“I never thought I’d end up here”, it’s a phrase spoken by recovering addicts, game-show contestants, lost drivers, and Olympic athletes. I’ve said it myself more than a few times, and the phrase has been on my mind quite a bit lately.
So, I’m 25 and single. I just moved into an new apartment, which I’ll be sharing with an 18 and a 19 year old. I have a Bachelor’s Degree but am back in school. I’ve been working at a gas station/liquor and tobacco store for 3 years. I’m applying to Med School for 2013. I’m overweight. I’ve fallen in love with cycling. I wear skinny jeans. I’m in the middle of the fight to break free of my unhealthy manners of living. There are many more things I could say about my current state of being and like the things listed above, some would be positive and others negative.
I've been thinking a lot about where I’d like to be in the future: in a week, in a year, and in a decade. I certainly don’t want to be 30 and still be single, still working at Tobacco Outlet Plus, still dealing with the same crises of life and faith, still living in Eau Claire, and still just talking about my plans for the future. Unfortunately, the only motivation to pursue change lately has been that I don’t want things to stay the way they are.
Thoughts of the future are both exciting and intimidating. I want to get married, have kids, be a pediatrician, serve people with my time and abilities, go on adventures, and start a revolution. The mere thought of these things put a burning in my chest that is like no other. They also scare the hell out of me at times when I think about they will require: time, effort, emotion, and sacrifice.
I want to say, “I never thought I’d end up here” on the heels of success, fulfillment, victory, peace, and accomplishment. To do that I need to dream bigger, catch a vision of my future that will enthrall me, consume my thoughts, set my soul on fire, and inspire my actions. Dreaming itself is an act of faith: daring to envision the man I am meant to be and the things I'm able to accomplish.
Pursuing those dreams is an even riskier endeavor. It will be a journey out of my current state of comfort and confidence into great unknown. It will be fraught with failure and opportunities to give up, settle, and deny the dreams ever existed in the first place. It’s a ultra-marathon, not a sprint. It will at times feel like it’s killing me, and in fact it might.
Will I dream big enough to make the struggle worth fighting, the journey worth taking?
Will pursue my dreams with unrelenting passion and commitment, regardless of personal cost?
Will success and getting “what I want” ultimately be what matters or will it be that I committed to striving for something better instead of resigning to the current state of things?
This conversation came to mind while I was writing this:
Gandalf: You’ll have a tale or two to tell when you get back.
Bilbo: Can you promise that I will come back?
Gandalf: No. But if you do, you will not be the same.
--Trailer for the upcoming movie The Hobbit