Fast forward to the summer of 2010. I am on an email list for Sabrina Ward Harrison. It’s kind of fun honestly because the emails are few and far between. Sabrina seems to disappear for a time and you never know when she will pop up again. When an email does come through, it’s rather enchanting to read about where she has been and what she has been up to. This time was no exception. The subject line read "New Artwork and an Adventure to Italy." Being the romantic that I am, I was instantly intrigued by the offer of an adventure. “I want to go on an adventure,” I thought. “Especially a Sabrina adventure.”
Traveling and exploring and adventuring are constantly showing up on dream lists that I write, and so this seemed like the perfect match, not to mention the fact that Tony and I had our ten year anniversary coming up. Perhaps this could be the trip we take. I quickly read through the email. The phrase “blow your soul open” jumped out at me. “Yes!” My heart screamed. The email closed with a link to her website for more information. I scanned the information there as well and downloaded a PDF of the details. I waited impatiently for it to download and open.
I was in a hurry for that one important piece of information that would make or break the dream for me, “How much does it cost?” Of course you can probably guess where this is going. I opened up the PDF and made it through a paragraph before my eyes landed on the dollar sign. $2700 per person, not including airfare. My heart sank.
I don’t know what I was expecting. It was an overseas trip. It was a workshop with Sabrina. It was a romantic adventure including meals and very nice lodging. My mind scrambled to find “the chance.” Surely there is “a chance.” We could use the money in our savings, depleting our emergency fund. I realized that wouldn’t even pay half of what it would take for one of us to go. Maybe we could cash in on a 401 K early? I was really pushing it. But who would watch our kids? And how would we pay for that? Maybe I could just go alone and it wouldn’t be an anniversary trip. It would just be an artist’s getaway for me. I remembered with fondness the artist's workshop with Sabrina in LA. I was desperate.
I was embarrassed by my foolish hope. I was angry at Sabrina’s email. I was jaded by a dream that could never really be mine. I quickly closed out of all the windows open on my computer, pricking my heart with each click of my mouse. “And this can’t be, and this can’t be, and this will never be.”
The mouse clicks were sending me messages of despair through Morse code: Why were we destined to be poor? Why did my dreams require so much money? Why did I even buy into all this crap about creating the life you’ve always wanted? Why did I even let my heart entertain ideas of such foolishness? I am a poor, starving unnoticed and under-qualified artist who is destined to a live a second-rate life of mediocrity and unfounded wishes. I put my computer to sleep and with it my dreams. “I am done,” I thought. “This hurts way too much.”