Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The One With Oprah and the Great Barrier Reef #slice2013

Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here

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Last night, when I woke up at 1:00 in the morning with a burst of energy to start really mapping out plans for my short term and long term goals (I know it's crazy, but this is fun to me!), I pulled out a list of life accomplishments I wrote out when I was in college. I distinctly remember sitting at the front desk of the university library where I worked and choosing 30 items to put on this list...mostly because Oprah said I should do it...but also because I felt like I had so much of my life in front of me and it was fun to dream of all the things I hoped to experience. 

A lot of them I have crossed off, like running a marathon, volunteering for Special Olympics and owning a new car (I was still in college...this was a big deal at the time!). But I also realized that many I haven't even thought about in a long time. Some of these are going on a hot air balloon ride, backpacking through Europe, seeing the aurora borealis and hiking a volcano. 

It struck me that so many of the things on my list were places to go and things to see and less things for me to accomplish personally. Lately, I've been thinking so much about what I really want to do with my life. I'm still not entirely sure but I definitely have different ideas from when I was in college. I'm more focused on a vision of what I would love my life to be and all the baby steps to get me there. Being able to really narrow and focus on this vision has definitely come from everything I have experienced since I first wrote my list. I can also see a balance between goals I have set for myself and the fun challenges I have outlined in my Un-Boring List. Obviously, I'm a different person from who I was 13-14 years ago. It's pretty amazing to see how I have evolved and how that manifests in my goals and dreams. 

One thing that has definitely stayed the same is that I want to live life to the fullest. When I remember my 21-year-old self writing down her life's dreams, I can still feel the sense of hope and excitement for what was yet to come. I remember writing down crazy things like scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia because, why not? Why not write something big and crazy down? What was there to lose in truly dreaming? Oprah helped me feel like there wasn't anything too wild to dream about. As I mapped out plans for 2014 and 2015 and put together my 2014 Bookish Un-Boring List, I have the same sense of hope and excitement. 

I feel strongly now that it doesn't matter what dreams I have - whether they change or stay the same - whether they are big and adventurous or small and satisfying - all that matters is that my dreams are my own. This is my life to live and being true to myself is so important. That said, I wish you a very wonderful New Year's Eve and I hope you find yourself thinking of all the wonderful things in store for you in 2014 and beyond. I hope you find dreams that are perfectly your own to hold onto and make into a reality! 

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