What would you do?
We wrote down our answers and passed the sheets of paper around the class without our names on them and took turns reading other peoples’ personal dreams out loud. After each answer the class would discuss how and if it was possible. Most people’s dreams seemed totally doable. And this was the point of the assignment. If you don’t hold yourself back, how big are your dreams? After naming these dreams they seemed less scary and hearing it come from someone else’s mouth demystifies the dream. We even helped brain storm ideas for the person on how they could begin to take steps towards making their dream come true. It was a great exercise.
Some examples were researching something the person was passionate about, moving to an island, writing a book and the answer following was always “why not?”.
Until we got to mine.
My face turned bright red as I heard a stranger read my paper out loud.
I would go to the moon.
The class burst out laughing.
But seriously…if you could do anything with no limits I would go to the moon.
And that is only where I would start.
I would travel the whole world, and then I would buy a boat and learn to sail and circumnavigate the globe, and then I would do every great hike on the planet, and I would go to the Marianas Trench, I would volunteer at girls’ schools and then I would write a book.
So the response to my “I would go to the moon” answer wasn’t exactly “why not?”
There have been times when I haven’t been as mobile as I am now. There have been times when I feel stuck and I get a case of myopia about what my options are. This can be due to work commitments, stuff accumulation, relationships, and/or financial restraints. I have found myself with limited options and limited dreams.
But not right now.
Right now it feel like the WHOLE world is open to me. I could move (almost) anywhere after my time in Korea is up. I will have a year of ESL experience, some money to bank on and no commitments to anyone, anywhere.
This is the kind of opportunity and freedom I have dreamed my whole life of having where everything is open to me and the possibilities are only limited by my bravery and my imagination.
Although I recognize this as a HUGE gift and I am beyond grateful to be standing here, my head is spinning. Every day I come up with a new plan and I have no idea which one is the most feasible or makes the most sense for me right now. Then I think that being feasible is not the point of right now and the point of right now is to dream as big as I can because this is my chance to make something really amazing happen and I want to make sure that it is a once in a lifetime experience.
But it is stressing me out.
One day I am going to take the Trans-Siberian railway, the next day I will hike the Appalachian Trail, the next day I am moving to Bali. The I am joining the Peace Corps. Then I am going to backpack through Mongolia. Then I will teach in English in Chile. Then I am moving back to Austin (or maybe I should buy a sailboat), then I am moving back to Alaska and I Just. Can’t. Keep. Up.
Honestly, it gives me a headache and I just want to make sure I make the best decision. And what I think that means is that it is:
- Not totally reckless
- Different than anything I have done before (so moving back home is out for now)
- Leads me to something bigger and better; not unemployment in my parent’s basement (been there too many times)
- Makes me feel alive
I don’t know when or if I will figure it out. Maybe I will just make a decision one morning and that will be it. Maybe the plan will just keep evolving, or maybe it will be a total wild card. But for now I am working on letting go of limits as well as being present. Being half way through my contract I don’t want to be so distracted by what comes next that I miss out on all the great subtleties that makes this experience what it is.