Monday, December 10, 2007

Disregarding Traffic Laws

My friend Kailani (link to blog on the side bar) is working toward her dream of traveling the world for a year (by plane, train, and pack mule) and a recent blog of hers got me thinking about what it takes to passionately follow the dreams in our hearts.

As children, anything seems possible. I remember watching Mary Lou Retton win the Gold Medal in gymnastics and thinking (with absolutely no regard to my staggering lack of coordination) that I too would be a gold medalist, but not just in gynastics. I would medal in figure skating too. And I would do that while writing stories and performing concerts where I would sing, play the piano, and play the violin. And in my spare time I would race horses and live in a castle and keep a pet dragon that I took out for night flights to burst through the curtain between this world and that of the faeries who would, of course, crown me their long-lost Queen. And when I was done with that, I would go to college, get married, have children, bake Christmas cookies, and maybe travel overseas every few weeks.

Of course, my staggering lack of coordination prevented me from competing in the Olympics (although I'm still holding out for Power Shopping) and I don't yet know how to play the violin. I've never raced a horse (and after being rudely kicked in the head by the last one I approached, I don't think I really want to after all) or lived in a castle (though I'm still young, that can happen) or kept a pet dragon. I am, of course, the secret Queen of the faeries but you didn't hear it from me.

What happens to our delicious sense of adventure and daring as we grow up? Why do we slowly cast aside all the dreams that used to sparkle for us until we are left trudging the same well-worn rut of everyone around us? Graduate from high school. Get a job. Or go to college, graduate, then get a job. Hopefully it's one you like but better just take what you can get rather than hold out for what you really want because who gets that?

It's like our lives become cluttered with traffic signs: Stop - that isn't practical. Merge - everyone says you need to go this way. Dead End - just forget about the road less traveled. Speed Limit - keep it safe and steady.

What if we looked into our hearts and identified our dreams? The ones that still sparkle if we dust them off. The ones that still make hearts race with possibilities. What if we decided to breathe life into our dreams and ignore the traffic laws littering our adult world?

What if we didn't stop but found a way to mix the practicality of paying bills with the passionate pursuit of an impractical dream? What if we stopped merging and said, God has called me to go this way and off I go? What if we didn't see a dead end but saw endless possibilites in uncharted waters instead?

What if we valued risk over safety?

I will never be an Olympic medalist (unless that blasted committee finally approves my Power Shopping petition). I won't be a jockey. I won't be a concert pianist either. But that's okay because the deeper dreams of my heart are alive and growing. I will not come to the end of my life and regret the path I took to get there. Better to live a life of spectacular, beautiful failures on the way to seeing a dream come true than to huddle in safety, never stretching myself to discover what I can really be.


  1. Well said! And I, for one, would pay big money to see you go for the gold in Power Shopping.

  2. Thats an awesome idea and ...what's it called, metaphor? Anyways, if you ever do get a castle, you better give Kelly and I a room. Haha. And, if you could ever get a gold in "gynastics", just let me know, cause I've never heard of it. =)

    (Sorry, couldn't resist)

  3. Gynastics: (n) a branch of the ancient Japanese Gynas (keep mouth moving several seconds after pronouncing it) Warriors who specialize in maiming or causing death with ordinary objects such as ice cubes or cooked carrots.

  4. Ahhhh, I see now. Well, you haven't actually killed anyone yet, so you only have the silver medal =/

  5. Hm, you are right, my young apprentice. I shall have to redouble my efforts this week.

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  7. "Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is.
    At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny."
    ~"The Alchemist" Paulo Coelho
    Yeah I know I quote him a lot but I just finished 2 of his books and they're what inspired me to write my latest blog =) What he says and you say though is so true, I had millions of dreams when I was little and now that I'm (somewhat) grown I realize that maybe some of the things I'd dreamt of as a kid I could've made come true if I wouldn't have "grown up" per se. I see now that I can't blame other people for not pursuing my dreams, if anything my parents and friends were backing me all the was that "mysterious force" was fear. As you'll probably not ever be a gymnast, or jockey, or concert pianist, I'll never be a supermodel (but I'll darn sure act like one), or a pro surfer, or be married to George Clooney...but...

    "it's a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your destiny. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth."
    ~"The Alchemist" Paulo Coelho

    ....and that's how I know now that I can make my dreams come true, even though I may harvest fear within me it's there to challenge me, test my willingness to make my dreams come true. I will make my dream of travel come true. No doubt! haha =)
    Sorry this comment is so long, I get going on these philosophical rants. Your words inspired me =)
    I love you.

    “But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for.” (who do you think this quote is by? duh! Coelho) haha.


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