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  • Writer's pictureSweta Patel

"Got a Dream? Go! I'll hold the door for you."

Rory speaks. Sweta writes. How one addict's story raises questions for reflection for any one of us.

2.5 years later... It's finally here!


In Should've Been Dead, Indian Mike is Rory's no-nonsense sponsor. When Rory starts in on all of his plans that he's going to do one day, this is the response he gets:

He raised his hand and stopped me. Leaning against the table for support, he rose from his seat and made his way to the door. He swung it wide open for me.

"Go ahead. What's stopping you? There's a big ol' world out there. Go get it. You have all these dreams, how you want your own house and to make more money and to meet someone... What are you doing sitting here and talking about it? Go! I'll hold the door for ya. I'm tired of listening to you. Why don't you go do something?"

Whenever a new idea crosses my mind at work--whether it's helping my students coordinate a massive community Trunk or Treat event or gathering enough donated items to assemble 50 holiday boxes for our families--I think about what Indian Mike would say.

Before, I would get trapped in the endless loop of "but-what-ifs." But what if I can't find enough people to host a trunk? But what if no one shows up? But what if I can't get enough donations in time? This quickly spirals into feeling overwhelmed as I stare at my to-do list. And then I'm paralyzed and still.

But now, I try to consciously move myself to action and just start. Got a dream? Go! And guess what? I problem-solve along the way and things tend to work out. Almost 1,000 people attended the Trunk or Treat and students, staff, and guests had a wonderful time. And our school staff helped pack and deliver 50 boxes filled with donated food items, games, gift cards, and more to help families through winter break. All I had to do was start.

That's the story behind the book Rory and I officially launched on Amazon. We didn't have any expectations of the end product. For nearly 2.5 years, we would meet, interview, learn, share stories, write, revise, make mistakes, dust ourselves off, connect with others, and ultimately, one step at a time added up to the pages of Should've Been Dead.

"Got a dream? Go! I'll hold the door for you" is one of 12 life lessons from Rory's journey that are featured in the book.


For All of Us: What's an idea that's been rolling around in your mind that feels like a dream? If Indian Mike said, "Go!" what's the first step you could take toward making your idea happen? He's holding the door for you.

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