Maybe right now it’s simple. Maybe it’s just a giant bowl of ice cream or for your laundry to fold itself. Maybe it’s much more involved than that. Maybe you really want a child or a new job. Or maybe, if you’re like me, you’re a little fuzzy on what you really want out of life because there are simply too many options.
I can tell you no one has ever asked me what I really want. And even if they did, if I looked at the big picture – the “what do you really want out of life?” impossible picture – my answer would probably be pretty close to
“Um… Well, I … Uh… Err … I think… I don’t know.”
Sure, I could say be happy and healthy with loved ones around me and no financial worries (which is all true) – but is that really an answer? Isn’t that just kind of how everyone hopes to age? What about the how? How will I be happy? How will I be healthy? How will I keep my loved ones close? How will I achieve financial success? What do I really want to do to ensure my health, my happiness, and that my surroundings are people I love and things I cherish?
When it comes to that really simple question, I don’t think it’s the what that matters. I think it’s the how that what comes to fruition. How you plan to lead up to that blissful moment where everything feels like it’s in all of the right places. Because personally, I hope that I die before that moment of perfection wraps itself around me. Or maybe that it happens shortly before I take my last breath so I pass on feeling “complete.” It sounds backwards, but I cannot imagine having a life worth living where I’m able to think “This is it. I have nothing more to achieve, accomplish or overcome. I’ve done all that I need to.” What exactly would the point of getting up every morning be then?
If I think long and hard about the true answer to that question, I think more about my journey than the destination. I know that the journey will be blissfully sweet and full of pure joy at times. And I know that the very same journey will be painstakingly hard and impossible to comprehend other times. But knowing that it will be up and down and a whirlwind of mixed emotions as I pursue that perfect life, the answer becomes a bit easier to answer. Maybe it’s because I think the answer then becomes fairly open-ended. Not a definitive end goal. Not even the moral of my story. Just a meaningful way of living.
So when I sit down, thinking about how I want to get to the end of the road, I know what I want.
I want to be free.
I want to break free from an invisible jail I live in.
It’s one I’ve created for myself out of fear and uncertainty. It’s small and limiting, cramped and intimidating. It prevents me from taking risks. It holds me captive to the thoughts and judgements of others. It creates hypothetical limits that constrain my dreams. It leaves me ungrateful, resentful and closed minded. It’s filled with doubts and comparison traps that consume me more than I’d like to admit.
So what I really want is to be free enough to accept myself for everything that I am. Free enough to stand up for what’s right. Free enough to embrace everything that life has to offer, even when – no, especially when – it gets a little scary. Free enough to dream bigger, aim higher, and be better. Free enough to open my mind to impossible opportunities. Free enough to believe in what I do, why I do it, and how it’s done. Free enough to live, love and care unconditionally.