All your stupid ideals
Got your head in the clouds
You should see how it feels
With your feet on the ground
— Depeche Mode, Useless
I have a tendency to daydream. A lot. I have a zillion wonderful ideas and a trillion lofty goals for myself, but my big problem is taking actual/practical steps to make those dreams a reality. (All of my horoscopes go something like this: “Great idea! But what are you going to do about it? PROBABLY NOTHING. Too bad for you.”)
One of the reasons why I don’t often move forward with my bigger dreams is that I have a deathly, suffocating, and stifling fear of failure. It’s sad, but true. I conveniently like to point fingers at the education system for this– with its narrow and unwielding focus on grading and the fact that scholarships are so competitive and largely dependent on said grades. Maybe I would have enrolled in different courses ‘just because’ if I wasn’t so worried about maintaining a near-perfect GPA and securing financial support for my studies. But no– it was way easier to get a guaranteed ‘A’ in some joke-of-a-psychology class and pocket a much-needed scholarship than it was for me to take a chance in kinesiology or something equally random (but interesting!). So even though I was really curious about everything from biology to interpretive dance classes (!!), I never really stepped off my sucker-punch COMS/PSYC path once I determined that getting a 4.0 GPA was what (realistically) mattered the most to me… So tragic. (I could have been an interpretive dance STAR!) But enough of my rant about the school system. Who else can I blame? 🙂 Just kidding.
This same conservative tendency permeates a lot of my decision-making now, too. After all, it’s way easier to stay where I am now (comfort, familiarity, security, etc.) than it is to take a huge risk of sorts and try/go/do something or somewhere completely different.
I think I am starting to reach a critical mass when it comes to the balance between my dreams and my resolve to make them happen. Before, my dreams were always so light and airy that they never threatened to tip the scale of choices, especially with practicality weighing down the other side: heavy, stubborn, and refusing to budge. But now… something has changed, and I’m feeling more and more like these dreams of mine really need to happen. Or else!
Marty, bless his heart, has been a huge inspiration for me– sticking to his artwork even when money was really tight or when countless people told him he should get a ‘real job’. (His dad’s a welder, let’s not forget.) I’ve also been really inspired by Kimberly Snyder lately. I stumbled on her blog by accident after posting my hunch about a dairy/acne connection. On the surface, it would seem that her blog is mostly about diet and nutrition, but after reading through all of her archives (which I did!), what stands out for me is a real emphasis on harmonizing all aspects of lifestyle: diet and exercise, sure– but also attitudes, work, play, and relationships. Love. Openness. Trust. So many thoughts and things have been swirling around my whole psyche lately (see: times a-changing), and I’ve been struggling a bit to make sense of them or to gain a clear indication of what direction I should be heading, so I was literally dumbstruck when I read this passage:
“In a larger extent, all parts of our life are completely connected in the same way. If we work out all the time, but don’t give our body the most nutritious food, for instance, there is a disconnect. And if we practice yoga and eat well, but don’t treat other people with love and kindness, there is a disconnect. And if we eat good food, but work in a toxic work environment in a job we find vastly unfulfilling, there is a disconnect as well. When I work with people in my nutritional counseling sessions, I often see that when there is an imbalance with obsessing over food or there is a major issues in some way- there are imbalances in other parts of their life. These could include self esteem issues, work stress, trying to be perfect in everything, deep sadness or loneliness. The point is that the food issue can be the symptom, and the way the issue is expressing itself, but if we don’t balance other parts of our life the food issue(s) will never fully get fixed either.” — Kimberly Snyder
There it is: everything I’ve been thinking about lately (big things, little things, overdramatic things, serious things, frivolous things, nutrition things, job things, pet things, SO MANY THINGS) wrapped up in a concise little paragraph. There you have it, folks! Whew!
My biggest, most cherished, and most guarded of dreams are ‘global’ in the sense that they address so many facets of my lifestyle: work, relationships, hobbies, and diet. I’ve always been too shy to proclaim these dreams as goals of mine out loud– painfully cognizant of what other people might think and, as always, overly sensitive and influenced by the possibility that things might not work out. But what’s the worst that could happen, really? 🙂
I’m starting to realize that it’s not enough any more to work really hard on only one aspect of my life in isolation– e.g., not eating dairy isn’t going to make me any less stressed about my job or ‘career path’, helping Marty at the harbour for 14 hours a day and not working out isn’t going to do either of us any favours, and holding back in life because I am a teensy bit afraid of looking silly or not succeeding isn’t going to cut it! This realization has been both exciting and frightening to me: making me grin with optimism at all the possibilities one moment but then crushing my chest with anxiety the next. I’ve just got to commit to move forward with it and trust that there’s some kind of net to catch me if I stumble. After all, there are so many examples of people (even within my personal circle) who are boldly going forward and doing a good job of it, too. (But I think they are all Aquarians!) 🙂
PS: For those of you wondering about all of the changes I’ve been so vague about so far, there is no need to worry! Most of them are things that haven’t actually changed yet, but could. Though I did get my hair cut on Wednesday and it looks really cute. In other words, everything is still EXACTLY THE SAME as always, but my mind has started wandering ahead and thinking about what might or could be. I know we should all live in the moment and yada yada yada– I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking about what our lives would look like: when Robertina passes away, if we moved, if I changed jobs, if we won the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot tonight, etc., etc. Change is definitely in the air, but as of this exact moment, things are still the same. Thanks for the concern! 🙂