I've always had big dreams in my life. Even as an adult, when we tend to realize that we can't possibly accomplish all of our dreams and tend to pare them down to a realistic bunch, I've found it very difficult to stop dreaming big, to stop believing that anything is possible. I mean, obviously I'm not going to be an astronaut or something, but that makes sense, because I really don't want to be an astronaut (I'm afraid of heights, flying, enclosed spaces ... so... yeah). But for those dreams I still want to achieve -- I have a hard time, even in my 30s, telling myself to give up on them.
And this really is my Achilles' heel: at the same time I'm typing things like the paragraph above, at the same time I refuse to give up hope that I can accomplish my dreams, I'm telling myself every single day that they're not really possible. I'm starting from a place in my mind where I'm too old to accomplish anything. That I should just give up. It's too hard. That my life won't allow for actually making things happen. My life has already been decided. The path in front of me does not allow for flights of fancy, says my head. It's done. You've lost all your chances.
I need to make that voice shut up. It's killing my spirit.
I want to get a masters degree in something.
I want to visit all 50 states.
I want to spend a summer in Europe roaming around photographing music festivals.
I want to visit as many countries as possible during my lifetime.
I want to grow all of my own vegetables in a backyard/front yard garden.
I mean, that list -- it's just of things. That isn't really the point.
I am so tired of telling myself I can't do anything. Why am I so into disempowering myself? Shouldn't I be over this by now? Don't people usually learn the art of self-empowerment in their early 20s? These don't seem hard for most people to accomplish -- these specific things, I know many people who have accomplished them already. Who knows if I'd even enjoy some of these (maybe I'm actually going to be a terrible gardener, you never know!) and maybe I would hate living in a foreign country and maybe I wouldn't feel like getting a masters degree was worth my time, in the end (in fact, that's the one I waffle on the most these days). I'm just so tired of telling myself I can't have what I want just because it seems unlikely, or because "at my age" I should just accept my lot in life and give up on the things that sound wild or crazy, or because "I just shouldn't."
Why the heck not? And how did this mindset get into my head in the first place?
But, a caveat. This really does not mean I'm not happy with what I do have in my life.
It's a completely separate thing. And that's important to note.
I have a really good life. I'm extremely privileged and I'm not denying that. My everyday life is that of a privileged person who has accomplished a fair amount, all things considered. If anything I have an embarrassing amount of love and material items and opportunities in my life right now, and I don't take that for granted. I just really want to start learning how to finally take my life by the horns, and learn how to take advantage of all of the great stuff around me and available to me in life. So many of you reading this are the people who inspire me to be the best Amber I can be, because it sure seems like you're being your best selves. You're doing cool stuff and have seemingly unflappable confidence in areas where I'm still learning to walk.
I don't know that this is really the way I thought this blog post would go, but here it is.
I've been having all these realizations recently that I've built a cage around myself, and it's all fake, none of it is real. I've spent so much of my life believing that the universe is preventing me from doing the things I want to do, when in fact, it's an illusion inside my head. I want to do something about this so passionately. I have been trying so hard every day these last few months to catch myself when I'm making up reasons why I can't do something, or putting myself back in that box where I have no free will for no reason. I think about it all the time. I really feel like it's the key to moving beyond so many of the issues I've been struggling to work through these last few years.
It's a bit scary to put any of my real issues out there on the internet, of course because I fear being misconstrued or judged, and maybe I won't even publish this. I don't know.
Actually, I have decided to publish this. Because who cares? They're just my thoughts. And also, it's not like I'm the first person who has ever felt this way.