Ladies and gentlemen, we are going a bit off the reservation; however, I feel that it is necessary for me to publish this. It creates a level of commitment that I won’t necessarily experience if this stays tucked away in my journal. For today, we talk of life goals.
I read about and experience how my favorite fictional and historical characters reach their dreams and meet their goals and all the hardships that come with these journeys, but what about my own?
I was recently watching a YouTube video where this guy asks his audience, “What are your life goals?” The question startled me because my only answer was: I don’t know. I don’t really have any.
This was shocking and upsetting. I used to have life goals, and the reason I don’t now is because I reached them! That’s great news, but now what? Is this where regret and complacency set in? Do I spend the next 50 years coasting? I’m too young to not do more or go further, but what is the “more” and where is it?
I set yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. These generally consist of finishing an afghan, trying a new recipe, and saving x-number of dollars. These are not things to sneeze at. I will be super proud of myself when I complete my half-marathon and save the $6,000 I’ve set out to save. But these are not life goals.
When I was younger the goals were simple but big:
- Graduate High School
- Go to college
- Graduate college
- Get a job
- Make it on my own in the big city
- Find someone to spend the rest of my days with.
And to an outcast 16-year-old girl in the backwoods of Iowa, these were very daunting, but by the age of 28 I had accomplished them all. I honestly accomplished them a lot sooner than I thought I would, particularly the last two. But I’ve realized that this means it’s time for a new list.
When I sat down to create this list I realized that I actually already knew what I wanted to do for life goals. They all just required either a lot of work/learning or conquering a fear. Putting them all on one piece of paper was exhilarating and terrifying, but absolutely necessary. Because up to this point I had been ignoring them. So here is what I’ve creatively dubbed “The List” in no order of importance:
- Run the 50-mile ultra-marathon in Antelope Canyon
- Run a race in a different country (the crazier the place, the better)
- Get paid for my writing
- Tap dance in an actual tap show
- Have a life where waking up to an alarm is unusual or unnecessary
- Kayak in the Mediterranean
- Kayak in the Amazon
- Get a tattoo
- Learn the violin
- Learn French (as in actually speak it)
- Take voice lessons
- Successfully graph a tree
- Sell a painting
- Travel to Morocco
- Visit Tibet
- Pick a vacation spot either by throwing a dart at a map or taking the next available flight at the airport
- Drive a super car
- Learn to drive a manual transmission
- Go SCUBA diving
- Hike a volcano
I can see many viewing this itemization more as a bucket list than a life goal list, but to me they are all life goals because I have to research, plan, save, learn, work, and/or conquer a fear to complete them. For instance, simply writing down “take voice lessons” seems easy enough. You live in Chicago. All you have to do is find a teacher, agree on a price, and show up. However, it’s not really that easy.
My biggest fear is singing in front of other people especially with the concept of actually trying to be on key. I like singing but being comfortable enough to do it on my own with a stranger to get better is fucking terrifying. And learning a language well enough to have a full-blown conversation is not a small task.
So, this is my life goal list. It will evolve and change. I will hopefully add to it and subtract from it as the years go by. While I love reading other people’s stories it’s high time I start living my own as well. I don’t want to spend my life wishing it was something else or have my only goal be to make it through to the following Friday. I genuinely want to live my life in a way where adventure and new things are the norm not the exception.
Okay your turn, what are you life goals?