‘Traveller, writer, dreamer.’
That’s the sum of my Instagram account bio.
But I’m starting to wonder if I can rightfully claim that last word.
I was definitely a kid who had her head in the clouds. A bookworm, a day dreamer, with one foot in fantasy land.
One year I came home with my report card, and one of my teachers’ comments was that I was ‘very practical’. We laughed about it, because how far off base was that?!
While we often laugh at dreamers for being off in their own world, on the flipside, I think we also frequently put them on a pedestal. Especially among creative types, we think practical = staid and boring.
But the older I get the more ruthlessly practical I become. I struck out on my own early and I’ve been fending for myself since.
The most surprising thing I learned about myself while travelling was how adaptable I can be. When I don’t have strict plans, I’m more than happy to go with the flow and not freak out no matter what happens.
That said, in my day to day life I am nowhere near as flexible. Normal life dictates planning, and when my plans are derailed I cannot pivot – I find it extremely hard to cope.
Where is this introspection going? I’m not too sure. I guess all I’m trying to say is I’m adjusting to a new perception of who I am (years late?) and how that makes me feel. My inner dreamer still lives, but she’s firmly encased in a thick armoured shell of pragmatism.
I think it is hard to stay a dreamer as an adult, unless you have a partner who does all the practical stuff… which wouldn’t be a fun/fair partnership.
In traveling, we keep more open expectations, happy just to have the experience, whatever it is. In every day life, it is harder to do that. The effects of a derailed plan echo a lot longer, and seem to mean a lot more.
Once in a while, it’s really good to contemplate on who we are and where we are now. This can really refresh ourselves and give a different positive energy and outlook for us to become better.
I think for a while I equated being told I was “practical” and “responsible” with not being what I see myself: creative, idealistic, albeit a bit cynical. It’s definitely hard to take what others see you as, how you have seen yourself in the past, and bridge from those things who you “really are”, now.
I’ve always wanted to be carefree and free-spirited. But the truth of the matter, is I’ve always been very responsible (too responsible, probably) and very, “by the book”. The past few months I’ve been thinking about how I can be more relaxed and easygoing (and worry less, that’s the bigger one for me-I worry way too much about things that are outside of my control).
I think the people who do best are both– performers and artists and so on with a head for business. They create something lasting, but don’t die broke doing it.
I also agree that when day-to-day is planned out, it’s nice to be flexible on vacations.