I am reading “All grown up” by Jami Attenberg and I got to a chapter in which a very successful, beautiful, wise and independent artist is presented through main character’s eyes. I will quote everything down below as I believe you have experienced as well the feelings portrayed. It is that feeling that someone gives you that they embody everything you wish to be. It is the human being you dream to be, it is that creativity you aspire to show to the world and that will create your future, your freedom, your happiness.
“I sit at the feet of Felicia, the most famous instructor in our program. I am in her apartment in her Logan Square building, which she restored on her own. Like she took a book on home improvement out of the library, read it, and then just did the spackling and electrical wiring and tiling herself because it needed to be done. She dresses in all black, jeans, T-shirts, lacy see-through things sometimes, and she has an amazing body, tough, sinewy, tan arms and a tight ass, and long fairy-dust hair, blond-gray, which she wears in braids sometimes. Also Felicia has incredible jewelry, the real stuff, diamonds and gold and platinum, most of it inherited from an affluent aunt who never had children of her own, although Felicia did apprentice with a jeweler for a while so some of it she made herself. She has 3 solo gallery shows in the next year, one of them in Berlin, and has been commissioned to do an installation in Brazil, where she was basically given a town square to do with whatever she likes. Nothing she owns comes from a man. Everything she touches turns into something bigger. She has made herself out of scratch. I am 26 and I would cut my left tit to be her.”
The emotions those readings give you? You must have felt that with someone too. That is a form of admiring someone so much that their entire life is what you dream your life would become. Reading further “I go wherever she wants me to go and I tell her she’s perfect without her having to ask. I begin to skip classes whenever Felicia calls me. I don’t even think to say no.” A role model. An idol. A dream life. But what I actually desire is that feeling that I imagine she has when I see that person, when anyone else meets this idol of mine. As this expression of perfect life embodied in this person that everyone at some point in their life have met or seen, is surely sparkling those feelings of freedom and success and independence into everyone’s souls.
That goal or dream or objective that you have to be like that and to inspire to someone else those emotions and actions is not always something that society tolerates. Because you must make a career, you must have a house in order to be successful, so that you can feel accomplished, so that you can finally be happy.
And that’s not how it should be. To have a career, to have that house, to achieve that success are all means goals. When you wish for something SO that you can feel or be in a certain way is a means goal. The end goal, the one that makes you truly happy is the one that follows after the SO.
I want to have my own house SO that I can be free and stress free of any mortgages. SO I don’t have to work all the time to pay financial obligations. I want to be independent SO I can travel whenever I feel like and don’t bother with begging for days off work. Everything that follows the SO is an End Goal, the one that offers you that something that truly gives you happiness and peace of mind. It is that feeling we pursue. That is what makes us happy and to be able to say to others we are indeed successful.
Here are 3 most important questions for you to start writing down your end goals and stop pursuing what society tells you to:
1. What do you want to experience in this life? What do you want to see, to be like, to feel, to travel, what is your lifestyle?
2. How do you want to grow to be able to experience life and be able to do in this life? What are you gifted at, what more do you need to be able to do what you want to do?
3. What is your contribution in this life to other people? How do you want to help with the people in this life? What did you experience and learn that you can teach to others? What do you want to give?
Give yourself 3 minutes ONLY to answer each category: Experience, Growth, Contribution. Why only 3 minutes? Because if it’s more than that, your rational mind will alert you about limits that are not helping you become the extraordinary human being you are. Such limits include stupid questions like, who are you to dream you can be the best writer, who are you to deserve luxury and richness, what can you possibly offer to others when you can barely help yourself with your life, career, love etc? You see, all that is what society tells you, it tells you that you cannot be that Felicia you adore. It wants you to obey and not dream as Felicia did and how it worked for her. But I want to tell you, you owe it to yourself to dream, and take that Felicia type human being from your environment and turn it into You. Because there is no monopoly on dreams. Everyone else is concerned in either hating or embracing Felicia, because society wants you to be like that, concerned within your limits. Dream within those limits.
How would the world look like if we were all like Felicia? A better, happier place simply because everyone does what they love, what their souls want their bodies to do for them.
Become Felicia. Dream beyond those limits.