What is it about big goals that freaks people out?
Why does one always want to burst the bubble of the dreamer?
After weeks of persistent headaches, I decided it was time to start taking care of myself again. So I went to a massage therapist–a new one who was much closer to my home.
As he worked on releasing tension in the most painful parts of my body, he asked seemingly harmless questions–all the better to get to know his new client. Somehow, an innocent conversation about gardening led to my intention to move to the tropics in a few years.
“Not that I don’t like it here,” I hastened to explain, intuiting that he was one of those people who was blissfully happy where he was. “The climate just isn’t for me. I want a different lifestyle, too, where no one cares what I’m wearing, what car I drive, or how big my house is.”
“Curacao isn’t perfect either, you know,” he said, responding to something I’d never claimed. “It gets terrible hurricanes.”
“Actually, it isn’t on the hurricane belt. That’s one of the reasons we chose it. It sometimes gets tropical storms in the aftershock, but it doesn’t get the hurricanes.”
“Well, with climate change, you never know what they’re going to do,” he argued, using my back as a map to plot out the potential route of a future hurricane in my potential new home. Then he caught himself. “Not that I’m trying to discourage you.”
Why do people always say that when that’s exactly what they’re trying to do? I’m surprised he didn’t tell me my book wouldn’t sell and that I should just go ahead and self-publish while he was at it.
I’m used to people telling me that my dreams will never happen. I’m just not used to having to pay for it. Needless to say, I won’t be going to that massage therapist again. I wish I’d been more open about telling him exactly what I thought of his “advice”.
I can understand people being skeptical about my desire to write books for a living. Unless you know someone who’s achieved that ambition, it must seem akin to winning the lottery or becoming a rock star. I get that. But now even moving away is unrealistic and doomed? I feel safe telling people this particular goal, even people I work with, because I know no one believes it will ever happen. Lots of people say they’re going to escape to a tropical island, but few ever do.
I’ve never understood why people will persist in arguing with you about your own plans for your life. Who knows you better than you, after all? When I was in high school, I had a girl friend who would always dispute my statement that I was not going to have children.
“You’ll change your mind,” she insisted. “Everyone does.”
As I reached my late twenties, and then my thirties, and still proclaimed that I had absolutely no desire to have a baby–that my maternal instinct was, in fact, limited to animals, the sentiment changed somewhat, and I was told:
“I felt exactly the same way as you…until I had kids.”
Well, there’s the difference. I won’t have kids unless I feel I really want them. And sorry, that just isn’t happening.
I know all the sayings, all the cliches: Life is what happens while you’re making other plans; men plan, God laughs.
But He really doesn’t have to go to the trouble, does He? Not when he has massage therapists to do the work for him.