Dreams. We all have them. I’m not just talking about the kind we have at night when we are asleep. I’m talking about the kind of dreams that are goals or wishes.
Sometimes they are attainable and sometimes they are just unrealistic. Those that are unrealistic are the ones that include winning the lottery or hitting the Pick Six at
Del Mar. I say unrealistic because those are not the kinds of dreams that are attainable by our own sweat and ingenuity. If those are your dreams you’ll die broke and unhappy.
I remember as far back as the mid-60’s when I would sit on the beach in Pacific Beach or at the La Jolla Shores. My mom would drop me off for the day, so I was stuck.
After an initial lengthy session of surfing, I would sit there under gray skies in July, shivering. I hated that. I still do. I dreamed of perfect, shoulder high waves in turquoise 80-degree water with no fog and no gray skies. I had to believe that someday I would find such a place; a place with blue skies everyday; a place with turquoise 80-degree water with perfect tubes.
I have now traveled many places in the world and thought that Bali might be the place. But, it is so far away. I knew, even if I moved, I would want to be able to come back and forth to the United States. I just didn’t want to have to take 20 hours of flying to do it. When I was in the Army at Fort Hood in the 70’s, a buddy from Oregon and I would throw our boards on his Gremlin after retreat was blown on Friday afternoons. The weekend was spent driving the 6 or 7 hours down to the Gulf Coast past Corpus Christi.
Although the water was semi-turquoise and semi-warm (in fact, sometimes it was downright bathtub-ish), the waves would only come with storms or a choppy wind swell late in the day.
At night, sleeping on the beach, you had to have plenty of Off Spray. The mosquitoes were big enough to earn names. Hey George, “off me” already. You’d smack ‘em and you’d have big blood splotches all over you. Those little bloodsuckers always had full tanks.
I knew it wasn’t my dream to end up on the Gulf Coast.
I took many trips to Baja in the 70’s while in College. One of my favorite surf spots was K 38.5 and K 39. Cuatros Casas was another. Unfortunately big condos sit in front of two of those breaks today. Nonetheless, the water was no different than San
Diego — gray and cold. Yuk. I hate wetsuits. I hate wiggling in and out of those things. There’s nothing worse than getting caught inside on a big set with your shoulders feeling like they have vice grips on them trying to dig hard enough to beat the last set wave. I dreamed of never having to wear one again.
In the early 2000’s my ex and I had some friends that built a home down at Bahia de los Angeles in Baja on the Sea of Cortez — what a quaint and quiet place to go. The water is warm, the islands offshore are Mediterranean-like. But there aren’t any waves. I would sit on the shore trying to figure out how I could generate some waves. Perfect waves. Wasn’t going to happen. Nice peaceful place, but it wasn’t going to work. That wasn’t going to be the dream.
In 2005, after several trips to Puerto Vallarta I finally decided that was going to be the place that was fulfilling my dreams. I was ready to retire. It was a perfect time to do it but my wife didn’t want to. She wanted to wait a few years. The only problem was, she ran off with a guy she met on an airplane less than six months later. Even worse, the economy began to tank big time. Being in real estate and heavily invested in land my net worth began to vaporize like steam from boiling pot.
Dreams became just that — Dreams. I had no hope of finding my perfect retirement anymore. I was so bummed and stressed; I was at the point of just saying “Lord, take me home. This life sucks. Everything I’d worked and saved for had vanished into thin air.”
And I was stuck with what I described earlier as Golden Handcuffs. Big assets that were no longer assets but definitely cash drains. Life was getting really tough and hopes in themselves were now dreams.
But earlier this year, I went back to Puerto Vallarta. I took a bus, after going to a Calvary Chapel Church in PV, to tiny little Punta de Mita. I walked through a breezeway after getting off the bus only to witness head high perfect Malibu rights.
The water was 82 degrees, the water was turquoise, the sky was a high blue and the wispy breeze was enough to cool the sweat from an 88-degree day. I knew I found
Heaven…I found my dream. Over the next months I was reinvigorated. I was filled with hope again.
Not only that, I found a way to buy a beachfront condo for a few trinkets and beads. Life doesn’t suck anymore. Dreams have become reality. I live there now part time. I’ve actually figured out how to live there nearly for free. So stay tuned, you might just learn how to turn dreams into reality, even if you’ve lost it all.