I don’t think I knew how much I loved traveling until my professor had us do a writing activity where we just wrote without stopping for two minutes. If you haven’t heard of “stream of consciousness writing,” it’s basically the process of writing all your ideas and thoughts down without stopping. As someone who edits the current sentence I’m writing, it’s not a practice I’m used to. However, I believe this form of writing allows you to write without worrying about what you’re saying; it allows you to be honest and raw and there’s something powerful about that.
Anyways, after two minutes of writing I looked back and was shocked that most of what I wrote was centered on traveling and exploring the world:
“I would travel the world and I would go to Greece and Italy and climb mountains and lay on beaches and eat all kinds of different food and buy all kinds of little trinkets. I would go to concerts and festivals and sing and dance and laugh and be happy. I wouldn’t worry about anything or worry about any of my responsibilities. I would just do what I’ve always wanted to do. No inhibitions no fears no worries no being scared. I would live life like I’ve always wanted to live. Free.”
How easy would it be to just forget about all responsibilities and take a break from life for a while? Do what you truly wanted to do? Go after your passions and focus on your own dreams and self? Be free?
I think it’s okay to have goals and passions. They allow you to set your sights on something and allow you to work hard to achieve it. Sometimes, they can break you. Sometimes, they force you to push yourself and be even better than you were before.
But while I think it’s okay to know your goals and passions, I also think it’s okay to not know what they are. Just because you don’t know what you want to do with your life right now or have some big plan to change the world doesn’t mean you are less valuable than someone who does. Or more boring. Just because you don’t have big plans during this season of your life doesn’t mean that you won’t be used in amazing ways later on.
Think about it. Pinpointing what your one passion is for the rest of your life right now is kind of crazy. It’s like picking a major for life. I changed my second major about four different times before finally dropping it. So, just imagine if I was forced to pick a major that would determine my whole life.
A passion is not a plan; it’s a feeling. And feelings change. There’s such a cultural imperative in our society to choose your passion and follow it, but I think it’s okay if you don’t know what your passion is. And I think it’s okay if it changes.
Take your time in this season of not knowing what you want to do and figure out what you’re good at, what you enjoy, what you hope to be good at. Even though you may not think you’re good at anything (I have thought for the longest time that I’m the most boring person ever), I believe we all have gifts. It could be that you have great administrative qualities and can multitask very efficiently, leading you to complete tasks at a faster pace than others. Or it could be that you love talking and are super persuasive, leading you to go into sales or become a teacher.
I’ve found that one of my gifts is writing. I’m using that gift in my current role as a copywriter for a media agency and in this blog. One of my dreams is to write a book (maybe a formalized edition of this blog) and get it published one day. Who knows. That might change in a day or month or year.
Although I have dreams, I’ve learned that my fulfillment comes from one constant thing – that’s my relationship with Jesus. I can write an unbelievable essay and feel great about the grade I get or finish reading a book within a week or shed those few extra pounds and high-five myself. But the feeling is fleeting. For all of those. I place all my effort and worth into achieving something or becoming a better me, but even though the initial feeling I get when I achieve that is great and exciting, making me feel accomplished, I’m always left asking, “okay, so now what?”
Maybe you’re like that. You nailed that pitch at work or worked to get that raise, but after accomplishing those things, you still feel yourself wanting more, needing more.
I could choose to only follow my dreams and still be left yearning for more and never being satisfied or I could choose to follow something much greater and find my significance in something much more powerful. I could choose to travel the world and follow my own dreams or I could give my plans and dreams up to Him and seek after the vision He has for my life.
Regardless if we get to experience the plans and dreams that God has for us, I am confident that I serve a God of great abundance and that our value and fulfillment come from His life for us and His dreams, not ours. Who knows — maybe that means I will get to travel the world one day. Maybe it’ll be even greater than that. Until then, here’s to dreaming. Dreaming big dreams, dreaming small dreams, dreaming impossible dreams. Here’s to thinking. Thinking about endless possibilities and opportunities. And here’s to following. Following not my dreams, but the One who knows my dreams better than I ever could.