“Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops, like the universe itself, only by perpetual discovery.” — Pierre Tielhard de Chardin
By Dawn Onley
I’m a writer and editor. I work as a public relations and marketing director. I know words. I know sentence structure. I understand style and grammar. I’m familiar with media relations, promotion and branding.
My husband works in transportation. He knows buses and trains and schedules. He knows safety. He’s an ace at customer service. If you’re ever lost in D.C., he’s the one you want on the phone.
We are also real estate investors. This still amazes me because somehow it doesn’t seem plausible. Yet, it’s a fact and we have four houses to prove it (five, if you count the one we’re living in).
We did it by being scrappy. By setting short-term and long-term goals, and then acting on those goals. By saving. By taking calculated risks. By studying different neighborhoods and markets. By reading articles and books. By comparing different programs and bank rates. By filling out copious amounts of paperwork. By making connections with lenders, title agencies and contractors. By him getting his real estate license. By us living our HGTV addiction. By believing we could. By not being deterred.
By having faith. By being resilient. By refusing to box ourselves into one career, one dream, one goal, one purpose. We knew we were capable of being and doing so much more with the talents and gifts we were given by God.
These last three points are particularly important. Let me explain why:
Faith. Mary McLeod Bethune said “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” It takes a faith bigger and wider than we can comprehend to achieve our wildest dreams. No dream is possible without faith. If there is something that you’ve been wanting to do, take the step. Just do it.
Resilience. Like any investor, we take our hits from time to time. No one is immune from this. In fact, we’re just coming out of one of those “hits” – when anything and everything that seemingly could go wrong, went wrong. All at once. In every, single, property. Yet, it didn’t break us. Instead, we remained lighthearted and determined with each challenge, knowing that this too shall pass. In some ways, it made us stronger. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,” according to the Book of James 1:2. Persistence and resilience determine success.
Refusing to live in one box. Please know that I’m a fan of learning something so well that a person becomes an expert at it. I think there are far too many people who barely touch the surface of anything – dipping and dabbling in a whole bunch of areas and becoming a jack of all trades, master of none. However, I’m not a fan of anyone – this includes you and I – setting limitations on what we can and can’t do. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” So while I may put in the time and energy to really study and learn an area – like I’ve done over the years with running, real estate investing, baking, world travel, and poetry — I’m on a life journey to grow and elevate and discover and do other things that push me into new dimensions. We should all be on this path. Living is learning and experiencing and doing.
This means that even though I work in communications and my husband works in transportation, our dreams aren’t contained in those fields. We don’t fit into a single box; we love many things. We will continue to fling open the door to discovery. We hope you will as well, and we hope the door leads you to new adventures.
Life is waiting for us. A new path is just beyond the bend.
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Dawn, I am so proud of and delighted to call my niece. You go girl! When life hands you lemons you make lemonade. #yourcheerleaderforever!
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Thanks Aunt Janey! You have no idea how much of an influence you’ve played in my life. Thanks for being such a wonderful aunt and role model. I am so blessed.