Happy are those who dream dreams, and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
This saying was printed on an old, old banner that my father had hanging over his desk at home, back in Minnesota. It was accompanied by a picture of a spindly looking aircraft still suspended in flight, its pilot having fallen out of the cockpit still gripping the steering wheel.
Less than a week ago I finally made a decision regarding the path I wanted to take in life. Over the past couple days I’ve been hammering out all the gritty little details that one typically doesn’t associate with dreaming, but are necessary lest the dream become lost in the translation from dream to reality.
At work I have been training in an army of web designers, who will become my successors when I leave the company next month. It’s been a good experience, as I currently enjoy teaching web design far more than I enjoy doing web design. Web design forces me to hurt my wrists. Teaching web design forces me to practice clarity of thought and patience.
In other facets, I’ve been trying to track down an affordable place to live in Hood River, which is going fairly well but not as smoothly as I would have hoped. I’ll be traveling up there this weekend to scout out prospects, and with any luck I’ll be able to hit up Mount Hood Meadows on my drive back to get some snowboarding in. I also need to look into installing a trailer hitch on my car, and finding myself a trailer for that matter, so I can haul my mattress and Goodwill furniture a couple hours north. Of course, the alternative is that I put everything out in front of the house with a “Free” sign and hope it disappears. No wait, scratch that. I’ll put it out with a $20 sign, so people will assume that my belongings have value and steal it under the cover of darkness.
Additionally, I need to pack all the stuff I plan on carrying, buy plane tickets to Baja, get a new passport, plan a few going-away parties, grab Christmas presents for all the lovely people in my life, and fly back to Minnesota for the holidays. However. That being said, this stuff hasn’t dominated my time over the last few days. There are much larger things afoot.
As I said, I have made a decision. In May I will move back to Minnesota for the summer, to lead teenagers on wilderness backpacking, rock climbing and canoeing trips in the Boundary Waters. This is where I want to go, as far as the whole scheme goes. There’s still so much to experience out in the larger world, and I’m not quite ready to hammer myself into a box. If I have learned one thing over the last few years, it’s that you are capable of doing much more than you will ever admit to yourself. Thus, the only way to learn your true abilities is to keep presenting yourself with insurmountable tasks.
The risk of failure is far preferable to the risk of never trying anything. At every opportunity, I choose to put myself into situations where I do not know whether or not I will be successful. The web has become an area where my knowledge and experience all but guarantees my success, and unfortunately the web is not something that I value in and of itself. I love what the web allows us to do, but it’s what we do with it that has always fascinated me, not the web itself.
I thirst to be immersed once again in the ends, rather than the means. I need the passion, the passion for knowledge, learning and the outdoors. I need the socialization, the networking, the sheer delight that comes from human molecules bumping and colliding into one another. I believe I can find that meaning, embraced with others by the lakes of Northern Minnesota.