I always wanted to be a spy as a kid. At the time I didn’t have too many defining scars and I always reminded people of someone familiar and trustworthy but they could never place who. I thought I could learn to speak several languages and to generally kick butt with my innate fighting skills and be all awesome in undefinable ways. It was all very Disney. But in reality I have a pretty gripping fear of heights and I have crashed every motorcycle that I’ve ever driven. And, because of one of those crashes, I now have several very defining scars. I am not spy material.
How did we get here? I was reminded of this childhood wish as I was sitting on a ledge at Angels Landing in Zion watching Nick go on ahead of me, bounding around the many people coming down and the ones freaking out on the way up the steep and very narrow trail, and while I was surrounded by three separate conversations in as many languages that I cannot understand a single word of. So, inspiration for getting into language classes - check. Being satisfied with my current view instead of being at the very top - check. Not being a spy - double check.
Thinking back, I wonder if I’ve always been so afraid of heights or if its something I’ve learned as a grown-up. But then again, I now wonder if the height of my tree climbs to get away and read books were quite as high as I thought it was. And really, what spy have you ever heard of goes around climbing trees with a book tucked away to read up in the swaying branches?
Going into my imagination was always fun. If I were to let myself, I could go Anne of Green Gables style and lose my way inside of a story. Truth be told, I didn’t stop doing this when I grew up. The way that I deal with the depression that runs like a river through my family history is by escaping into my dream land of sunshine and rainbows, forever Christmas, singing for a living, being successful. As a child, I escaped into my dream worlds because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was sad. As an adult, the reason still holds on.
There is a danger in it for me though beyond creativity, vision and inspiration. There is the ability to hide and escape and also the ability to fulfill and complete a scenario all in my mind.
I am not the only one who does this. Derek Sivers gave a TED Talk regarding the feeling of achieving your goal when you speak it to someone and receive their positive reaction to your goal. Its a short talk but its speaks loudly about the minds ability to mark things as completed before the work is done.
My imagination is dangerous. Its dangerous because I can achieve things greater than my abilities, I can dream up scenarios in which I am in control, I can be freed from my fears and make up a whole new life in which I am fabulously talented and educated and happy and where Jimmy Fallon and I are friends like he is with Justin Timberlake. It can make me feel good, and it can be like a drug.
The frustrating thing, beyond my inability to be friends with Jimmy Fallon, is that I can fix this. I can take control of my emotions and my willpower and do the things that I dream of doing. I want to be helpful in this world and I want to share my life with people. I want to sing and to play and create and to help others create. I am able. You are able. We can do so many good things, whether we speak them aloud or not.
If you didn’t watch the video, I'll tell you that he made a quick mention of accountability. If I’m going to take action and keep on taking action until the thing is completed, I’m going to need someone or many someones to help me do it. Because I’m a person who is very internal (except here on the world wide web, apparently) I’m going to need to speak my dreams/goals/concerns/intentions aloud and ask for help in seeing them through. Rather than spend nights alone in my head working through things, I’m going to need to ask for help.
So we know that I can’t be a spy, unless I’m the kind that has scars and tattoos and makes a general ass of herself in the process of completely saving the day. But I do actually believe in myself and I think thats where the Imagination Laura can meet the Reality Laura.
Some things that I’d like to do include:
Finding a local organization that is centered around doing good that needs a volunteer. I have time and I’d like to give it away.
Learning another language, whether by classes or by immersion learning via a kind friend.
Maybe - I’m thinking about it - joining a comedy class because I think it would be fun and kind of crazy.
Playing live music with friends because I love playing live music with friends.
Please be involved in helping with any or all of the above list. And please speak your goals to an accountability partner so that we can go beyond the limit of our imaginations together.