Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dreams for the future

Image from A Journey Round My Skull.

I am typically the kind of person who sets goals (e.g. tasks I can complete through hard work and perseverance) rather than dreams (which I tend to view as asking the universe for favors). I don't consider myself a pessimist, nor an optimist. I prefer to avoid thinking about what the world will churn out in the future, instead focusing on the small list of things I can directly affect. I believe that good things can happen to me and mine, yet I operate under the assumption that if I'm not making them happen, they probably won't.
Just like everyone, I have things I wish for in secret, little miracles and such, but I don't spend much time contemplating them-- maybe out of fear that, should they never come to pass, I'll feel a greater sense of loss or regret for having paid them any attention.

As I grow older I'm beginning to realize the flaws in my way of thinking. I wonder if my unsentimental pragmatism wasn't part of the reason my recent attempt to make my way in the world as a professional bellydancer was such a disaster. Looking back, I realize I started out with the assumption that I would most likely fail, which was no way to go about pursuing something so unorthodox.
Perhaps if I'd spent some time indulging in some fantastic vision of how it all could go, I would have had a better idea of what I wanted out of the experience. Maybe I would have had a fire underneath me that would have propelled me to work harder and to think of elegant solutions to my everyday problems.
Maybe I would have failed anyway. Who can say? Either way, my pragmatism couldn't save that endeavor. I learned a lot from what happened and I don't feel bitter about it, but I can't help but wonder how things might have gone if my outlook had been different.

I think it might be time to admit to myself what I'm wishing for, to say it out loud and make the risk of hoping. I feel nervous about writing any of this down, but maybe it'll get easier as I go. What do I really have to lose?

In 2011:

I want to find a job that allows me to support myself without draining all my energy. The lower stress the better, with a steady paycheck (it doesn't have to be big).

I want to start selling out at least one of my Saturday classes. Max capacity at the studio where I teach is 12-13 students.

I want my health to continue improving.

I want to have at least one of my short stories published in an anthology, magazine, or online publication and get paid for it.

I want my family's dance studio to be a financial success.

and most of all

I want to find an agent who's excited about representing my novel.

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