Goals. Dreams. Aspirations. We all have them, or do we? At least we are expected to. Especially young people are so often asked about their future and their plans for it. Sometimes it feels like we’re supposed to have this big book already written and ready to carry out and those of us who don’t have it that big are maybe considered a bit lazy or just lost. Sometimes how determined you are seems to be like a measurement of a good person. It’s silly, when you think of it.
Of course dreams are one of the most important things in life. Life would be a bit too real without them, too black and white, wouldn’t it? And for me the most unrealistic dreams are the funniest ones, the ones that I know that will never happen unless some pretty little fairy comes down from heaven and lets me wish anything. But that’t not so likely to happen. “Dreams do come true if you just work hard enough” or something like that is a very overused phrase, a bit of a cliché. Luckily some do and even if not completely, they get you halfway somewhere and maybe help you realize what it is that you really want. And in fact, why should all your dreams come true? Wouldn’t that be a bit dull as well, like a Cinderella story all over again? When you think of it, isn’t the fun part exactly the dreaming? Playing with crazy ideas?
Although dreams and goals are considered purely positive things I think there are some traps as well into which we often fall. Planning your life beforehand may be fun for some and make them feel good but if we make very exact plans and have our future all laid on the table, we may miss one thing. Life. You can almost forget about it and it’s quite natural of course if you’re busy and have a lot on your plate all the time. But when you’re only focusing on the paths that you have already planned for yourself you may miss some opportunities that can be a bit hidden but meant exactly for you.
I think people often also forget that their lives change whether they like it or not, sometimes very unexpectedly and in surprising ways. We think of life as a stable table (hey, that rhymes!) on which we can build whatever we want but when things change we sometimes just can’t. And then we often get scared, all those plans and thoughts need to be done again. We see change as a bad thing, as an end of some sort. But it’s not just that when you think about it for a while.
So what I’m trying to say is a terrible cliche, please try to bear with me, I don’t like this myself, but to live in the moment. I literally just spent 15 minutes thinking about another way to say that abused phrase, couldn’t come up with any, sorry! 😉 And I’m not saying you should give up your plans and dreams and all that wonderful stuff, but maybe just let them a bit loose. Or don’t grow extremely fond of them. So that you don’t suffocate, to them or to the pressure to have everything figured out that’s often coming from outside.
Maybe we could make these little tiny plans: to see a friend some day this week, go to that art exhibition with mom, think of something to do in the summer. And find things that you already have and those that are coming soon and realize how great they are: Just less than two months and school ends and summer starts. I’m going to see a bunch of old childhood friends next weekend and I get to bake a cake. I have a short day tomorrow so maybe I’ll read those two newest issues of a traveling magazine that are laying on my table. Maybe I should go and see grandma next month. And meet up with my friend to plan our trip to Israel next summer. Or arrange my closet and sort out old clothes. Okay, maybe that last one isn’t that glorious but I’ll feel good afterwards.
Grab the life you’re living, hold on to that and see where it takes you. And then let go. Use it as a swing to get to even better places. And dream, dream about things that will never happen and things that most likely will, or something in between. Dream about places and people and tastes and smells and feelings. And if things change and mess up your plans, let them. Make a big wonderful mess and start again. Because nothing lasts and that’s good. Because if it did, this life would be quite boring to live.
Btw. If someone is wondering, these pics are from last summer from Tuscany, Italy. The Finnish spring was being not pretty now so I found these to be more suitable for this little text 🙂