Monday, November 8, 2010

red lights

I think everybody must have experienced a "red light", somewhere along the line. Or is it just me? A "red light" is when you are gliding - or maybe, to put it more aptly, sliding - along, going about your day-to-day life, thinking that everything is okay... when something hits you over the head and makes you realise that it's not. You are not the person you want to be, and your life is not the life you want it to be. You have gone awry. You are lost. So you stop still, at the red light, and wonder what on earth to do next.

For me, life can sometimes take on the form of an imperceptible avalanche, gradually gathering speed. You see, I have these wild and wonderful ideas about what I want for myself. I know exactly what I want to achieve in my life, how I want my days to unfold, what I want to learn, the kind of food I want to eat, the books I want to read. The problem is that, as firm as my convictions may be, a lot of those fantasies fall by the wayside. So why keep at it? Why do I envision these goals and dream of my "ideal" lifestyle, if it rarely comes to anything?

To tell the truth, I don't know how to answer that question. Nevertheless, I do think that goals are essential. The business, stress and temptations we are faced with every single day make it so easy for us to lose sight of where we want to go. A streamlined vision gives us parameters. It helps to convince us to prune our lives, figure out where we are going wrong, and keep improving. Because it's when those parameters are stretched too wide that we veer off course, and we become more and more lenient with ourselves... until we get to a point where we sit back and think, "Where am I? This is so far from where I want to be that it's not funny!"

Maybe it is a dead-end job, a stale relationship, hurtful friendships, hours wasted online and watching TV, staying home instead of going out, buying food instead of cooking it, sitting on the couch instead of going for a walk, sleeping in instead of waking up early... At the time, we think these things make us happy. Or, at least, comfortable. But they don't, really. It makes us feel disappointed with ourselves, in the broad scheme of things. We are truly happy with ourselves when we uphold a semblance of discipline, particularly when we reap the rewards later. It's not that we should not take a break every now and then, indulge when we need  a pick-me-up, be kind to ourselves when we fail to live up to own own expectations... that is all really, really important. But we need to take charge of our own lives, and create a life that we can be proud of. Achieve amazing things. Go beyond what we think we can do. We need to be able to look back, pat ourselves on the back and say, "Wow! You did a good job".

So I guess the moral of this post is... dream. Set goals. Reassure yourself. Know what you want. Wish. I don't have much advice for how to get to those dreams. But I think the dream itself is important. You may have already guessed that I have recently hit one of those red lights I mentioned earlier. Which is a good thing, because I am determined to make some changes. (And when I say make some changes, I mean actually make them, not just plan to make them...) Stay tuned!

"If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up."
— J.M Powers


Sarah Tabitha said...

Laura, this is one of the best posts I've read by you - as I read it, I just had to keep reading. Lately, as you know I've had a few strange things happen to me and so I'm in a demotivated mood and don't want to do anything - but what I go out of your post (whether you meant this or not) was that to just get up and do stuff, even if you don't like it (like paying bills, tidying things up etc.) because in the long term it will be very beneficial, and in time, when I'm happy again, I'll be sitting and looking back with the knowledge that it was all worth it because I was following a dream. Thank-you xoxo

Corrine/Frock And Roll said...

Yay! I can't wait to hear more about your exciting goals! Another brilliant post, Laura. I always enjoy everything that you write!

Bianca said...

I have hit this red light recently- having laid out some very lofty goals for myself, I realized I was doing very little to work toward it. Sometimes realizing is hard- but acting is harder; for me it means that I need to overhaul my life and perhaps upset some dear friends- but in the end this is my life!

It's nice to know others feel the same way.

Cheers to following our dreams, sometimes blindly but with all our hearts!


Anonymous said...

I hit this 'red light' about 12 months ago, and it was to do with my career. I've been in marketing for 6 or 7 years, but it never was 'me'. It took me weeks to do an evaluation of my life, my skills, what I really wanted...and I am now actually DOING things to get closer to my goal.
I think 'red lights' should be used as a motivator for evaluation, as opposed to an oppressive state.

Anonymous said...

Also Laura - you always have the most gorgeous images on your blog!! Wherever do you find them?

StellaPreston said...

This is such a great post !
Life's too short to dream :)

Laura Valerie said...

Thank you all for your kind words, I really appreciate it! Funnily enough I didn't think that this post was very good, but I am so pleased that all of you could relate to it :)

Bel - I have tumblr account, and follow some lovely tumblr bloggers who post gorgeous pictures. Let me know if you'd like some recommendations!

Anonymous said...

Oh I would love some Laura!! Thank you x

Anonymous said...

Love that little quote at the bottom...really good post Laura...Love, Jules

Laura Valerie said...

Thank you Jules!

Bel, here are some of my favourites: