Before falling asleep a few nights ago I got out my iPod and listened to a beach mix I put together before I got to the Philippines. I thought about all the things I used to dream about...
...my 16-year-old self wearing pukka shells, plastering her walls with surfing pictures, dreaming of the day she'd live by the ocean.
...my 25-year-old self sitting behind a desk, watching snow fall outside her office window and dreaming of the day she'd play in the ocean and fill her days with writing and reading.
...and now, my 31-year-old self sitting in my "office" by the ocean doing exactly what I please.
Sometimes I forget the scope of this dream - it all becomes daily life filled with laundry and house cleaning and everyday challenges. But then, like a few nights ago, I sit in its presence and realize how lucky I am.
I don't wake up with an alarm. I don't count down the hours. I don't deal with traffic. Sure, I had to let go of some things: frequent shopping trips, fast food, Starbucks, bookstores within driving distance (I have to take a boat, then a bus, then a cab). And I complain about these things sometimes, but then I think, would I trade in my life now for some materialistic stuff? Would I trade in lounging on the beach, a schedule I get to make, a simple life not complicated by lots of bills and responsibility for a jaunt to the mall? I think you know the answer.
Even these past few days without reliable internet have been quite nice. I've been reading up a storm, working out, writing. It's nice not to have my head filled with endless amounts of business/life advice, Facebook news feeds, and entertainment dribble.
Some books I'm reading/re-reading:
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
The Poet's Guide to Life by Rainer Maria Rilke
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
And I've also been paying attention to my dreams, looking up symbols, figuring out what my brain's trying to work through. I've had lots about my favorite author, Francesca Lia Block, and libraries and books and getting lost in huge malls.
And to end this post, I'm sharing some favorite wisdom from the books I'm reading:
"It's our nasty twentieth-century materialism that makes us feel: what is the use of writing, painting, etc., unless one has an audience or gets cash for it? Socrates and the men of the Renaissance did so much because the rewards were intrinsic, i.e., the enlargement of the soul." ~Brenda Ueland
Life has been created quite truthfully in order to surprise us (where it does not terrify us altogether). How numerous and manifold is everything that is yet to come, and how differently it all surfaces and how differently it all passes from the way we expect. How poor we are in imagination, fantasy, and expectation, how lightly and superficially we take ourselves in making plans, only for reality then to arrive and play its melodies on us." ~Rainer Maria Rilke
"In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping." ~Ray Bradbury