What the Parade of Homes Taught Me About Dreaming

Parade of homes is something I had heard of before but never attended. I had no real expectations. This year, thanks to social-distancing, the parade of homes in Lafayette is virtual. Well, I’m over here actively avoiding my work from home tasks and I’m completely over homeschooling for the day so let’s look! I found myself drawn to one of the homes immediately, and as I “walked through” I found myself in absolute awe of every square inch. “Wait, people live like this HERE IN LAFAYETTE?! Wow! Good for them, they obviously have amazing taste, a fantastic decorator, or both, and a budget I can only dream of…” (That’s my inner monologue.)

Which got me to thinking: maybe my dreams are too small. 

Let’s rewind a little: I grew up as what I would now classify as middle class in a small town where no one I knew lived in a house like that parade house. Everyone I knew in high school had a job and so did their parents. There were no homes like that parade house in my neighborhood. My frame of reference for wealth was a lot different. We were comfortable, my parents built a nice house in a close-knit neighborhood and we each had our own bedroom. We didn’t go on vacations every year but we had an above ground pool in the driveway during the summer – that was fun. I had a job from the time I was 15 and paid for my own things because I liked the freedom it allowed. I was happy, and living that life taught me hard work and responsibility. So, when I dreamed about my life in the future it looked a lot like my childhood. I *hoped*my grown-up life would be everything that I grew up with plus some of the things I wish I had been able to have or experience: regular vacations, jacuzzi tubs, kid bedrooms with their own bathrooms. My best friend’s house even had a library and that felt like the ultimate ‘you’ve made it’. So yes, a library was also in my dream!

During my junior year of high school is when I first heard “The Secret,” a book on CD about manifestation, it changed my life forever. Since then I’ve made vision boards, had gratitude journals, and learned to believe I can overcome any obstacle. The Secret is built on the premise that you can have ANYTHING if you BELIEVE you can, and behave as though you ALREADY DO. I’ve practiced being really specific about what I want from life and acting as though I have it and I’m just waiting to receive it – sort of like ordering something from Amazon and knowing it’s on the way. All in all, I have been able to create a life I’m proud of and I continue to actively work at it and be thankful for it. It’s been working for me for years.

Then I saw THAT HOUSE

My husband and I are currently in the early stages of house shopping. We’ve built great credit, paid off our debt, and began saving for that downpayment. We have a budget in mind and I open my “10 homes we think you’ll like” email from Zillow just about every day. I’ve been really getting clear on what our budget can get us, what we want, and what we are willing to compromise on. To be honest, it’s way more than I ever dreamed I could afford. I mean, I was homeless and living with family only 5 years ago after the collapse of my last marriage. I am thrilled with our prospects! But, suddenly I realized, after seeing THAT HOUSE, I’ve been dreaming Target dreams while other people are dreaming Bloomingdale’s dreams. Sure, I’m glad to be moving on up from the Dollar Tree version of my dreams, but why have I limited myself to the belief that this is the nicest thing I can have? In what other parts of my life am I limiting myself to only what I know?

So tonight when I sit down with my gratitude journal, I’m going to list The AHBA Parade of Homes. Thankful for the reminder that this life is what I make it and I can dream of and work towards making it even BIGGER than anything I have ever seen before. I’m going to call into question what other limiting beliefs I’ve been holding onto, and work at overcoming them one by one. When you see my next vision board it’s going to look a lot bolder, braver, and BIGGER!

What dreams have you been limiting? What would you have if you could have anything?

Sarah is a Cecilia native currently living in Lafayette's oil center. She's the mom to a Brady Bunch of 7 children ages 13 to 5. Married to Clint, her 'environmental superhero', they enjoy traveling often. The self-proclaimed queen of big family travel planning; she's also taken up GLAMPing as she explores the State and National Parks as part of their year of road schooling. Sarah started Real Product Talk, a product testing and secret shopper service, with her online bestie of 10+ years in 2014 and continues to grow as a major player in her field. When she's not working from home, she's can be found serving the less fortunate in Lafayette alongside Lafayette Mom Writer Ali Comeaux and their non-profit, With Love, Acadiana.