Writing this, I’m looking a picture I took more than 20 years ago. I still like it. I have a little in common, in tastes and sensibility, with that young woman who took it. But that girl making that image, enlarging it and framing it for her first home, felt completely grown up, despite not having a career or a plan. She had a husband and was certain that she was as adult as she would ever be.
Three different cities later, two decades and a world away, I don’t feel inherently a different age; I feel like I only just started figuring it out now. I am squinting, sun in my face at life’s downhill slope, aware that I only have so much time, and there is a bundle of stuff I’ll never know. Now, I know I am certain only of change.
How could I possibly have thought I was pretty much everything I would be? What could I possibly have known, then? Would I even begin to believe my now-self, if I could talk to my then-self? Would I be able to hear the advice to be my own person and pursue my dreams more vigorously? Hell, would I even be able to listen to me (now) say that I needed to spend time creating dreams, be a little more inside my own head? If I could have heard this, or could have listened, then, it could have prevented me having to have spent so much time contemplating, later, trying to rationalize what I did since then?
I imagine the lesson from looking back is to apply this learning to looking forward.
Is there anything I can do to sort out what I really want now? How do I create my own dreams for the next few decades?
Right now, I’m working on being a better employee, and a better parent, a better teacher, student and role model. But I think the best thing I can model is finding your dreams and living them.
So, two months late – my “New Year’s” resolutions:
- This year I will be learning French. But I have to reframe it. Not as for my kids, but for me, to prove to myself that I can apply myself and have something work out.
- I will be planting a garden, so that I can show my kids how things grow.
- I will be tending our yard to protect our investment.
- I will work towards some of that time being reflective time, too. I need to be outside more. It refills my heart, so I have more to give.
- I will work at a creative outlet, spending time with what I can develop on my own or in conjunction with others.
- I won’t let my timetable limit my life.