Things I would do

I have a dream. In fact, I have many dreams – things I fantasize about doing and lives I dream about living if I didn’t do what I do now. Especially when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed by it all, I think of all the things I could do instead.

I would live in the country and have horses. Be close to animals and nature. Listen to the sound of the sea and the rustling of the leaves in the trees, and I wouldn’t have to deal with people, intrigue, and office politics.

I would be a painter and I would paint fulltime. I would be creative and create beautiful things all day long. I would surround myself with textures and colors and steaming cups of coffee. Possibly in Tuscany.

I wouldn’t live in the country, I would move right back into the city and go to museums more often than I do now, see more movies, and pop down to my favorite corner café for coffee. Because I would have a favorite corner café, which I don’t where I live now. I would live in an old building with high ceilings and huge windows and I wouldn’t have a garden because then I wouldn’t have to feel bad about not having the skill or the energy to take care of my over-grown garden.

I would have a garden and I would be absolutely fantastic at gardening. I would know all about plants and what they need to grow. I would watch little saplings develop into gorgeous flowers and trees and I would enjoy the slow pace of it all and I would surround myself with fragrant beauty.

But then I think about what I heard a wise person say not too long ago. She said maybe you should think twice before making your hobby your day job. Because a hobby is an escape, a place you can go to get away from it all, and when you make it your job, suddenly it starts to become a source of stress and anxiety. And I realize that some things I just love too much. Like horses and painting. I horseback ride to get away and I love that being with horses is completely worry-free for me. And I paint only when I want to, and when I have the time and the headspace. I never have to create under pressure when I paint, and I kind of want to keep it that way.

So as I sit here among my weeds in my over-grown garden, I realize that I don’t really want to move to the country. And I don’t really want a corner café either (ok, I do, but I’m also really happy where I am now). Maybe I’ll learn how to garden some day, or maybe I won’t. But it doesn’t matter. In the meantime I realize that no matter what work I do, whether it’s a dream job or not, there is always going to be stress and there is always going to be anxiety, and I will always dream of doing something else. Because the truth is, dreaming big is just the best thing there is.

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