Journeys or Destinations

In my childhood, I dreamed that when I grew up, I would marry a train conductor, so I could, in my imagination, travel for free! I shared this dream with my sister and a close friend. The friend said she had a feeling, that in the future more people would be flying to travel. I should aim higher – literally, to become a pilot’s wife rather than a train conductor’s.

What my friend didn’t understand was that I truly loved travel so much, that distance was part of the beauty and excitement. I loved the feeling of getting to a dream place little by little, so the excitement would build and last. Every dream destination felt like a pilgrimage to me. Why rush?

When I grew into an adolescent, I updated my dream. It felt that staying in a place for longer was better than keeping moving, so I dreamt of marrying an archeologist – someone who would go and dig deep into the dirt and find traces of old houses streets and villages. That perspective gave me goosebumps. All my life, I have always loved ruins. I never thought about becoming an archeologist myself though, either because I had low self-evaluation in academics or the idea of travelling for work actually bored me. Just like when I was younger, the idea of me myself controlling a long train never came to my mind.

Maybe it was simply because I am a girl. Back in the day, boys’ dreams were to become someone, and girls’ dreams were to marry that someone.

Very soon, I found myself a young woman having a 9 to 5 office job. Now my dream had been updated one more time. I needed to marry a higher-up position businessman. Hopefully he’d be sent overseas to work, with allowances for his family. Hmmm… Which country would we start in first, as living abroad expatriates?

Life seemed to have another plan for me. None of those dreams came true. It felt like one disappointment after another to the mind of the child, the adolescent, and the youth.

Now at age 53, looking back, regardless of those disappointments, life is making perfect sense. Strangely but undoubtfully I have travelled a lot… over the lands, seas, cities, villages, ruins… Just never what I imagined the means to be. And funnily, I am mostly bringing my partner with me.

If I could have a dialogue with the younger versions of myself, I’d tell them, “Keep your dreams tight to your heart, and release the means. What good is it to marry a train conductor (or a pilot for that matter), an archeologist, or a successful businessman if all you need will come to you anyway? Release the need to know how, then it becomes no matter how.

No matter how the dreams come, they will come. Funny, funny life.

Join us on June 4 for three hours of exploration of how the future is not far from the present, so you release the conditions and means to the end.

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