Have you ever had this urge to scrap everything and do something entirely different with your life? Something so different it rates as impossible rather that merely improbable. I have done this. I met someone and after only six months of dating, and most of that dating was via Skype, I married the guy. It didn’t work out for me and I’m faced with rebuilding my life,but I don’t regret taking the risk. I only regret that I didn’t manage the risk a bit better. I am the textbook reason prenuptial agreements need to exist. But…I took the risk, it failed, but I don’t regret the experience and adventure that it was at all. My dream was to travel and live abroad. I did that. In the process, I learned a ton about how to schedule flights so that you never miss one, which airports to avoid and which are better for making connections. I learned how to schedule a trip across the pond (either direction) in order to minimize jet lag. I’m still working on learning to travel light, but I’ve made vast improvement in that area over the last year. Most importantly, I’ve gone from thinking I should maybe give up my dreams to being confident that they will come to pass no matter how outlandish, impossible or impractical they might seem to me now. I mean, I’ve had plenty of dreams over the last six years come true. Why should that momentum end now?
In 2010, after two decades of pursuing a career, and building a family, and doing everything everyone else thought I should do and expected me to do, I decided it was probably time to figure out what I was about. I’d so lost myself in the endeavor of being who I thought I was supposed to be that I was completely out of touch with who I really was. I had to start by asking myself the most basic of questions like what do you like to do? As I pondered this question and others, it was soon clear to me that I’d given up several activities that I loved to do, when the kids started coming along. (Interesting how my husband never gave up anything he enjoyed doing.)
I quickly figured out that I wanted to start cycling again, take up photography and travel the world. That was just for starters. This realization occurred for me at the same time that I was at an all-time financial low as the result of divorce. Affording a bike or a nice professional grade camera, let alone airfare overseas,was just not in my budget, nor would it be for a very long time. Somehow, though, I could see myself in a place in my life where I had realized these dreams. But the finances weren’t there and the logistics were completely impossible.
In early October 2010, I purchased my first quality bike. I’d only ever had borrowed or gifted bikes, none of them fit for me. It was a hybrid bike, useful for trails or street riding. Six years later, I still have that bike as a commuter bike, but I’ve added three other road bikes to my inventory. I’ve also ridden these bikes in a variety of locations, including several cities. The Bike Dream is underway and it happened almost effortlessly. It took work, but once I had the vision, the money, the logistics, and the bike just seemed to appear.
In 2015, after thirty years of wishing for a really nice camera, I purchased my first digital SLR camera. I did it because after visiting the Middle East and being unable to adequately capture those beautiful cityscapes at night with the camera I had, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. I used a portion of my tax return that year and bought a Canon 70d with two lenses, and and extra battery pack. Dream Number 2 realized.
That same year, in June, I flew overseas to a small country in Eastern Europe where I ended up living for 14 months. Travel dream realized, but not entirely fulfilled, because I hope to continue to see and experience more of this beautiful planet and it’s people before I leave here.
And now, I’m stateside for the indefinite future as I recreate my life. As I do so, I find that new dreams are surfacing. They don’t replace the old ones, that I still very much want to continue to pursue, but they add to them. Start my own business? Purchase a vacation home rental? Travel the nation in a motor home while photographing and writing about the adventure? Walk the Camino de Santiago? Spend two weeks in the Southwestern deserts with a naturalist friend of mine on a dare to see if he can seduce me before the two weeks are up or if I can outwit and outlast him? (Okay, that last one is not really a dream, but it is a seemingly impossible and ridiculous event that looks as though it is going to happen.) And what about the dream of purchasing a little place on some land or on the coast to retire in?
I had, for a few months, been in the dumps feeling as though my life was over and that I had nothing really to look forward to except unending solitude and aging. I guess I was wrong. There are so many dreams yet to come true.
What dreams do you have that seem impossible today?
Posted on November 29, 2016, in Aging, Goals and Progress, Life in General, The Future, What Keeps Me Up At Night and tagged dreams, goals, hobbies, hope, taking risks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.