Sometimes, life feels like you’re just getting by. Like poverty is a choice, and quitting isn’t an option. I have so many “ideas”–goals–that I’m running towards in so many different directions that I feel like I’m essentially running in circles and going nowhere. I’m flailing. Waving my hands in every which way and just trying to keep afloat. To keep my wits about me, I have to remind myself that I’m too stubborn for quitting. Too tough. Too passionate.
My Bucket List
What goals have I made for myself that I’m not accomplishing? Late last year, before I took my one-way flight to India and beyond, I made a bucket list. It was a reasonable proposal to 2010 and the adventures I’d hope to have. It was a reachable extension to the rest of my life and the things I hoped to accomplish before I die. Mostly adventurous things, like hiking to Macchu Picchu and trekking the Himalayas, but some implications of love and lifelong partnership; wherein I wrote that I’d like a Buddhist wedding ceremony, not because I’m Buddhist, but because it sounded cool.
I’m already achieving my bucket list. Scratch off “stop eating meat longterm”. Check. I’m a vegetarian now. Scratch off “join a Zen Buddhist monastery and practice meditation”. Check. For four long, and yet short months. Scratch off “learn Filipino martial arts”. I already bought my ticket to Palawan, where I’ll be joining a local skillfully trained in the arts and willing to teach me as we walk the island together.
It still absolutely amazes me, and floors me to know that the bucket list is already manifesting itself, and in the most unexpected ways! These experiences I find myself having are completely unplanned but come in the form of opportunity that life has somehow offered me, and I choose to take. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s almost as if, when setting the right intentions, the Universe will answer. Sometimes, it will say no, and you don’t get what you want, but other times, and lately in my life, it will say yes. Hell Yes.
This is the closest “proof” to “God” that I’ve ever experienced, and I intend to continue experiencing it as I prepare for my spiritual island walk journey; my own road to Zen.
As far as all those other far reaching goals? Become location independent with my own business? I’m working on it… Trek the Himalayas and Macchu Picchu? That could happen if I win the trip to UK, by being in the top six fundraisers for Your Big Year charities. I’m currently in 4th place, if I researched and did the math correctly. I just need to keep it up until October 10th. I’m placing that amazing “opportunity” in the hands of everyone who chooses to donate (ahem, there is a donation widget bar at right), and in the hands of me, for how well I can promote my charity drive and think up ways to gain more funds (hello Etsy!).
I want the Universe to say Hell Yes. I want the opportunity to show up and then step up to the challenge. I want to be granted this amazing stepping stone in UK, so that me, myself, and I can do my personal best to win the grand prize round the world trip which will allow me to scratch off Macchu Picchu and Himalayas on my bucket list. Hell Yes.
Can you see this passion flowing through my veins? I’m too tough to quit. Too stubborn to throw my goals out the window and fail. I’m set for going to the UK and I’m thinking in terms of already winning a spot. But beyond that, beyond this good cause and this contest for social responsibility and global citizenship, is my passion to make a positive difference. I’m flailing.
Flailing but not Failing
I don’t care about material wealth. I don’t care about success in the typical Western sense. Marrying rich, winning the lottery, or having a six-figure income was never a desire, even when I was a kid. I have no job. I will run out of funds if I can’t find a way to make more money soon. Despite all that, I’m doing shit for free. I’m designing, coding, and writing with the good intention that I’m volunteering and making a positive difference with my skills, somehow. I’m doing it with the perhaps naive, but hopeful intention that everything will work out and life magically works in your favor if you “plant good seeds” and make positive connections. I’m doing it with the realization that if I can do this shit for free then I can most definitely do this with a passion that rivals the work-drone life and love my work!
I wear my “goals” not on my sleeve, but on my forehead and try to live my day-to-day with those goals in mind; guided as if by my third eye. First: “bootstrap my career”. Then: “change the world”. I’m still trying to figure out how; romantic, idealist that I am. I’m doing it on a smaller scale, by trying to make the daily choice to go vegetarian, an all around better lifestyle for eco-consciousness. But I’m struggling to find a larger scale. To be a part of something bigger than myself. I don’t want self delusions of grandeur, or worldly acclaim. This isn’t about me. It’s about trying to make a big difference that goes beyond my human existence and lifetime. Maybe that means raising a strong, independent, daughter adopted from China, or raising my own birth-child. Maybe that means traveling the world and building my web, creating a non-profit that impacts relevant global issues. Maybe that means winning the Your Big Year contest and taking part in conservation projects, teaching in Ecuador, and working with tribal communities. Maybe it means “settling down” in one location, community building, and making a difference in the local scene. Maybe it’s a combination of all these things, or maybe none. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I will not give up. I’m too stubborn to quit, and I will let my “third eye” guide me. My inner compass, my intuition. I have a feeling, as crazy as it sounds, that I am meant to do this. I just need to figure out what specifically “this” is… Even when it feels like I’m going nowhere, but going in circles I tell myself:
I may be flailing, but I’m not failing.
Because “failure” isn’t part of my vocabulary.
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