I like to go down the path of “What if I were to do… xyz?” Most of the time, such thoughts, if expressed to other people, are met with eye-rolling and responses along the lines of “Here we go again. Why won’t he just be satisfied with a normal boring life like everyone else?”
I typically find such responses extremely frustrating. To me, they represent a lack of willingness to engage in a creative discussion. If I talk about climbing a mountain or cycling the length of Africa or writing a novel or whatever might enter my head, then I voice those thoughts because I would like to actually explore them. And yet so often all I get back is an entirely unhelpful “It’ll never work. Stop dreaming.”
For a while, I’ve actively avoided such conversations in certain company because I expect to have my (sometimes quite enthusiastic and normally at least partially thought through) ideas shot down without being given any serious consideration at all. But that’s not how I want to be. I get excited about dreams and schemes and ideas. I want to share them.
I’ve wondered about the source of all the negativity. It doesn’t come from everyone. There are people who hear my ideas and respond “What a great idea! Go for it! I’ll be there at the finish line to see you make it!”
After some reflection, I’ve considered a possibility: maybe those people who respond negatively simply don’t know what I’m talking about. Perhaps they have no idea what it’s like to be thrilled by life. Could that be true?
Are they attempting to be reasonable and realistic? Are they trying to protect me from failure or disappointment?
I know what it’s like to take a racing car flat out through a high-speed corner. Do they? I know what it feels like to play a freshly restored grand piano on a stage. Do they know about that? I’ve slept under the stars next to a river and sat alone on a beach at night, just listening to the sea. Have they done those things?
Maybe they just don’t know there’s more to life than constantly making safe, sensible choices. Maybe someone needs to show them the world is a wondrous place full of possibility. Maybe that someone is me.