Grand Hopes for 2014
In culmination of the stroke of a new year and my recent watching of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I feel both inspired and trapped at the same time. Inspired because the start of new year brings hope of new adventures; and trapped because the enormity of my hopes are so grand that my realistic self is inevitable.
Last year I turned twenty-five, which was a sort of milestone for me. Consequently, I thought a lot about my life, analyzing where I am and where I thought I’d be. Mostly I am very pleased. I am still very much in love with the man I married almost four years ago; together we have a beautiful home and two sweet dogs that I adore; we travel several times a year; we have many wonderful friends; and we live healthy, active lifestyles.
In my short life I have visited four continents and spent time in six countries. I have maintained a job for about ten years and experienced love and family in three different church homes. I have prayed at the Western wall, taught scripture to orphan girls, and rode on a motorbike through the rainforest mountain tops. I have swam in three different oceans, walked through the stunning Austrian gardens, and rode a boat on the Sea of Galilee. I have been to Disney World, ran a half marathon, and showered in a waterfall. I have ridden on horses, elephants, and camels. I have taught English in a foreign country, traveled to Europe by myself, and fallen in love.
Yet there are still three gaping holes that persist, three things I will always long to do. The first would be to go back to school. I have always wanted to finish getting my degrees, but it has taken me more than five years to discern which major. Next, I will always long to have a career that I am passionate about. Obviously there will be aspects of any work that I will not enjoy, but I want to wake up excited about the work that I do and confident that I’m carrying out something I was created for. And lastly, I will always want to live outside of Texas, no matter how brief or long. Who knows? Perhaps all three of these ambitions are linked together somehow, in some way?
But while we are on the subject, there are some other things that create a yearning in me… I would also love to ride a gondola in Venice, learn to speak another language fluently, and go to London King Cross Railway. I want to tour Ireland’s castles, go on an Alaskan cruise, and go skydiving. I want to travel Europe by train, learn to play the violin, and embark on Paul’s Missionary Journey surrounding the Mediterranean. I want to learn fencing, see New York at Christmas, and tour Tuscan vineyards.
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” (Author Unknown)
To me, to live a life that matters is to see life through a wider lens. Each new place I go and new experience I make, I see my Creator in a fuller, more accurate way. How unsatisfying it seems to limit oneself to only looking at the bottom corner of a masterpiece, as if covering your eyes to restrict seeing anymore of its splendor.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17)