Life is Too Short to Chase One Dream
I love symbols. I'm the type of person who naturally looks for metaphors and connections in all things, so I often use quotes and pictures as visual reminders of my goals. In fact, the cover photo for this post is of the snowy streets of Breckenridge, one of my favorite ski towns. For years, I used to have that photo as the main image on my blog, the wallpaper on my phone, and the background of my computer. It symbolized a dream I was chasing, and I loved the reminder. I live 2 hours from Breckenridge now. I reached the goal, so the symbol is a moot point. For years, I had used that one image to symbolize so many things, and when I reached the goal, I didn't have another picture in place (literally or figuratively). I am learning, slowly but surely, that to live a purposeful life, we need a collage of symbols to keep us moving, not just a single image.
Have you ever taken that test at the eye doctor where you look through a binocular-type contraption to see a tiny picture inside? It usually looks like a long road or a farm, but it's all you can see when your face is pressed up against the black frame. I feel like I have spent my life with my face pressed against a figurative frame. When I get my heart set on something, that is the only thing I can see. I am very good at defining clear, concise plans that don't leave room for error. Unfortunately, life includes a lot of error and a lot of change.
This is the first year of my life that I have ever spent some time living without a specific direction. I have been so good at chasing my dreams for the last 22 years that I never took the time to plan for 23 and beyond. I've had to do a lot of soul-searching, to put it simply, to create a new vision that I never took the time to articulate, and I keep coming back to the idea of a collage.
The bulletin board above my desk at home is full of quotes, images, and sayings that I have scribbled onto post-it notes. There are pictures of my closest friends, a framed copy of my wedding vows, and a succulent plant that I'm pretty sure is dying (you can't win them all). I designed this desk space a few months ago when I realized that I needed two things:
1) a reminder of what I've already done and
2) a vision for where I'm going.
I think both are equally important. It's difficult to create a new direction when you aren't actively reminding yourself of all the ways God has worked in your life, the things you have been through, and the surprises you never thought were possible. More so, these details need to be a part of shaping your new collage.
I know that everyone isn't as literal as I am, but if you've lost sight of where you are going, start with where you have been. Design a literal reminder to keep you focused on the bigger picture, not just what you see when the blinders are on.
Life is far too short to chase one dream, so don't let yourself run short on hoping.