May 28th, 2005
If you could do anything, what would you do?

My dh asked me this question in 2001. This was right before 9/11. He said I was not to take money into consideration or location. I think it’s an interesting question because it cuts through all the ‘excuses’ we as people tend to use when we think about changing direction in life.

How many times have you thought you’d like to do something, but you don’t have the time, money, energy to do it? I used to be this way when I worked for the airline, then 9/11 occurred. Suddenly time took on a whole new meaning to me and so did my dreams. When was I going to start pursuing them? I always assumed I had plenty of time…so did the people in those three planes and two towers.

I no longer felt satisfied to wait for what I wanted to do. I needed to act. I went back to the original question my dh asked. The answer that came both times (pre and post 9/11) was the same. I wanted to write. I’ve always wanted to write. Up until then, I’d dabbled in it by taking classes on and off throughout the years. That day ended all of my procrastination when it came to following my dreams.

I’m sure this entry has a point and I’m trying to get to it. I have friends and strangers tell me they don’t know what they want to do with their lives. I always ask them the above question. The answers vary in degrees of waffling. In my mind, I wonder what they’re waiting for. So I’m going to ask you all the same questions. If you could do anything, what would you do? What are you waiting for?

20 comments to “If you could do anything, what would you do?”

  1. I would write my stories, all different kinds of stories, stories I’d hope would touch someone somewhere in some way. And paint my paintings, see a bit of the world, and find someone who could appreciate these things to share with.

    Why am I not doing them?
    Because money, time, and circumstances ARE issues, and food and shelter are necessities. Dammit.

  2. Ah, you’re after my own heart! That is THE question that made me realize that I had the power to do exactly what I wanted in life right then and there if I just chose to. I found it in a book with a similar topic: “If you learned you had two years left to live, how would you spend those two years?” My answer was to take off alone to do nothing but write all of my most free thoughts on some tropical island. 😉

    By the end of the year, I’d left my corporate job, my collected belongings, and my home country for Australia. I’m not doing anything but write now…because it’s what I LOVE to do. 😉

    Ah, how I’ve wished I could get others to answer that question honestly.

    Anyway, I came over here via the links from Jaynie R’s blog, so glad I did! It’s nice to find likeminded souls persuing their dreams and because of that, making the world a better place. 😉 I’ll be back to visit often!

  3. Hmmm, I’d do exactly what I am doing (career-wise) BUT I wouldn’t feel pressured to move forward. I would go at my own pace and feel satisfied with where I am.

    LOL! The truth is, I’ve always been this way (all through school, college, my old career, etc)so I guess I WISH I would relax about my career and just let it happen on it’s own.

    Another thought…what if your life were suddenly cut short…what would you do differently if you were granted more time? Listen to the lyrics to Tim McGraw’s LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING! I just love that song and the message it sends. YOU NEVER KNOW IF/WHEN YOUR LIFE WILL BE CUT SHORT..SO LIVE IT NOW!

  4. I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do, which is write full-time (well, as full time as I can with a three year old 😉 It’s something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember -but I’m not sure I would’ve been ready for the opportunity if it came earlier than it did.

  5. Like Steph, I am finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do — write full time without another job on top of it. Whew. Love it. Wouldn’t change a thing. (well, except for the salary. I’d like to up that. A lot. And maybe I’d add a maid and a chef . . .)

  6. I’m doing it too…writing. It seems like writers are a different breed though…the ones who ARE trying to follow their dreams. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, when I tell them I’m a writer, “Oh, I want to write a book someday!” Uh huh. So do it.

  7. I don’t think people always know what they want to do. Lord knows I don’t. Since I handed in notice to quit my job, I have been given advice, suggestions, books, and lectures about what I could/should/want to do. Even if I had Bill Gates’s money, I *still* don’t know what I want to do. What am I waiting for? The answer to the question. I think I led a very active life and career, which is probably why I’m empty-headed at the mo. :>

  8. I think Patrice and I have a lot in common. I’ve always been this way, too, always going going going, trying to reach my goals. Now I am doing what I love and I wouldn’t want to do anything else career wise but write full time. If I could slow down and smell the roses, that would be a plus. It’s hard for me to slow down, hard for me to balance things. Something about being manic and obsessive. (er, so that’s where my 9 yr old gets it from!)

  9. I wish I knew the answer to that, but I don’t. It’s a good question–I’ve been asked variations of it–the problem is that I don’t know the answer. Besides the whole marry a millionaire thing. I know I want that. 😉

  10. Well, career wise I’m done. Been there for 20 years. I’m ready for mid-life change. *lol* I’d do something more to satisfy myself. Putting a bookstore would be more down my alley. I’d keep writing. Add to photography. Travel the world photographing things. I’d publish them of course.

  11. I want to travel the world at my leisure. I need more money and a retired hubby. *g*

  12. I’m with Sylvia(though, w/o the husband *G*): I would just like to travel around the world and experience different cultures and just…marvel. In fact, this urge to travel is even more persistent than the writing at the moment. Doh!

  13. I’m doing what I want to do! Well, I’d like to add a lot of overseas traveling to that, but for the most part, I’m happy with this career choice!

  14. I hear you, Dream. I had to work around my job for a year or so until I got the ball rolling. It’s never easy, but I’ve heard the stories of some of the grand dame romance writers. Several of them had it far rougher than I did. They would get up at 3-4 in the morning just so they could write for a couple of hours before they went to work and while their kids slept. I figure that’s dedication and a strong desire to succeed.

  15. Tara, Thanks for stopping by. I had a dear friend who picked up a two years ago and moved to Australia. She’s loving Sydney. Sometimes dreams exist in another time zone. Good for you for being brave enough to go after yours.

  16. It’s so nice to see so many of you doing what you love. Unfortunately, in my old job that wasn’t the case. People often times put off their dreams for various reasons. The biggest being time. I was no exception until the day I had the epiphany. I’m just sorry it took such a tragedy to clear my ‘vision’.

  17. I’ve always wanted to write. Since I was a kid. I have a friend who has always wanted to write, but she keeps making excuses not to. She was a stay at home wife for four years, with no job, no kids, and she wrote a few chapters, then gave up. Now she has a baby and says she has no time because she’s a mother. I know many mothers, some with five or six kids, who work and yet they find the time.

    I work 8-5 and have very little time but I still make the time to write.

    I think where there’s a will there’s a way. I think you really have to want it.

  18. Trace, You do really have to want your dream to go after it. Sadly, most people don’t want it that bad.

  19. I have learned that sometimes pursuing your dream takes sacrifice. Mine is waiting for grad schools to start accepting applications again for Autumn 2006. 🙂 In the meantime I’ve been learning a new language, volunteering at a non-profit and working to pay the bills that I know will be coming. All of these things will help me get where I want to go…that and being married to a cop means I have to take his needs into consideration, but he’s all for me pursuing my goals, so that definitely helps.

  20. Shannon, That’s wonderful. You know what you need to do and you’re going for it. That’s all that’s important. Good luck with the dance tests.