A few weeks ago, I ate supper later than usual, which is a nice way of saying I stopped for a sandwich at a gas station on my way home from the office at 10 pm. As it is common with me and late suppers, this one too caused weird dreams, but it did rub off on me this time.
I’m a little fuzzy on the details but somehow, I was in a coma and the dream started when I woke up after 17 years. For some reason, I was immediately released from the hospital and I was walking around, meeting the people from my past.
It was an interesting situation and I observed something. Of course, it is understandable that I hadn’t changed at all apart from my physical appearance, some hair gone gray and some hair just gone. What wasn’t understandable is that it was the same with almost everybody else. Their bodies aged, but they were still dealing with the same banal problems. Everyday minor issues that rule their days and these are the people that have been living the same day, day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. While that seemed absurd at first, I realized that that is not that rare of a case as I first thought. Back when I was still at the University, I managed to pass my exams by doing only as much as I needed to pass, skipped a lesson now and again, worked a few days a week, and went drinking every weekend. And that was it. Six years summed up in four things. Sure, taking a closer look, some things would indeed differ but the outline remains the same. Year after year after year… horrible. However, while I was in that cycle, the whole thing didn’t really seem that bad. I had fun and I had no real problems apart from my future and my finances, but people my age don’t like to talk about those two so those topics were comfortably avoided. Now that I have found a purpose and a direction in life, those years seem absurd. It’s like that example I once heard with a ship leaving harbor. It needs a destination to adjust the sails to the winds in order to reach that or any destination, while other ships just leave the harbor, have the sails half set and hope that they will drift along as long as possible without crashing, never even intending to reach any destination. You can spot those ships when you say “how you doin’?” and they say “you know, getting by”. What a horrible way to drift along the waves.
On the other hand, back to my dream, I saw people who are determined to improve themselves and reach certain destinations and they were actually different than 17 years go. They were better and that drew a smile upon my face. I still sometimes find it funny how people say “you’ve changed” like it’s a bad thing and their bulgy eyes when I reply “thank you” with a smile, because imagine how dreadful it would be if 17 years from now, I’d be the same, just older.
So to sum things up, I wish more people would start choosing a direction in life or at least start getting a picture of how their life is going to look like in say 10 or 20 years. When you have that picture, double it. Why not? We waste the same amount of energy thinking about helping one person as we do thinking about helping a thousand people, so go with the one that sets your soul on fire and gets you up with a smile in the morning.