What do I want?
Over a birthday lunch with a wise friend this week I was sharing my frustration with my latest read, Jon Acuff’s ‘Start’. See the book is built on the pursuit of your biggest dream. What you would be awesome at. The readers digest version is that he wants you to identify what your major win would be and then start. That simple. Move forward. Begin.
My problem is a I don’t know what I want. I have a million ideas and twice that many interests. I could pick a different career every month for the rest of my life and not grow bored of trying new things.
Toni, my friend, had a surprising response. She said, ‘Becca, you’re doing what you want’. She reminded me that I own a home (a childhood dream of mine), I’m working at a church I love with people I adore, I’m leading a bible study, I’m traveling, I’m writing. I am doing the things I want to be doing. She’s right. This is the life I sat and wrote that I wanted in my twenties and I’m living it.
I often look around and I’m saddened by my peers who are always pushing off doing what they really want. They’re not traveling. They’re not learning. They’re not growing. They are simply trying to survive.
I’ve been there. Any of you been following my journey since my days of working 3am-7am AND 8-5 everyday? That’s what it took me to get out of debt and I would very much describe that season as ‘surviving’. I walked through that year much like a zombie. I survived on sheer will. Mind over matter. Day in and day out was a grind to pay for my (financial) mistakes and to pave the way to awesome.
I survived and eventually you might even say I’ve thrived. Five years later I’m writing to you from the couch of my own home, where I have managed to live almost four years still debt free other than my mortgage, and happily in my third career since college (and only working 40 hours a week, finally). I have 61 books and 60% of the bible into this year and I’m (as you can read) back at my writing after a brief reprieve. I shared a week ago that one of my highs for 27 was traveling to 2 new cities and 1 new country this year. This is what I wanted and that tagline on my blog? I mean it. I am in love with my life.
Still, as I’ve continued to read start I keep wondering what my big thing is. Do I want to own my own business? Do I want to live in Europe for a few years? Should I become a flight attendant and try to make it to every country? Do I want to write a book? The truth is, I want many of those things. Worse still what I want is growing daily. Not out of discontentment for the season I’m in but because as I’ve allowed myself to dream and been able to achieve those dreams it’s given the confidence to keep dreaming and to stop limiting myself.
Jon Acuff calls this ‘being more awesome, more often’. That’s what I want. I’m not ready to sell my condo, quit my job, and live out of a backpack. I’m also not ready to limit myself by saying I have one end all, be all dream.
So for now, here are a few of my biggest dreams so that I can work at being more awesome, more often:
– travel to all 50 states
– visit one new country every year
– pay off my home
– get an MBA
– own my own business (one day)
And because everyone should have one goal that’s out of reach but worth pursuing: read every book in the world.
I don’t know all of the things that I want. And I think I’ve spent much of my life jealous of people who know what their one thing is. Of the kids who knew in high school they wanted to be doctors and now are. I’ve never had that. I’ve never wanted just one thing. I’ve always been changing and evolving. I’m insatiably curious.
What I love though is that as I’ve slowly let myself try for a few things it’s given me the courage to go bigger and bigger. To dream again. And to stop trying to fit myself in someone else’s perfectly planned box.
I don’t have one thing but I can still be more awesome, more often.
‘All this time I was finding myself and I, didn’t know I was lost’ – Avicii