I've been thinking a lot about my bad sleep schedule. Yes, I'm willing to admit that my sleep schedule is not desirable. I'm turning one year older later this week and the thought has got me staying up late at night trying to figure out what this means to me. I'm entering my mid-20's which means these are meant to be the "prime" years of my life, right? That once I hit the next decade of ages it'll be downhill from there. I don't think that. I hope you don't think that either, but still, it had me thinking this weekend, about what I want to do.
No, not next weekend specifically. Nor where I'm getting out to eat this Wednesday. What I'm talking about is my life goals, my ambitions, that thing our high school counselors used to ask us about: "where do you see yourself in ten years? Twenty? Thirty?" Like, serious question, how are we supposed to know the answer to that at seventeen or eighteen years old? We're wrapping up one of the most hectic stages of our life and are expected to know what we want to do for a living at the ripe age of barely an adult? How are we meant to know where we see ourselves in decades into the future? I'm sure that at the time I probably told myself "I want to be a billionaire like Elon Musk or fly to space or join the stunt group Nitro Circus" because I was a kid. We have dreams and ambitions as kids, but that's what they're meant to be - dreams and ambitions. Or, so we're told.
What I think the most important thing to take away from our childhood is that we shouldn't stop dreaming. We should never settle for less than where we want to be or what we want to achieve. Each of us is here because magic, nothing more and nothing less. Our odds of being alive are astronomically large and yet, here we are. I'm writing this article and you're reading it. I can't say I thought I'd always be a writer, but I like this. I really enjoy doing this. It's become a goal of mine to continually write no matter where I am in life or how old I get because I enjoy it. Dreams are often thought of as big things because in our thoughts we can make dreams as big as they want to be. Yet I think the most beautiful ones are the smaller ones; the piecemeal size dreams. Something like writing, or learning one single song on guitar, or achieving a letter-better grade on a test. Those count as dreams, right? They're just not the "big" dreams that we're used to seeing like becoming a billionaire or flying to the moon.
The beauty of life, from this writer's perspective, comes from that which you feel enlightened by and enjoy doing. Stargazing, for instance. Whenever I look up at a clear night sky and see the moon, the constellations, or even some distant planets, I feel awe at the size of the universe around me. Or perhaps another example could be watching a movie on a streaming website: I am enjoying the entertainment before me. These things, that bring me happiness and joy, the beautiful things in life, there's nothing saying we can't build goals and dreams off of these. Maybe some day I want to buy a big telescope or join an astronomy club when I'm a graduated student and working a nine-to-five job; some day I may decide that I want to write a book and turn it into a movie. There's nothing wrong with those dreams because they are achievable, albeit maybe not in the ways that we explicitly want them to be. To me, it's finding those bits of happiness that keep life beautiful. When I go to stargaze I'll meet some likeminded people and possibly make some friends; when I'm writing my book I'll get to share my journey with my one writer friend who I love to bounce ideas off of.
Goals and ambitions aren't there to be unreachable! They're meant to be inspiring and encourage us to continue on. Yet many of us, myself included, can feel overwhelmed by the awe of our own goals and eventually drift away from them, and you know what? That's totally fine. Your goals and ambitions as a teenager aren't the same ones you'll have at 23, or 29, or 37, or 45 years of age. They'll always be changing, always updating, just like the software on our technology. Yet those software programs keep going forward. They keep working so that their goal of running smoothly is achieved.
That's the mindset I've been trying to develop about my goals. At the start of my college career I had specific goals in mind and they've mostly faded away. Instead of being a popular student, I shifted my goal to be to have a few close friends and tend to the friendships I share with the students in my major and the faculty at my school. Instead of getting as high of grades as I can, I shifted my goal to focus on the out-of-school activities I could participate in to build up my resume. Life is always changing for every single one of us, and so should our goals. We should dream as big as we want to such that we are content with ourselves and where we are in life, even if our dream is in fact to dream big to inspire us to keep looking forward to the next day. Those dreams are meant to guide us from day to day and keep us moving forward, running as smoothly as we can. We should never stop dreaming, not even when we turn into an adult.
As for my sleep schedule? Well, that'll be my next goal: to get some decent sleep.