I met an old friend last night for coffee. Those types of meetings can be intimidating at first. You wonder what in the world you’re going to say, and you wonder if maybe, just maybe, your life really hasn’t been that interesting.
After about an hour and a half of chatting, though, sometimes you realize that not only is life just fine, but you both are doing things right– you’re living.
As an obvious over-achiever, I’ve spent too much of my life worried about whether my work was perfect, not just good enough. I’m talking about at school, in dance, in music, in writing, in relationships, etc. I have never been perfect at any of these, and only recently have I come to terms with the fact that I don’t need to be perfect (or even that good) at what I enjoy to make it enjoyable.
Take dance, for example. I’m 99% sure I have spacial-relation problems. Like, if you asked me to describe where my arm is in relation to my body, I would get confused and pause (like I just did because really, who asks that question) and probably flail around a bit. I have a hard time with dance, but I love it. Those of you who saw me dance in college are probably thinking, “But ‘Dith, you are a good dancer!” It took me at least 10 years to get as good as someone who’s a “natural” is. I’m alright with that. It just means I have a lot of room to learn.
In fact, I just signed up for a beginning swing course at OSU. Yes, I’m going to supplement my graduate education with a lot of dancing. I’m also thinking about getting involved with the salsa community in Corvallis. If there’s one thing that I can do in dance, it’s shakin’ these hips. Whoo.
Anyway, focus. What I’m trying to get at here is, this is my life, and I am living it as best as I can. Even though everyone and their dog seems to be getting married this year, or buying a house, or having a baby, that’s not on the “To-Do” list. The only item on that list that’s on my “30 Before 30” list is “get married.” And if it happens when I’m 31, so be it.
I have graduate school ahead of me. I have a field of study that resonates deeply with my intellect and my soul; I am entering a field where every day, I can make a difference in someone’s life (if I choose). That’s my purpose. I’m happy with life right now, but I want to do something that matters. Why? I couldn’t tell you for sure (Super Ninja knows I’ve tried to put it into words, and I’m pretty sure it confused him even more). I’ll work on that this summer. Lord knows I have the time.
My dreams are not your dreams. I want to go back to school. I want to travel the world. I want to take pictures and turn my wanderlust and nerdiness into a story. I’m not going to give up my dreams because those around me are “settling down.” Those are their dreams, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
But for now, I’ve got to keep this passion alive, my drive to explore, to learn, to be more than I currently am.
…it’s going to be a great summer.