I Want To Be An Astronaut (Part I)

When I was four I wanted to be an acrobat in the circus. Unfortunately, a broken elbow due to my parent’s bed and a stubborn closet door put an end to that.

When I was nine I wanted to play professional baseball.

At 12 I decided to add professional basketball to the plan as well. I mean, that couldn’t be too difficult, right? Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders pulled off the multi-professional sport thing. Heck, so did Michael Jordan… sort of.

By the age of 14 I didn’t know what I wanted to be anymore. And frankly, I wasn’t worried about it. I figured my dream would find me at some point, hand me a detailed plan and a slice of cheesecake (cause that’s what dreams do), pat me on the back and say “ok, let’s be awesome.”

At age 20 I decided I wanted to be a professional musician in a national touring band. I even pursued that dream for 4 1/2 years. After some minimal success, that dream fell apart like all the rest.

Now, at the ripe age of 27, after several years of coasting, I know what I want to be. I want to be an astronaut!

Not literally. But I do want to have the same audacious attitude I had as a child. Why not?!

Most kids have “crazy” dreams to be something or do something incredible with their lives. They even believe they can accomplish those goals.

But somewhere along the road to “adulthood” we seem to loose the adventure and whimsical spirit of dreaming big. This bugs me to no end. I’m tired of doing just enough to be safe and get by. Safety is for suckas!

Ben Franklin said, “Some people die and 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”

When I first heard that quote I freaked out a little. A vision of myself as an older gentleman, feeding ducks in a park in between my games of chess (I’m sure I’ll learn the rules of chess before I’m 65), wondering what life would have been like if I tired something audacious came to mind. What would it be like to be an old man full of regrets? Stability is great and all, but at what expense? We have dreams, desires, and passions for a reason. If we do not pursue them, we are robbing ourselves of joy and fulfillment and potentially robbing our community and the world of great ideas.

In short:

Your dreams matter.

Your passions matter.

If it’s in you, it’s important.

It’s never too late. If you spend your time feeding ducks in the park and playing chess you can still do something “crazy”.

Making a dream a reality is a bridge to be crossed soon. But for now, just dream! And dream big. That’s the start.

Question: What has kept you from pursuing a dream of yours?

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7 Things I’ve learned In Adulthood

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There is no possible way I could cover everything in seven bullet points. This is a start though.

1. It’s Cirque du Soleil, NOT Circus Olé– I know somebody’s mind was just blown. It would’ve been nice to learn that before the age of 24. You’re welcome.

2. Bills are no fun (As if I really had to say that)-  Try to have as few as possible. After living as inexpensively as possible for many years I developed a good understanding of the things I can do without. The less things you need to spend and worry about every month the better. This isn’t to say it’s bad, wrong, or ill advised to treat yourself to nice things if you can afford it. IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT (like, without hoping you can pay off the credit card bill at the end of the month).  But there is something to say for living simply. Just ask my friend Tiny Tim. Spending less money than you make allows for some margin in your finances and frees up money to be generous with when real needs of the people around you arise.

3. It’s okay to hang out with people who are very different than you- When I was in high school my default was to make friends who were like me. As it turns out, my best friends in adulthood are not very much like me at all. But they are genuine and reliable. The ones who are different actually make some of best friends. Besides, one space on earth couldn’t handle all my awesomeness. I need others to balance it out.

4. People are crazy- I would elaborate but I think the mental image of a crazy person in your life just did that for me. Cut them some slack, but keep your distance if need be.

5. Even though people are crazy they are also what matter most- Relationships are key to doing life right. We often under value the friends and family we have until that relationship is gone or estranged. Put stock in people. Go to bed a little later than usual on occasion in order to have a meaningful conversation. Watch a little less Netflix to have coffee with a friend instead. Those will be the moments that matter.

6. Guacamole is one of the ways I know for a fact God loves me- As an adolescent I was so afraid of this green, mushiness. Possibly because I once accidentally saw the contents of a baby’s diaper that could’ve been guacamole’s evil twin. At that moment I promised myself I would never try guacamole. I’m just glad I’m a crappy promise keeper. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You’d be surprised at what you’re missing out on. Also, guacamole is technically made up of fruits. How weird is that? Don’t complain next time you ask me to bring a fruit salad to the dinner party.

7. Pour into someone’s life who is younger or less experienced than you- There I go with the “people” thing again. If you aren’t actively pouring knowledge, life experience, or support into someone’s life you are missing out. Knowledge can only take you so far. Putting into practice what you know and teaching it is what will grow you.  It’s an interesting thing to have someone want to be like you in some form or fashion. It’s very scary actually. There is an underlying responsibility that you are now accountable for. Believe me, in the long run the responsibility is worth it.

Question: What are some important things you have learned since becoming an adult?