editorial notebook

Dreaming big in small ways

There are many things in my life that I’ve wanted to do, but haven’t ever gotten around to doing. I’ve always wanted to get a fixer-upper car, get a tattoo, take a spontaneous road trip, go skydiving, and a lot of other activities that sound like a blast in my mind but a bust when actually considered. Admittedly, most of these ideas would be feasible if I had money—but I feel like I wouldn’t act on them even then. Why, you ask? I, like most people, am risk-averse and it is such a problem that I feel like I need to admit it publicly in order to start changing.

Whenever I get a new idea, I immediately think of the downsides instead of focusing on the upsides, and that eventually shuts it down. To anyone else struggling with this problem, it’s a vicious cycle. I want to buy a car to fix, for example, but I don’t know where to start. So many problems instantly arise: where would I get the money, where would I store it, how would I work on it, where would I get the tools, et cetera. The whole idea slowly decays until I convince myself that it’s not worth it. This isn’t healthy. We, as humans, need dreams. We need hope to keep us going. My dream is to have a multi-car garage as a young adult. My dream is to skydive with my friends. My dream is to travel the world. I’m doing my best to hang onto those dreams, and you should as well.

I’ve found that taking small steps is the way to go. I’ve been wanting a tattoo for ages, but I’m always terrified that a design I spend days coming up with will never be good enough and that I’d end up hating it almost immediately. I was browsing Facebook the other day, and I saw an advertisement for Inkbox, a temporary tattoo company. They would ship you a design that you would apply yourself wherever you want and it would fade away after a few weeks. I thought about it for a bit, and then realized this was the perfect first step to test my reaction to a tattoo design I like. Despite all the problems with the kit itself, like getting ink all over myself and subsequently fading the design, I feel amazing and ready to finally start on one of my long-term goals.

If you feel like I do with respect to your dreams, follow my lead. Take small steps, and eventually, you’ll make it to the finish line!