The Eighteenth One – Asia, PT2

For years I have had this insecurity and utter fear that I will not accomplish my dreams (can anyone relate?). This fear that I will look back decades from now and have regret. Not over the things I did, but over the things I did not do. This fear paralyzes me when I think about it too much for too long. Which is ironic because this frame of mind brings out my most unproductive state, therefore, feeling (and probably factually) further from my goals. I am always trying to improve and to learn to appreciate what I have, in the present, so that I am not unsatisfied by constantly seeking more.

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Looking at others, via real life or social media, usually leads to comparison. It can lead to valuable inspiration or it can lead to feelings all over the spectrum of insignificance. You will always be able to dream of something bigger and better than what you have or what you are but that does not mean everything you have and everything you are is insignificant. Being envious of what others have brings out that monster inside of you that takes control and manipulates your reality, leaving you tossing and turning between the past and the future. Living in the past creates regret and time is spent reviewing the unchangeable in your head trying to recalculate moments to side-step mistakes you believe have “ruined” your future. Enter the future. Living in the future creates so much uncertain fear and anxiety and you convince yourself you are not where you thought you would be by now due to the “mistakes” from the good ol’ past. And the cycle continues. It leaves your confidence in question and your fear solidified. I believe this is something that kills a lot of dreams.

Living like this prohibits realizing any sort of productivity taking place in present life. Those moments in life when you realize “how far you have come” are proof that productivity HAS been taking place and all the while we were too consumed with an altered view of our reality. We need to remember our strength and capability in those exact moments of doubt, fear, and insecurity. Practicing this makes more room for positive productivity, self confidence, and the belief that your dreams are possible.

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Ubud

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Accomplishing this one specific dream of mine made me truly and finally realize that any of my dreams are possible if I work hard enough. A realization I now try to inspire anyone to believe (hence this post). Nothing I dreamed of having or accomplishing had ever come easy before anyway. Physical fitness and travel were/are two of my biggest teachers (more thoughts on physical fitness another time). But travel had always been a big dream of mine, and still is, but to of at least opened the door to this specific dream has completely changed my life already. I believe opening that door, to WHATEVER it is that you daydream about, is the first, and potentially the most important step. Waiting for the moment to be perfect is an extremely convincing excuse to sit comfortably. I completely understand the value of standards in a process to accomplish, however I have learned that serendipity plays a crucial part in this adventure we call life. It brings unimaginable opportunities and is one of the main reasons, for me, that brings the change I crave, the confidence to grow, and the faith of happiness into my life.

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Koh Phi Phi

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Have you ever made a list of your goals, hopes, dreams, or plans for the future? Staying in my hometown, getting married and/or raising kids had never been on my list and I knew it was not for me. Without this traditional plan society had convinced me was imperative, I spent the next 5 years filling my life with building friendships, adventure, mistakes, and everything in between. After a huge wake-up call while I was living in Portland, Oregon, I decided to attack a goal of mine that had been on my ‘list of goals’ for years. Travel (abroad). I dreamed for years…so I was ready, right? I do not think I ever dreamed of the sacrifices I would have to make in order to make this possible, but trust me when I tell you it was a lot. However, the possibility of never traveling had made me feel more anxiety than everything I had to sacrifice (and still do) in order to make this dream my reality. I was scared shitless, to say the least. What if this is all a huge mistake? What if this is not what I should be doing right now? What if there is something better for me just around the corner? Once again, fearing the future. Screw that (I guess).

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Maya Bay, Thailand

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Going after a dream shows courage and strength. During a rough time of mine, I believed I had neither. In pursuit of a dream, it opens up a lot of vulnerability within yourself you may or may not have known you had, but I believe it is better to do this than to wonder what could have been. I have realized more and more how courageous I must of been this entire time for taking control of my life and making my dream happen FOR myself. Waiting for your dream opportunity to come knocking on your door, while potentially successful, is more likely a grand waste of time. I am currently back in the U.S. visiting my hometown, writing this, having this epiphany more than ever. IN NO WAY am I trying to discredit other paths, I am only speaking from my personal experiences throughout my entire life that have made me who I am as I type this very sentence. Simply sharing my story in hopes to get even one person, who wants more out of their life, inspired to look inside of themselves and see a positive light that has always been there. To give solidarity to those who feel hopeless or at a disadvantage. Trying to inspire myself and others not to let fear dictate your decisions in life, creating so much unhappiness by living a life you feel unsatisfied with when you have so much control over the aspects of your life. Proving a point that in those moments when we feel the weakest we have the ability to be equally as strong and gain a perfect opportunity to catapult ourselves into positive change. The first step may not be smooth or even in the exact direction, but I strongly believe it is very important to take that step.

Would I have been able to travel abroad without applying for a passport? Nothing will change if nothing changes.

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Biking around the tiny island of Gili Air, one of the best moments of my life. I decided to stop and snap a photo of myself (for once) and as I did, children ran out from around the corner laughing and playing and the result was a truly candid photo I wish I had on video to re-play the sounds of the most pure and innocent laughter.
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Gili Air

love-laura

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