For most of my life, my Ultimate Dream was to live in France and to speak French. I don’t know what brought that idea to my mind– perhaps my love for Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as a child– but nonetheless, I had been dreaming of those things. I announced to my mother at age seven that I wanted to go to France for the New Millenium; I’m not sure what kind of seven year old is so determined, but I knew what I wanted. After that I spent ten years working towards that goal. When I finally accomplished what I set out to do, I found myself at a loss. Accomplishing my dream is an awesome experience, but afterwards, I realized I had no dream quite like it to work for.
I’m one of those people that loves to have some Big Plan for my life. Having a specific Big Goal to work for drives me to be active and do things I love. It serves as motivation for me. Working towards a specific goal gives me a plan, and while I never quite anticipate what would happen if I don’t accomplish what I set out to do, I find that the journey to that place is fulfilling in and of itself.
For the last few years, following France, I haven’t had a specific Ultimate Dream. I’ve had a vague direction, the career path that I am working towards, the Ridiculously Complicated job title that is so perfect for who I am. There is no guarantee of accomplishing that, and working towards such a vague and far-off goal has left me without motivation or much direction.
It’s like I am looking out across a landscape that has this far-off mountain, but I can barely see it above the horizon; it’s obscured by forest and thunderstorms that seem dark and frightening from where I stand. While I have the courage to go forward towards it, and know that I can probably make it to the mountain, all the way up to the top even, I have a long way to go until then. It isn’t a straight line; I don’t have a map to guide me on my way.
That’s not to say it is impossible, but I need a Big Goal that is closer. A way-point along my path to the mountain.
I finally found it. A Big Goal to work towards that isn’t quite the distant, giant mountain. Something large enough that I will have to work to accomplish it, but not big enough that I feel as though it is insurmountable.
I have a new dream, and at long last, I am walking along the path to a way point and the mountain in the distance isn’t looking so far away or scary from here. The breeze is nice through the trees and I am protected from the thunderstorms.