There is something so soothing about watching the waves; small ones lap gently on the beach while large ones crash furiously over treacherous rocks, leaving white foam and tide pools in their wake. Poetically, the ocean seems self-cleaning, constantly changing, spitting out shells and garbage and mermaids, sucking sand and unsuspecting tourists out to sea. Ok, so my poem is kind of twisted. (Also, mermaids aside, I am well aware that the health of our oceans has been on a constant and steady decline for years.)
My soul belongs in the mountains, so this ocean thing is kind of a tricky analogy for me (I want SO BADLY to make a “fish out of water” pun, but can’t seem to work it in properly, so you get this parenthetical instead. You’re welcome.); I feel like my whole life is somehow caught right on that line between sand and sea, being pulled both ways at every moment, trying to straddle two competing forces and stay upright. I’m not just talking about a split between my home here in Arizona and my heart-home in Salt Lake, although I’m sure that division is a contributing factor. I feel like I’m waiting for something big to happen, waiting for forward movement, just waiting. I feel anxious and kind of discombobulated most of the time, restless even, not sure what to do or say. Sometimes I’ll be on the verge of a weepy break-down for DAYS at a time. This is…not a normal state of being for me, I feel cramped and irritated in my own skin. This lack of confidence is a really uncomfortable admission for me, and I wish there was an easy fix…emphasis on the EASY part.
I know, I know. Life is not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. Any major shift or movement requires a lot of consistency, small and progressive goal making and achieving, and a long-term goal to work towards. Maybe that’s my problem right now…for most aspects of my life I do not have a long-term goal, no guiding star to help me navigate. So here I am, stuck in the waves, without any real direction or urgency for getting unstuck.
The Cheshire Cat says that if you don’t know where you want to get to, then it doesn’t much matter which way you go. So, here I am, all Alice in Wonderland-ing my way through the days and weeks (and months?) feeling like I’m wandering in circles and starting to tire of the endless journey. The last few weeks I have kept thinking about ways to pull out of this wander-y funk, and I tend to gravitate towards extravagant grand adventure type solutions. (Road Trip to Prince Edward Island! Or Alaska! Hike a Dozen 14,000′ Mountain Peaks!! Spend a Year Doing A Thing To See If It Makes Me A Better Person!!) Each suggestion seems more maniacal than the last. But, really, my restlessness in daily living will be right here waiting for me when I get back.
I need some long-term goals, Life Goals that can help reshape and redirect my actions and modify my behavior. That’s a very fancy way of saying: I Need A Plan. I hardly recall a time in my adult life where I didn’t have a solid idea of where I wanted to be in two or five years, but suddenly when I try and conjure that up, I draw a blank. I mean, I’ll be here, in this house in the desert, with Blue Eyes and (on occasion) his kids. But that’s all I’ve got. And, truly, that is not enough for me. A healthy marriage and a safe & comfortable home is a really solid base, for sure. But I need more than that.
For my own sanity, I need to fix this. I need to find some long-term goals that will stretch me and be something to work towards. I am actually kind of embarrassed to admit that I don’t have any solid long-term dreams right now. Embarrassed and sad, I am legitimately weepy. I don’t quite recognize this version of myself, the sort of sedentary content-with-the-status-quo person.
Do YOU have long-term life goals right now? In your relationship? With your family? Finances? Work life? Personal life? Athletic life? Academic life? What do you do to remember how to dream big?