathroom. Then I use my Lasy GAGA toothbrush. It plays two dance tunes. By the time I get to “Born This Way” I am singing a duet with Lady GAGA. Gratefully, I begin my day!
Posted: Tue 10/8/2013 1:46 PM
My small dream is to create more art. Last Saturday I took advantage of “Draw Like Degas” at the neighborhood dance studio. I was the only person that showed up to sketch during dance class. And that was OK. I never sketched bodies in motion before, I was trying to capture something graceful they were doing with their hands. I recreated my main drawing in a better version yesterday, very satisfying.Like bingo, you must be present to win.

Wandering around art museums on Saturdays like Marie, that’s another dream. Kudos to her.

Posted: Sat 10/5/2013 5:32 PM
Hi Oprah, I am writing this because I am ready to tell all about how I was treated with what seemed to be schizophrenia. I am a person that is just like the hockey player that hit to many times in the head. I had 6 head injuries and am dealing with depression and anxiety. There no sign of schizophrenia, so I have some insight to help the public to understand why things can go wrong if someone like me is not treated rightly. WE could all use some inspiration like how by me just being able to write this message makes it a miracle that I am in control of my life again.Chris Mckenzie

Posted: Sat 10/5/2013 10:39 AM
Oprah,Here’s my 2 Wildest Dreams & I wish with all of my heart they will come true.Several yrs ago,my life was forever changed after watching the show where you gave out money,a camcorder and told your audience they must give the money away.Since then,I made a commitment to do Random Acts of Kindness every day for the rest of my life.Ive also had events,groups,you name it,in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.I Live in one of the most beautiful towns in the US & I wish with all of my heart,you would come visit that day.Ive been busy planning a Townwide Random Acts of Kindness Day.Ive had several meetings with our small k-12 school who agreed to participate,Im going to every business around here asking them to do this and so far not one has said no.Im having an art party where children will come and create posters and crafts for that day.My vision is for a Day of Love and Heaven on earth.My bigger dream is the day is so successful that it changes the whole dynamic of our town and how people treat each other.I feel more alive than Ive ever been planning this,instead of just talking about it.The people in my town love you and several have asked me to write you.I would have written anyway,as Ive been trying for yrs to meet you & Id like to think,the long wait was for this moment.We’re only a couple of hrs away from your Manhattan office for O Magazine,so if you’re here on business Friday November 1st,please stop by.This is happening because of you firing me up & inspiring me to be a better woman.I Promise you, you will love this town in the Catskills,one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see.Thank you Oprah for making this world (n me:) a better place
Posted: Tue 10/29/2013 11:56 AM
Shannon,Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and support.It was very very nice of you to take the time to read my post and respond.You are Beautiful:)
Shannon Smith39
Posted: Sun 10/6/2013 4:17 PM
Posted: Sat 10/5/2013 4:54 AM
I’m beginning to lighten up enough to allow that things happen when they are supposed to happen and not berate myself for not knowing about something when it originally occurred – like this article that was written over a year ago and I’m just now reading it…who cares? I’m just delighted that I saw it today! Yes, the artwork was breathtaking and so wonderfully placed – I was as captivated by the artwork that preceded each piece as I was by the writer’s message that followed. Perhaps the art set my mood because I found the writers’ message easy to open to and responded more often with, “Ah, yes” instead of my usual response that would find some minor detail out of alignment for me to dispose of the whole idea. I applaud the details the writer teased out of each of the dreams. While they were not all exactly a match, they were easily translatable for me. I will leave the critiquing for others and just take another moment to say to all concerned — writer, artists, commentators, curators, and OWN staff — thank you for participating and doing your part to make this happen. I owe you – BIG time.
Posted: Sat 10/5/2013 4:32 AM
Well there are a few different ones I can think of. One, being that Oprah gets touched by God and becomes a compassionate person to all life and truly gets involved with changing it greatly not just a little.
Two, that people learn what having a child really means. Three, that all middle class and rich people realize What SOUL really mean by experiencing it , then really learn to work with the poor. 94% of the planet.
Posted: Fri 10/4/2013 9:06 PM
“As life goes on, it may finally dawn on you: You’re not going to win the Olympic gold in figure skating or discover a new species of toucan in the Brazilian rainforest. But there are other valid insane dreams, says columnist Leigh Newman, that you absolutely must pursue.” This line’s captures why I, personally, speaking for me ad me only, cannot resonate with anything Leigh Newman writes. Diane Nyad’s record proves her wrong. Buy Nyad apart, why does Ms. Newman assume age diminishes goals? So glad Grandma Moses and Georgia O’Keefe were born before Newman’s time.
Posted: Fri 10/4/2013 1:34 PM
The Villages of Rochester Hills shopping center provides free umbrellas at each store front that have kept me dry!
Posted: Fri 10/4/2013 11:38 AM
Actually (semi) free umbrellas exist in China…
Posted: Fri 10/4/2013 11:06 AM
Wow. What a GREAT article. And very well written too. Thankyou for this one!!
Posted: Tue 6/4/2013 11:20 AM
Leigh, I appreciate your writing so much. It’s as though you can read my mind, and understand my thinking. I have never met anyone in real life that could do that. I appreciate not being alone in the world with my desires of things/experiences that I want and realize will never achieve.Your understanding and similar thoughts make me feel so much better. Thank you
Shannon Smith39
Posted: Sun 10/6/2013 4:21 PM
Posted: Thu 5/30/2013 12:41 PM
Dear Leigh, Interesting writing. Please credit the artists on illustrations to your articles. Don’t just credit the owner of the art. Would you like your name to be deleted from your articles, with the byline of “By permission”?
Posted: Mon 4/8/2013 4:30 PM
For the past several years we (my husband mostly) have been building a boat. A sailboat catamaran 50′ to sail on the ocean. We might be in the minority but statistics say there are about 10,000 cruisers on the water ( moving not just camped in a marina ) around the world.Our story is insane and crazy. Only my husband can properly tell it and I hope someday he will. We hope to put it into the water this May in Astoria Oregon. Will take video.
Posted: Mon 4/8/2013 12:34 PM
I have included the reading of this article in my Gratitude Journal! What I gained from it was it that it was ok to do what I “was meant to do”, that it is important even if it is not “huge” or “life changing”, even if it is only myself deriving the pleasure. A simple thing as noticing the bulbs I planted last Spring starting to pop their heads up gave me immense satisfaction. Rather than dismiss it, I will begin to cherish those moments – and look for me of those oh-so-simple pleasures in life which are so meaningful to me. Thank you!
Posted: Mon 4/8/2013 12:42 PM
We’re glad you enjoyed this so much LilySolo. Thank you for sharing some of your pleasure moments with us. We hope you continue to find moments to cherish.
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