You find yourself in a peculiar situation when you’re fulfilling your dreams. On one hand you’re obviously elated and excited, because you’re doing something that you’ve been wanting to do and/or have been working towards for a significant amount of time, investing quite a bit of energy, perhaps blood, sweat and tears.
Pursuing your dreams is one of the things that make life worth living. Some dreams may forever remain elusive for one reason or another. The pursuit, however, is yours always.
I’m a big dreamer. And I am a big believer in going after your dreams and making them come true. Sometimes that’s more achievable than other times. I doubt I’ll ever fly into space, but I would, if I could.
Dreaming seems to come naturally to human beings and we start it at an early age. Perhaps that’s why there’s always going to be a sort of naive quality to them. No matter how vigorously and persistent you may go after them, no matter how big or small they may seem, dreams are born from a certain naiveté.
That is the reason why, on the other hand, reality almost always comes as a shock.
As I am writing this, I am on a plane to Dallas. I’ve just left San Francisco, and with it a home I never thought I’d make. A little over a month ago I had left London to fly to New York, starting this journey I am now on.
I’ve wanted to go on this trip for a very long time. The decision was made over a year and a half ago. It’s been in the making for at least a year now.
And now that I left the comfort and growing familiarity of San Francisco behind, reality is filling me with trepidation. Travelling is a shock to the system.
As usual I didn’t sleep too well and certainly not long enough. I had to get up at 4.30am, but was awake before that. A shower and a ride to the airport later, I am checked in and waiting for the departure of my plane to Dallas. I am tired and a headache seems imminent.
I have a four-hour layover before I travel onto Lima, where I will arrive just after midnight local time.
On top of that I feel sad. I had to say goodbye to someone I have come to care about a great deal. It was a quick goodbye this morning, hardly enough, but prolonging it wouldn’t have made it easier. There is heartache.
Multiply all this by the fact that I am an introvert, who finds herself facing the great unknown. For the most part I will be travelling on my own during the next five months. I’ll only catch up with familiar faces and places in New Zealand and Australia over the course of about two weeks.
Dreaming is one thing. It’s wonderful and necessary and full of possibility. Reality can be just as wonderful and certainly full of possibility as well, but it’s also much more of a challenge. One big enough that it’s sometimes hard to even get out of bed.
But what good would any of it be, if we didn’t dare anyway? Nobody said it would be easy and more often than not we choose the difficult path without being forced to.
So, here I go again on my own.