Are You Living Your Dreams?

In my 25 years in this body, I’ve made several choices that have drastically changed the course of my life. For all the different roles I’ve played, I feel as if I’ve lived multiple lives in one.

Thanks to my extremely erratic and varied history, I’ve never doubted that the moment I tire of any aspect of my life, I can change anything or everything in an instant.

hugging a rock
at the ends of the Earth - New Zealand

However, this realization doesn’t exempt me from complacency. Just as it’s easy for a dissatisfied employee to stay at his or her current job because it pays well, it’s easy for me to trudge mindlessly from country to country without asking myself if this is still what I want to do.

In the spirit of New Year’s and its corresponding resolutions, I’m challenging you, as well as myself, to ask yourself this crucial question – are you living the life of your dreams?

Excuses, Shmexcuses

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours. – Richard Bach

Some people believe that we have just one life to live. I personally believe that we have several, though this lifetime is unique in that the Universe is expressing itself as Jasmine, in this body and this era, with these ideals, values, hopes, and dreams.

As this experience is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, it would be a crime to shirk our responsibility of living this life to its fullest.

How strange to use “You only live once” as an excuse to throw it away. – Bill Copeland

There are a million excuses for not finding a job you love, a partner that respects you, losing 20 pounds, trekking through the Amazon, or whatever else it is you fantasize about in the confines of your mind. But are any of them really good enough?

Not Everything Is Easy

While we should do everything superhumanly possible to realize our dreams, this isn’t the easiest life route you could take.

Before becoming the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela dedicated his entire adult life working towards equality and justice for all, and spent 30 years of his life in prison.

Martin Luther King, Jr. suffered countless assaults and abuses, had his house bombed, and was arrested several times before he saw a change in the US and won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Great people don’t do great things because they’re easy. They make history and change lives because they did absolutely everything in their power to turn their dreams into a reality, many times in the face of the most extreme hardships that exist.

Traveling isn’t always easy. I’m subject to all kinds of feelings of frustration, boredom, loneliness, and a general feeling of being lost in the world and belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time. However, I know to the core of my soul that this is the right lifestyle for me, and negative emotions and imagined struggles, like everything else in this world, are completely temporary.

My Dreams This Year

After a personal re-analyzation, I’ve dusted off a few items on my lifelong to do list that have been untouched for too long. As a commitment to myself and my dreams, I’m posting them here to keep myself accountable.

taking photos Angkor Wat
playing photographer in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Photography – Photography is one of my favorite art forms, and one I’ve always been meaning to get into. In 2011, I want to purchase a real camera and take a few courses to learn how to use it.

Learn a Language – Learning Spanish has added an unimaginable depth to my travels in Latin America this year. I have now proven to myself that I’m capable of learning a new language in a relatively short span of time. After all, if Benny can learn a new language in three months, I can manage a new one every year.

Volunteer – After volunteering at a refugee youth and family program in Tampa, I’ve always wanted to volunteer overseas. Due to a mild fear of commitment and general laziness, I’ve left this item undone. 2011 is my year to volunteer!

This is just the beginning of my dream list, but these are three things I feel really excited about accomplishing. What about you – what are your dreams for 2011? Share your thoughts here.

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