How Hopscotch Can Be The Key To Your Dream

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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hopscotch your way to your dream
If you watched last week’s post, An Exercise To Help You Find Your Dream in 5 Steps did you listen to my advice and take some time this week to look back at what you loved to do when you were younger?

Did you love hopscotch by any chance?

I think there are a number of us in this world who don’t enter third grade knowing what we want do do with our lives.

I sat next to Nancy with the long brown hair, who told me flat out she was going to play the flute and become a Scientist when she grew up. By gosh and pinch my sagging underwear, 40 years later this (sort of) sums her up.

Yeah that wasn’t me.

The only thing that ever managed to come out of my mouth was, “I am never getting married and I am never having kids.”

I ixnayed that plan at age 30.

I shudder when I think of people like Bill Gates, who played with computers in his garage growing up. Or Wayne Gretzky, who by 10 years of age scored 378 goals and 139 assists with the Nadrofsky Steelers. Are they some sort of freaks of nature, or were they encouraged to continue playing at what they loved until it turned into a way of life?

Remember those annoying kids in grade school with over- starched clothes, who always said, “When I grow up I am going to be President!”

They probably did – which explains a lot about America.

But again, that wasn’t me.

In fact, what I’ve done for a living over the last 15 years wasn’t even invented when I was in grade school. I was never sure what I wanted be when I grew up. I was taught to go to school for the purpose of going to college — not for the purpose of expanding on what I love doing.

Taking college prep courses for the purpose of going to college was about as much fun as taking caster oil everyday so my intestines worked well. It was good for me but left me thinking, Is this all there is?

This afternoon my cousin Emily stopped by to celebrate my son’s 15th birthday. She’s at a place in her life where she is asking, Is this all there is?

While she was in the middle of her ‘what-do-I do-now’ rant, I asked her, “What did you love to do before you were 10?”

It stopped her mid-breath. She suddenly grinned a wide, beautiful redhead grin and exclaimed –

“Well, I loved hopscotch!”


“It was outside, away from adults – just with my best friend and we could play for hours!”

“How did that make you feel?”

“I felt like we were a part of something greater than just hopscotch.”

“We need to help you find your dream Em, and it isn’t all about your daughter or men — it’s something else — something more. It’s something that gives your life new meaning.”

What’s that? ‘Cause whatever that is – sign me up!”

“Something that’s equal to hopscotch for adults.”

She laughed.  Personally, I think she loves school playgrounds and would make a great kindergarten teacher, but she must come to her own conclusions without my biased opinion. Her love of hopscotch makes perfect sense to me.

If we spent more time together I would have slowly taken her down the road to figuring out how to bring more hopscotch-type happiness into her life. There is something she was put on earth to do – something she is great at which will bring new meaning into her life.

She loves children, she loved dressing and taking care of her barbies, she loved hopscotch.

If that doesn’t sound like a kindergarten teacher waiting to happen, then what does?

We all have these clues in our lives if we will just slow down long enough to listen.  We need to bring them out into the sunshine and take a look at them.  We need to examine why we are doing the things we are doing in our lives and make room for . . . well . . . more hopscotch.

My advice to you this week is to take a notepad with you wherever you go and write down every time you do something you love.

It can be anything from buying yourself flowers to a walk through the park. At the end of a week you should begin to see a pattern in these things you love doing.

If you get to the end of the week and there’s nothing on that notepad . . . then people, we need to talk.  Send me an email at eightwomendream(at)

And you just might need my Find Your Dream e-book.


  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Well Remy my dear, the way I look at your coaching is you are playing an active support role in people’s lives.

    Like a Vet you find out what is hurting us and preventing us from moving forward when we don’t have the words or the understanding of what’s wrong. You are guiding us in the right direction with your wise advice – much like one guides a horse.

    The Olympian I see because you strive for the best and you like to be a part of something greater than yourself (duh 8 Women Dream & SOCOPHGRO). The photographer part I won’t even touch lol.

    But maybe you should look into photographing horses – people with their horses as your portrait idea. Or even continue with your sports photos, but expand it into Olympic sports and see where that takes you.

    This is how the process will go in the book to lead you down these roads of discovery to find the thing you jump out of bed every day to run and do.

    You are the best – Cath

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Lisa NO ONE has to worry about you – you live your life exploring your dreams every day. And if you are not the President of the US, then at some point you will be President of something – maybe the President of Women Who Travel – an organization that helps women travel and see the world ;-) Thanks for your loving support.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Tami that is so exciting. I am a freak over painting rooms. I haven’t done that since before my thyroid tanked . . . maybe later this summer. Thanks for your comment.

  • Remy G

    OMG this is perfect timing. My friends and I loved pretending we were horses running all over the place. I loved music and dancing, and pretending that I was the best (Olympian, horse rider, vet, photographer) in the world. Funny, I never thought “I love being a business coach” but I guess some things are acquired loves.

    I need your ebook. When can I buy it???

  • Great post Cath :)

    I loved writing as a girl, loved dancing and singing in the mirror… Wanted to be a famous writer, or a rock star ;) Also of course wanted to be the first female president… ;)

    I STILL love to write and STILL love to dance and still do both :) Am still figuring out next steps on my dream journey but for now what I’m doing works for me…

    Thanks for the continual inspiration fearless leader!


  • Tami

    I tried this and it’s mind blowing. I remembered that I loved to arrange all the furniture in my dollhouse. I was obsessive about it. I’ve been thinking about taking some interior design classes at the local community college and when I did this exercise I realized I must do this. I get happy rearranging furniture. It makes my family crazy!!! Thank you so much for this!!!