So there we were, sitting in a ritzy lounge, drinking ritzy wine after a swim in a ritzy pool, just perusing the menu looking for a little hors d’oeuvre before dinner when someone suggested, nay, insisted, on ordering dessert. We looked at one another with a glint of devilish “do we dare?” And as the server approached we leaned back in our high backed, leather arm chairs and answered her questions with sweet delicious words of ice cream and biscotti and tiramisu. As she walked away we threw our heads back with childlike giggles and clinked glasses one more time in triumph over breaking the rules of every day life and embracing the less ordinary; the finer things, the wants, the needs and of course the company. That’s right, we were about to have our dessert before our dinner.
Have you ever uttered the words (either aloud or otherwise) “Say’s Who?” or “And who decided that?” I often wonder when, along the lines, was it decided that dinner is our biggest meal, that breakfast consisted of eggs, pancakes and hash browns and that dessert is served after dinner. I understand, nutritionally, why we shouldn’t fill ourselves with things that don’t nourish our bodies, especially before we are about to have said nourishment, but in moderation, who said I cant have a small bowl of hand made ice cream with a coffee liqueur and side of espresso that I get to pour over the ice cream to my own liking before dinner? And while i’m thinking about it, who said that normal was a 9-5 and a spouse and a family? Who said suburbia, a white picket fence and a golden retriever is the
American Canadian dream? Who decided that mortgages and credit cards and payments and jobs and early bed times and sensible shoes are the proper way to adult? Do I believe that each one of us should contribute to society and the community around us? Absolutely. Do I think consumerism is overrated but still buy in because I like to shop/eat/drink and keep up with the current technological advancements? Of course. But who keeps saying I have to? It’s been ingrained in us, as much as the roles of male and female, that when we grow up we are suppose to live a certain way. We are suppose to dislike our jobs for the most part, because we are just working to live. We are suppose to go through the motions of every day, stress over laundry and bills and how we are going to afford to get our cars fixed on top of everything else. We are suppose to get married at a relatively young age, buy a house, get a dog. Then we should have kids, buy a bigger house, go to work everyday, wish you were home with your family, then go home to be with your family and end up spending that time working. We go through these motions of “normal” because we think we have to. And really, we do. We need to eat, and have a roof over our heads and clothe ourselves and our children and our dog… Besides, getting married to someone you love is amazing. And buying and owning a house is super fun. So is having kids and a dog and a career. But what if those things aren’t fun for you? Or what if you did it all and it fell apart so you don’t want to do it again? What if you’re happy single? What if you are happy married with no kids, what if you are happy renting for the rest of your life instead of owning? What if you have decided that you are going to be transient in different parts of the world until you are 40 or 50 or 60? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to conform?(not that we need to, society is doing a fine job of pressuring us all on it’s own). Is it so left field to follow your dreams? Is it so CRAZY to say “Hey, you want to be a teacher? That is amazing, good for you! I want to be a catamaran captain for a bunch of vacationers on the Caribbean sea and that is equally as attainable!” Some people’s dreams, like going to school and becoming a teacher (just as an example), have low risk and high reward(low risk meaning if you work hard, etc etc you should come out with a job). But some people’s dreams, like being the captain of the H.M.S Tequila Mockingbird, have high risk(selling your life and moving to an island) and high reward. Both take a LOT of work, both take a LOT of commitment, but only one is viewed as an “acceptable” and achievable dream. I mean.. in the grand scheme of things, being a teacher is a little more admirable than party boating your whole life, but at the same time, your dreams are your dreams. Just because the world doesnt look at them like they are making an impact, or diffference or changing the world, they are still your dreams. they are still valid, and they are still achieveable. I think its important to pay your taxes, have an address, contribute to the lives of the people around you and contribute to society in which ever way YOU think YOU can make a difference. But if you have your heart set on blue green waters, coconuts and sunscreen, make it happen! Be smart about it, do your research, work hard(weird, just like you would for any other career venture.. 😉 ), but make it happen. I get so sad watching people around me that I care about living a life they don’t want, stressed out from a job they don’t really like, living in a home they are settling for, wishing and dreaming about how nice it would be if… and saying that if they could choose they would love to have a career doing….
We need to teach our children and re-teach our selves that we have this one life; We get this one chance. Nothing can change over night, but every single day you can take one step toward living a life you actually want to live, to making your dreams coming true, to your life unfolding in more amazing ways than you can even imagine, just because you took a risk, just because you took a CHANCE, made up your mind and jumped.
It’s never too late, you’re never too old, life is never in the way. It’s going to take work, and longer than you probably wanted, and sometimes your going to throw your hands in the air and say “Eff this shit.” But when you do, take a day, drink some wine, reevaluate and regenerate. Then ask your self “Is this still my dream? Is this still worth working for?” and if the answer is yes then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on that horse (all the cliches-unless your life’s dream is actually riding horses). If your answer is no, along the way you’ve probably learned something, realized something, or changed paths without even realizing it. Maybe take a breath and look back to find your next dream, your next adventure. It’s not easy, but it really is that simple. If you are having a rough time, financially, emotionally, physically, and you have no idea how you would actually achieve anything that even resembles your dreams, remember that one small step leads to another.
Always has and Always will.
You are brave enough to take it. Maybe you just needed a reminder.
For those who already have… I’m so proud of you.
for those that have forgotten…
Here to remind you,
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
― Louisa May Alcott