I’m living my dream life. I’ve got my mother, friends, and health. I’ve got no debt. I live in Taos, write for a living, and travel when I want. I’m blessed beyond belief. Recently an acquaintance said to me, “I’d love to write and travel, too, but I’m not ready. I don’t have my shit together like you do.”
Wait. I was supposed to get my shit together first? Was there a memo?
Here’s the thing: I’m a deeply flawed person. And whether or not my life is the one you’d want isn’t the point – the point is you don’t need perfection or even some loose interpretation of it to go after your dreams.
To prove my theory, I’ll confess some of my flaws. (I would confess them all, but you don’t have that kind of time.) If I can be this imperfect and still live my dream life, you can too. So here we go – I’ll start off small, then get to some bigger ones:
1. I love Skittles and will eat them until my teeth or stomach hurts, whichever comes first.
2. I’m a terrible dishwasher. I like to do it – it’s meditative – but I’m bad. Some need rewashing when I’m done, but I live alone, so I don’t bother.
3. I have an unnatural love of cheesy ‘70s and ‘80s ballads, and sing along with a total lack of irony.
4. I pick up dust bunnies to put off vacuuming for another week.
5. I can watch The X-Files or Arrested Development or The Office for hours at a time.
6. I look at my blog stats at least ten times a day, and fret when the numbers are low.
7. I’ll get in the car to go somewhere and realize I have no idea how to get there. So I have to go back inside and find an address or directions. Sometimes I’m even driving when this happens.
8. Come to think of it, I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. And I’ve got no plan for any of this.
9. Since I got out of grad school I read less, and am online or watch movies more.
10. I’m great at saving money, but generating it? Not really. (Exhibit A: My decision to write for a living.)
11. I don’t believe in God, but sometimes wish I did.
12. I don’t love children or even find them particularly interesting.
13. I do love to drink, and am always checking to make sure I haven’t slid over into alcoholism.
14. My mother and I are so close I’m afraid I won’t recover when she dies. Really, I’m certain I’ll fall apart and won’t come back from it. (The good news is she’s so healthy she’ll outlive me.)
15. Love eludes me, and I’m not sure why. It makes me sad. Which makes me feel weak.
See? Flawed. Get out there and make your dream life happen.
Photo courtesy Anton Malan