You might already know that when I was little, I used to write list after list in my journals; I would identify places I hoped to travel (Africa, India, and Paris always made the top three) and about who I aspired to be. I wrote down traits that I wanted to work on and characteristics I was proud of. I made lists of books to read, people I admired, and goals for the year.
I can remember envisioning larger than life successes and thoughts about all of the possibilities that could exist within a single lifetime. There were so many opportunities and paths to take, and I knew early on that I wanted to make a contribution to this world. I have had this belief within me from as long as I can remember that I am here to do amazing things. And I don’t mean that in a grandiose or egotistical sort of way; in my heart of hearts, I really believe that we are all here to do amazing things. We each have something inside of us that only we can offer, that only we can create, and that only we can see. And sometimes we forget about that little magic spark that exists within us all.
As I’ve gotten older, I can more clearly see that life often gets in the way of where we thought we were going. We get trapped into comfort zones through security, stability, and even false senses of security. We get accustomed to our routines and the exchange of money for our time. We start making decisions based on our fears rather than through the depths of our souls. The reality of finances, obligations, debt, children, and unanticipated expenses start acting as road blocks and detours to our paths, and justifiably so. We all make decisions and sacrifices based on our current situation and we are all always just trying to do the best that we can. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with comfort, stability, or routine, it can in fact be everything we have wished for. I’ve just been reflecting on how these perceived comforts convince me to play small. I’m noticing the way in which fear of failure, risk, making mistakes, and the unknown keeps me in my routine, even when I feel called to take leaps and carve out new paths. I’m noticing all of the choices I’ve been making based on fear.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped making the lists. I started writing about challenges, relationships, and my thoughts and feelings. It wasn’t that the dreams stopped existing, it was that other things began to take my focus– life started to happen. But over the last year, I’ve also started to truly recognize that we only grow older and time slips away, and pretty soon we have journals filled with frustrations and wonderings, and lists of unlived dreams.
What I’m opening up to is re-writing my vision on notebook paper, on exploring all of the possibilities, of not limiting myself based on an attachment to a plan. I’m working on giving myself permission to change my mind, to be a beginner, and to challenge my comfort zones so that I can continue to evolve and grow.
And because I am a planner and an over-thinker, I’m slowly inching my way back to the confidence in taking risks. What’s important in my heart today is the knowing that when I can step away from the worry, fear, and unease, I can recognize that the unknown, the risks, and the possibilities are a beautiful place to be.