Last month I took an impromptu trip to New York to visit friends.Since I was only going for a few days, I went childless. While in town I caught up with some of my favorite people and went to all my favorite stomping grounds from when I lived in New York.
Being that I was big and pregnant, and the fact you walk everywhere in NYC, I came back very tired. But I was also something else.
I was refreshed. Revitalized. Re-energized.
Let me explain.
When I was 22 I decided on a whim to move to New York. I had been there the previous year doing an internship. Once that was finished I returned to Oklahoma. For almost a year I tried to get back into the groove of my old life-pre New York. I just couldn't do it. For some reason I couldn't shake the desire to move back, for no other purpose than wanting to live in and explore a city I loved. To get out of my cocoon. To have different experiences. To learn. To grow. It called to me night and day. I could no longer ignore its call.
Much to the (warranted) horror of my parents I packed a bag one day and hopped on a plane to move to the big city. I didn't have much of what you might call a plan. I had a job lined up that didn't pay half of what I needed to survive. I had a friend lined up who let me crash on her couch. That was about it. I was young, naive, and probably a little crazy. But I didn't care. I was living my dream. And loving every minute of it.
From the time we are little we get asked the age old question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" The question intensifies the year you are graduating High School as that's the point of life where you're supposed to have it all figured out. As time moves on the question gets asked less and less until when you're in your 30s, as I am, then you never get asked at all.
By this point you've mostly done all the things society says your "supposed" to do. You've found a career. You've found a spouse. You've also found yourself with a mortgage and avalanche of other bills. You jump on a hamster wheel of getting more, than needing more, to continue to get more. But is there more to life than this?
The reason this trip was so good for the soul was it reconnected me with a girl I had lost touch with. A crazy little 22 year old girl named Sarah, who moved to a big city with 2 luggage bags and not nearly enough money in her bank account. In hind site she might not have had a great plan but she had big dreams. She was reckless in the best possible way. She was fierce. She was brave.
Why did I quit living life that way? Why did I allow life to take me to the place of all the things I "should" have while I stopped pursuing long-held dreams of what I could have?
I wish we would never stop asking each other the question: "what do you want to be when you grow up?"
I wish we never had to "grow-up".
I wish we would never get so comfortable-we forget how much beauty and excitement there can be in our discomfort. In the unknown.
I wish we would continuously long for more, live with passion and dream with boldness.
The question is, can we?
I believe we can, by never forgetting what an adventure life can be. By never forgetting how short our time is. By never allowing the daily grind to get in the way of reckless abandon. Of course we have responsibility but we also have freedom. The freedom to believe there's more, and to pursue that with all we have.
Life was never meant to be boring.
Life is a journey and an incredible one at that.
Let's not ever let the business of life get in the way of living.
Today I give myself permission to be that 22 year old girl, once again. To get reacquainted with her spirit. Her tenacity. Her spunk. To borrow her braveness. To live with her fearlessness.
But most importantly I give myself permission, to never, ever stop dreaming about who it is I want to be, when I grow up.
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