pipe dreams, plans, mistakes and everything else
03 September 2008 at 15:11
"How many pipe dreams do you have, woman?" was a question posed to me by the lovely Emma last week, and she raises a good point. I come up with "great" ideas at the rate that most people, well... breathe, I guess.
Case in point: "I've always wanted to work at NASA, even if it's just answering the phone there." This is just one of many, and it's flawed in so many ways. For a start, I don't even know if there is just a person at NASA that answers the phones. I always pictured myself sitting at a desk in a building that looks like a spaceship in Florida, answering calls with "Good morning, welcome to NASA. You're speaking with Miriam. How may I direct your call?" but I do suspect the reality is somewhat different. I mean, with my almost non-existent knowledge of space and astronomy, I'd be kind of useless for general enquiries. People would call up and ask me about stars, or something, and I'd be like "I don't actually know, let me put you through to one of our... star specialists. Please hold." Granted, there's probably no such thing as a "star specialist", and like, do people even call NASA to ask questions about stars?
Okay, so the NASA thing probably won't work out, even if I do end up getting my degree from Stanford. Ah, yes... another pipe dream. I have a weird fixation with this school, which stemmed from wanting to go there to make the swim team. So as if Stanford, with its student population of 6,500 isn't selective enough, I think I'm not only good enough to get in, but I'm so awesome I'm going to make the swim team. Even in 2004, when I guess I was "at the top of my game", it was a long shot, so I'd hate to even think about what my chances would be like now. *sigh*
Not that I consider myself to be a person of extremes, but I have seriously considered riding my bike from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario. Now, this is kind of a long way - more than 3000km. It would take more than 30 hours to drive there, so in typical Miriam fashion, I decided it would be an even better idea to cycle. Yes, I am a cyclist, but when you consider my daily rides are between 100 & 200km... it's going to take me a lot longer than 30 hours. 30 days? Maybe. This isn't to say I'm no longer planning to do it. I absolutely am. Just maybe not right away.
If these ridiculous ideas aren't convincing enough, then consider other dreams have included but are not limited to: moving to LA and attending UCLA, which eventually leads to my meeting Greg Graffin and then marrying him; living and mountain biking in Whistler, BC for enough summers to get good enough to win the downhill race at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California; living in Asela, Ethiopia and becoming a formidable marathon runner, while sustaining a yet-to-be-decided profession so I can afford to live there; marrying David Bowie...
These aren't things that I came up with on the spur of the moment either. They all have carefully planned-out, costed, re-planned, re-costed blueprints to accompany them. This is what not having a job can do to you, people!
My little brother Karl once sent me a text message in Japanese, which translated to "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" which is good advice, but I guess it helps if you have a faint idea of where you want your thousand-mile journey to take you. While I'm not going to go so far as to say, it's no good taking a single step with absolutely no idea where it's going to take you - because history has shown sometimes this is in fact a great way to go about things - my better judgment tells me it's probably nice to have a goal... a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will.
For me, I guess for now - my journey is finding that goal.