Monday, October 15, 2012

Dreams Deferred (Or: Getting to Europe)

Europe needs to be in my future. My not-so-immediate-but-not-so-far-away future. When I was younger, I told anyone that asked what I wanted to do after college was go live in Greece for at least 6 months. For no other reason than I loved the myths and wanted enough time to see all of the sites. Then, at the age of 20, I met Partner. All of that changed, because now I can't just up and leave somewhere. I can't just decide to quit a job or get a cheap apartment and live where I want. There's someone else to consider. There's a life to build.

It's odd to say it that way. 'Building a life together', as though what I would've had else-wise would not have been a life. As though Greece would not have been living.

I've always been told my mentality is about 10 years beyond my age. I'm 26 years old. I know I'm not running out of time soon, but my brain doesn't believe it. By all accounts I'm young. Really young. I've got a ton of time...but...not as much as I used to have. It's the kind of age that's a turning point. A sharpening of fuzzy edges in the picture of what your life will become. It's not quite acceptable at this age to not have plans, to not be heading in a particular direction.


My mother called me last night to hash out some family vacation plans for New Year's. We got to talking about her job, and something she said broke my heart. We were discussing bosses, and she told me there are very few good bosses out there. She works as a secretary in my alma mater, and has done so since I was in elementary. There was a time when most of the people she worked with had kids the same age and were going through the same things. Her bosses were her age, and the two school principals became some of her best friends - still to this day. But they each got different jobs over the years. While their group of friends gets together quite often, work hasn't been the same for my mother in years.

The co-workers we all grew up with, the institutions of that school...they're gone or retired or, sadly, passed on. My mom said she's now the old lady on campus, being the oldest person in her building at 52. She was telling me of some of the minor dramas going on at the school right now, and I said 'what ever happened to the good old days'. Her reply is what broke my heart. She said...

I think those are behind me.

That hurts to hear your mother say that. And she didn't mean that she'll have no good days personally. She's got a fantastic social circle, a husband that adores her, a family that loves her, and her career as a classical cellist to continue. But...her day job...the thing she does from 8-5 every day, and has done 8-5 every day for the past 20 years or more. That...she's just waiting to finish. She's just biding her time until she can retire, which is still a few years hence. 

So... I made a decision last night on my drive home, that was confirmed in dream later in the evening. I must go to Europe. I must start saving now, because it's going to be painfully expensive, but I must go to Europe. I'm not going to get to 52 and not have seen the things I want to see while I still have time and energy to see them. 

What dreams do you have that you might have been putting off? What could you do TODAY to start achieving them? Are there any dreams that you could achieve if you called in sick and gave yourself permission to get one done?

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

5 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. My daughter and I were talking early this morning about my mother inlaw (her grandmother of course) how she for years talked about her dream to go to Egypt it meant everything to her and she KNEW she would do it. Now she's in her 60s she's dealing with health issues and retired with no retirement plan. Soooo that dream has long gone and it's apparent how sad that makes her. It made the 2 of us decide we MUST take the time, the planning etc to make dreams like travel dreams come true because you just never know...can't always put plans off for tomorrow, at least prepare. Thanks for posting this!

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  2. I'm a photographer (currently working toward my BFA at NSCAD University--nscad.ca if you're curious), and my ultimate goal is to be a dance photographer. Art of any kind is a tough biz to get into--something that I accepted early in life--and make your career, and I know I'll have to do a lot of different things in order to make ends meet.

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  3. I don't know what it is but I agree with I am 30 now but after 25 it was a strange turning point in my thinking. I have always dreamed of getting a TEFL certificate and teaching English abroad for a year.

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  4. Yes, I agree with you 100%. If you want to travel overseas, go now while you're young. Myself? I LOVE to travel. I've been to Japan and a a bunch of countries in Europe (Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland), and I have to say that international travel broadens your way of thinking. Just the fact that you get to see how other people live / do things in other countries (versus the US of A) is educational in and of itself. I sometimes wonder if people in this country would be less close-minded if they got a passport and went somewhere. Even more ideal would be to learn the language and culture and try to live there for a time.

    And I still have a few more countries left on my bucket list: Germany (this time to practice my German, which I picked up in school), Costa Rica, Peru (to see Cuzco and Macchu Picchu -- better do that while I'm youngish because that's going to involve some hiking in high elevations as it's up in the Andes), and Mexico (and no, not the resorts on the beach...Mexico City and surrounding towns). I'd also like to see England, Scotland, and Ireland.

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  5. Yes, I agree with you 100%. If you want to travel overseas, go now while you're young. Myself? I LOVE to travel. I've been to Japan and a a bunch of countries in Europe (Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland), and I have to say that international travel broadens your way of thinking. Just the fact that you get to see how other people live / do things in other countries (versus the US of A) is educational in and of itself. I sometimes wonder if people in this country would be less close-minded if they got a passport and went somewhere. Even more ideal would be to learn the language and culture and try to live there for a time.

    And I still have a few more countries left on my bucket list: Germany (this time to practice my German, which I picked up in school), Costa Rica, Peru (to see Cuzco and Macchu Picchu -- better do that while I'm youngish because that's going to involve some hiking in high elevations as it's up in the Andes), and Mexico (and no, not the resorts on the beach...Mexico City and surrounding towns). I'd also like to see England, Scotland, and Ireland.

    ReplyDelete