LIVIN’ THE Dream

So, here I am living overseas. Definitely not what or where I dreamed I’d be 10 years ago in college, or even after grad school, okay a 9 months ago…but here I am. Admiring Singlutionary’s perspective on such matters, I solicted her insight here…what/why/how do we live the life we desire?

I admire Special K and am honored to be writing a post for her site. I admire her for her her 101 things in 1001 days, for being a satisfied single, for writing, for traveling her own path, for living this joyful healthy life and constantly stretching herself. And I really admire her for up and moving to a different country all on her own.

There was a time when I wouldn’t think that moving to another country across the ocean was such an accomplishment.

A couple days ago I was looking through archived emails from the early days of hotmail. I had only saved my favorites but I still found what I wanted: an email from my best friend placing the month and year in which I decided to move to Utah after college. I forwarded the email to her and she replied “We were so idealistic and had big dreams”. I had felt the same way in reading that email: Our dreams had seemed so simple and easy to achieve.

And then I began to wonder. What happened to that simplicity? Why does the thought of moving to another country intimidate me NOW when it most likely didn’t intimidate me then?

There were a couple things that nobody had warned me about when I was 19. Nobody prepared me for going alone in the world. I thought I’d always have the full support of my family, the admiration of my peers, the companionship of my friends. But sometimes the money runs out, family member’s get old, peers follow different paths or disappear into drugs and friends experience their own griefs and joys which sometimes can not be shared.

For a long long time, my best companion was my Utah friend. I moved to Utah so that we could forge a path to a land where we forever made midnight deliveries of matzo balls wrapped in xmas paper and other random wonders, all while saving the world from poverty and racism and hate.

But shortly after I moved to Utah she met her husband and shortly after I left, they married. And I found myself going solo, first in Wyoming and then back in California and finally in Texas. And I never stopped wanting a companion to shine a light through the confusion, to partner with me against the basics of life.

In those intensely lonely and frightening moments when I found myself to be the only traveler on my journey with only my gut to guide me, I always wanted a boyfriend. Even now, to comfort myself, I sometimes imagine my high school sweetheart. I try to think of what he would say and try to hear him saying it, gentle and calm and capable and comforting.

What I didn’t know when I was 19 is that even folks who have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a husband or a wife or a partner or sex-in-the-city type friends, still have personal moments of deep deep loneliness and confusion. Even the most ambitious and successful and dreaming-scheming-over-achievers go their darkest moments feeling entirely alone. I always thought that if I had a companion I would never feel misunderstood or alone.

In choosing to pursue my dreams, I have again and again found myself in a new place or with new interests which created a gulf of experience between me and those who knew me best. In order to live the life I’ve dreamed of, I have learned to be my own kindred spirit, my own confidant and my own inspiration. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the support of kindred spirits or that I don’t confide in my mom or that other folks don’t inspire me. Nor does it mean that I wouldn’t welcome new companionship.

I think that my Utah friend, who is married and has two babies might agree. In order to pursue your dreams, you have to know yourself. And nobody else can do that for you, no matter how long you’ve known each other or how close you’ve become.

So, I guess I find K’s move abroad to be so spectacular because I know that it is not my dream at this moment. I can’t comprehend having the energy and guts and passion to forge my way in a foreign land. That might be because my dream right now is about putting down roots and staying put (something I had a hard time with when I was younger). But I still admire it and can’t wait to read more about her adventures.

What are your adventures, your dreams?

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5 thoughts on “LIVIN’ THE Dream

  1. I am late in thanking you, but I want to let you know how much I appreciated your comment on my blog! I all too quickly get down on myself for my diet coke habit, because otherwise I think I make very healthy choices. But you are right – 80% is better than when I was a kid!! I guess we just have to do what we can….we only get one life. 🙂

    I’m excited to follow you on your new adventure overseas!

  2. Wow, that is a great post. I’ve been married for 3.5 years and have been together with my husband for 7, and I can tell you that that married people absolutely have moments of extreme loneliness.

    It makes me think of two situations I can recall distinctly.

    In one, I was in high school and I was doing something with my parents, and all I could think about is how much I wish I had a boyfriend to be with. All I wanted -desperately- was someone who would choose to love me.

    In the second, I had just married my husband and moved across the country. I had my man who loved me very much and yet I was consumed with loss from moving far away from my parents for the first time.

    We never know where life will take us, and we have to view all the twists and turns as part of a big adventure. I hope my next big adventure will be to have children, but, as with finding love, having children tends to thwart all of our “plans”.

  3. Gotta agree with Singlutionary–Special K, you rock for picking up and moving across the ocean to follow your dreams! It’s a prospect I find both alluring and intimidating, so I completely admire the guts and determination it must take to make it a reality.

    What I really like about the Singlutionary’s post is how she acknowledges that even a significant other isn’t a panacea for loneliness. In fact, sometimes boyfriends have made me feel more alone due to the gulf between my expectations of support and empathy and their inability to meet them. Loneliness is just a part of life, one that affects everybody, and the answer to it isn’t a specific person but how you choose to respond to it.

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