So I think this 5 day challenge may actually take me 10 days…
(one) …because who knew watching kids every day was going to leave me absolutely exhausted?! I’m not complaining though. It’s a wonderful type of exhaustion. The kind where you know you’ve been doing things, using your muscles, laughing, watching, enjoying, giving yourself. Chasing neighbor dogs back to their side of the fence, lifting kiddos onto chairs, consoling, reading aloud, playing simon says (and while having the full attention of three little ones (basically impossible) finding out that Simon can’t think of many things to say! ah! where’s my creativity?!).
(two)…and because I am realizing there are a lot of internal barriers making it hard to even do parts of this challenge. As I tried to do Day 2 I kept unknowingly hitting these walls that would curtail my dreaming. Walls like:
- that’s selfish
- that’s impossible in today’s society
- what will people say if you do that?
- that’s not a real job
- you aren’t talented enough to do that
- remember last time when that failed
- someone else is already doing that better than you could
- you’re lazy for wanting that
- is that going to make you a “productive member of society”?
And from there I typically end up in a philosophical/existential internal debate questioning the goal of society, the definition of productive, the meaning of life…
I won’t get into all of those tangents now…as I have the rest of my life to explore those things… However, what I keep finding is that one of the things I most desire is a sense of freedom…And isn’t that what we all want in some capacity? Freedom to be who we are regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic status… freedom of religion, of speech. Freedom from discrimination and hate. Freedom to pursue our dreams… freedom to HAVE dreams.
Freedom has been on my mind for a while now. I remember in elementary school, when we were sitting in the car outside of the Blockbuster (back when we went to actual stores to rent VHS tapes and DVDs…man, won’t that shock my future children) and I asked my dad a question I had been thinking about for quite a while… I said “Daddy, are we all just God’s puppets?” And looking back, I think there was a lot more wrapped up in that question than anyone realized, even me. For over the years that question of freedom kept coming back and it has continued to remain at the core of some of my deepest struggles…my search for meaning, purpose, hope… It has led to many tearful conversations (with others and with God). And it’s not just my question. People have been asking this question for…well…seemingly forever. The idea comes in numerous forms: fate, destiny, predestination, soul mates. Has this story already been written? Or are we writing it as we go? The question of time: how past, present, and future interact and impact one another. Do the characters influence the plot? Or was the script written long ago? Are there eraser marks? Can things change? Or through the precise creation of the characters did the author predestine all that will come to pass? Trust me, I know these are not new ideas. And I tend to trip over my own feet when I start wading in them…Do they affect the day-to-day? Maybe not. But I think they should! What I believe matters for how I live my life, what I teach my future kids, what I believe, what I value, how I spend my time…doesn’t it?? See, even now I was supposed to be doing this seemingly simple task of answering some questions about my future and I end up on a philosophical/theological tangent…
I know you don’t have all day, so here we go:
Day 2: Clarify Your Vision.
Basically, in the email I received about my second task, I was asked to create a clear vision of what I would want my future to be like… What is there? Who is there? What is my morning ritual like? What have I stopped doing? What do I do for a living? How much money do I make? How much am I giving away? How are my core values being realized?
At first I couldn’t think of any answers to these questions besides knowing I want my husband by my side. I sat staring at a blank piece of paper… I had been so stuck certain questions for so long (“What do you want to be when you grow up? Where are you working after college? What’s your major?”) that it took me a bit to switch mindsets. However, once I got started I found that I do have things in mind when I think about my ideal future. They don’t necessarily dictate a “career path” as I kind of hoped they would… but I do think they have helped me to see what I value. Namely: creativity, learning, and people. Here’s what days 1 and 2 look like in the scrapbook I created to keep track of this post-college journey:
Thanks for reading! and for joining me on this crazy journey called life! :)
Now, I want to hear from you! What are you passionate about? Do you have a vision for what you want your life to look like? How do you balance living in the moment with goals for the future? Comment or email me. :) I would love to get to know more about you!