Darrell and I are in Portland, Oregon to spend time with my family for the next couple of days while my dad has open heart surgery. We haven’t been here since our wedding in December and, when the plane descended into the city, I felt a rush of excitement and familiarity.
This place is full of memories for me.
The funny thing with memories is that we have a tendency to only remember the most pleasant ones. Would you agree? When I look back on the many years I lived in this city I have only affection and fondness for what took place here.
My life wasn’t always easy.
Not by a long shot.
I wrestled with God, trying to figure out what He wanted from me, what I was supposed to do with my life. I went through break-ups and felt lonely and wandered the city at times, confused and alone, cheeks salty and wet from tears and rain.
But when we approached the city, from above, and I look down at the place where I went to kindergarten, got my drivers license, had my first boyfriend, left my childhood and became an adult, I feel a swell in my heart, an affection for the place that holds the memories that shaped me and make me the woman I am today.
My life didn’t seem that amazing while I was in it. Just your normal average life. But now, looking back, I feel so lucky.
This is the problem with your “dream” life.
It never feels that dreamy while you’re living it.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and I think that’s why. The life you’re living now is probably full of people, places and things that make it extraordinary. Dreamy, in fact, but you can’t see it because you’re right in the middle of it.
What you need to see it is perspective.
I have a friend who talks about this as “zooming out” from a situation. Every time I go to her to ask for advice about how to handle something, or what to say in a specific situation, this is what she recommends. “Try to get above it,” she says.
“Try to see your circumstance from 180 degrees.”
I love that. When I get frustrated or disappointed with my circumstances, or feel like complaining that my “dream” life is never going to come true, I picture myself hovering over my life, looking down from above, trying to think about how I would see this situation if I were looking at this situation ten years from now, or from the outside, as someone else.
Usually it’s a wake-up call to my selfishness and bad attitude.
My husband says that wisdom is the ability to see outside of ourselves and I’m starting to see how true that is. Wisdom is the ability to get out of our own way, and see a situation for what it really is, despite our biases.
The truth is, you’re probably already living your dream life, or at least aspects of it. I don’t say that to keep you stuck where you are, because maybe you need to make some changes, but I do say it to open your eyes to the really amazing experiences, opportunities and relationships that are right in front of you, if you could just open your eyes to them.
I say that to remind you that dreams come true while you’re taking out the trash, or doing dishes.
They come true in spite of that argument with your siblings, your spouse, or your best friend.
Dreams come true in tiny little apartments, at minimum wage jobs, while you’re still trying to figure out what you “want to be when you grow up.”
Question: What’s the dreamiest part of your life right now — if you were to zoom out and look at it?