Imagining Your Ideal Life…
When we are younger, we constantly daydream about the things we want to be when we grow up, the places we want to go, and the things we want to see. Since we have not yet developed an accurate sense of our own mortality or the inevitability that we will ultimately run out of time, these dreams are our reality…we believe in them with the same certainty that we believe that water is wet or that the sun is bright. Somewhere along the way those dreams fade and are replaced with what we think are more “realistic” dreams. Dreams like traveling to the moon, becoming a veterinarian, or becoming President of the United States are replaced with what we deem to be more attainable dreams. To be fair, there are those that do not lose sight of their dreams, but we all know that, somewhere along the way, most of us do. I have often wondered why that is…
I am guilty of losing sight of my dreams. To be fair I cannot complain, I received a good education and I have a job that I love as an admissions counselor. I can easily see myself doing this forever…BUT (and there’s always a but isn’t there?) looking back I wonder where I lost sight of my dreams of working with endangered wildlife. By analyzing that I also began to wonder, why do people in general lose sight of their dreams?
The Perfect Age?
A few weeks ago I was driving an elderly couple to the Lexington airport as a favor to a friend. They were from Florida as part of local program and a staff member associated with the program, whom I am friends with and whom was to be their original driver, asked me if I would drive them. I have a soft spot for the elderly so I happily agreed. On the drive there, the gentleman, who was in his 70s, asked me my age. Upon hearing it he said “that’s the perfect age”. Before I could ask why I was the perfect age, he explained that 10 years from now I will look back and wish I was this age again, and that 10 years after that I would do the same, and so on.
I had to smile because it made sense, and I told him as much. He said that he regrets not doing all of the things that he wanted to do, things he could have done but simply did not make the time to do. I listened intently on the drive from Berea to Lexington as he spoke of the things he had done in his life, how he met his wife, etc. His wife didn’t talk as much…simply offering the occasional reaffirming nod or smile. In sensed that she had heard this story millions of times : ) I dropped them off at the airport, helped them carry their luggage inside, and wished them a safe trip home. The woman gave me a hug and said something very reassuring to me that I shall take with me forever.
The entire drive home I thought about what the gentleman had said. He was right. I often catch myself wishing I were in my younger 20s again so I could have “more time” to accomplish certain things. Why do we do that? Why does the 25 year-old wish they were 21 again? Why does the 36 year-old wish they were 25 again? I suppose the easy answer is that we all romanticize the past…it’s human nature. But why don’t we romanticize the present? I don’t have the answer to that but I do vow to cherish the present in a way that I never have before.
We should all remind ourselves that today we are the perfect age to chase our dreams. It’s the only age you have, which actually makes it the best age for you. Let’s face it, you’re 10 years ahead of the “you” that in ten years will wish he or she was your age again.