The time had come for a new Bizzarro Team photo. Dress code was professional dark blue, gray or black. Pops of colors welcome because we were taking our picture at the Dyckman Street 1 Train in front of the colorful mural that reads "Dream Big".
It was a really fun morning! I hadn't had a reason to get photo-shoot-ready in a while. My last set of professional shots was done in early 2016. I'd say I've earned a little glamour shot session and, truthfully, I'd always wanted to do NYC outdoor shots in front of some kind of awesome painted wall. This one had the added bonus of a positive message!
And you know me, it gets me thinking about all the things....
I think of my journey. I've shared my opera career story hundreds of times and I always use the same line: "one thing just lead to another". I didn't set a goal or make a big decision to follow a certain path come hell or high water. I didn't start my undergraduate degree with the hopes of singing at the Metropolitan Opera or even being an opera singer. With each new experience I encountered in the classical world I felt validation to keep going in that direction. In other words...it just sorta happened. I'm awfully grateful for the nearly 20 year career I had and the amazing place I am today.
But do I dream big? Not in the traditional sense, no. I don't talk a big talk. I'm cautious and realistic. I'm highly optimistic, but I don't set my own or anyone else's expectations too high for fear of not being able to meet them.
So what does "Dream Big" mean to me?
For me, it means an openness to all possibilities. A "who knows where this path with lead me" attitude. You know, like how a career in opera came to be out of a girl who loved musical theater and is now a real estate agent?
But then I saw THIS picture and all I see are the words "Big Dream".
Okay, so if "Dream Big" evokes a limitless, you-can-do-anything kind of attitude, "Big Dream" is a more specific goal: I want to buy a new home. I want to have a successful career in real estate. I want to keep singing. I want to meet the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten.
Of course, to make some of these dreams a reality I'll have to work hard and be prepared that it might not happen. I'm reminded of all the frustration I've felt when I had an idea in my head of what I thought I needed my career to be in order to be successful. It wasn't even singing at the Metropolitan Opera (been there) or Carnegie Hall (done that) it was opportunities that other singers were doing....but why not me? I spent so much time on that merry-go-round. Some might call it determination, but others would say it's just not your destiny.
Perhaps the message is actually very simple: It's good to have big dreams. It's healthy to set goals and have that motivation. But don't use a permanent marker on your dry erase board. Be flexible, be open and try to see all the possibilities that can come from using your talents in ways you might not have expected.
Don't limit yourself.