Not too long ago I was skimming around the edge of Lake Taupo in New Zealand in a van full of friends. It was the middle of summer and we were on a little tour of the first place I called home. In high spirits with bellies full of Burger Fuel, we drove easily breezily around the lake listening to The Black Seeds and smiling as our hands danced out the window of our vehicle through the wind.
We were running late to our destination – Wellington, but as we looked longingly at the QuickTime Logo blue water of the lake…. three of the guys began to float the idea of stopping and going for a swim, and before I knew it – there I was perched on a grassy knoll by the edge of the lake skimming stones across the water as the lads splashed about in their jocks. Ah the joy of an undies swim not involving a bra!
One of the blokes, Dave, was standing on theshore looking out at the three others, aquatically frolicing in Huey, Duey and Looey fashion… and in a blink and you’ll miss it instant he raced back to the van, chucked on some boardies and as I looked back to see where he’d ran off to – saw him racing back towards the lake full speed ahead and…
… into the water.
Everyone laughed and us girls chucked pumice into the water, not really wanting to get soaked… but as we piled back into the van – some damper than others, a seemingly nothingish conversation between the chaps and Dave – the “better late than never,” swimmer of the bunch took place, that in a completley un-nothingish fashion, has changed my outlook for this whole year.
“Dave! That was so awesome when we looked around and you were racing in in your bright yellow boardies!” chimed an excited Samuel.
“Well…” (Dave is always chilled) “… I’ve decided I want to live the dream more this year, and I was looking at you guys swimming and you were all living the dream in that moment, and I wasn’t – and I wanted to be living the dream!”
We all laughed at it and were stoked Dave had stripped off and lived the dream at the lake, but later on as dusk turned into my favourite game: quietly spotting the first stars out the window of a van listening to music, I got to thinking about the beauty of Dave’s simple statement.
“When I looked out at you guys, you were living the dream – and I wasn’t, and I wanted to be.”
It’s funny you know how often we get the chance to live the dream if we’re looking for it. A new job, a change of scene, vanilla over chocolate, or teriyaki instead of honey soy. A shift of countries, a new relationship. The dream, in all of it’s little and large states is something that gets offered to each of us – surprisingly frequently if only we have our ears pricked up enough to listen out for it, and out eyes open wide enough to see it.
For the rest of my New Zealand holiday, I decided to live the dream – to eat at my favourite cafe in Wellington for every meal, to go on an impromptu camping trip, to stand in the rain on a beach, and in all of it – I found that I had one of the best holidays ever, and on my flight back to Melbourne – I wondered what might happen if I decided to live the dream more often… not just when I’m on holiday, but in every day regular Jane Blogs life.
My flight home was struck by a lot of turbulence, and I tell you what – if a flight like that doesn’t inspire you to live the dream as much as possible, or at least get your prayer priority right if you happen to be the praying type, I don’t know what would.
This year I have decided to live the dream more, in little ways – every day. Living the dream is about living intentionally. It’s about loving the socks of others, and not being lazy (but sometimes it’s about being lazy…). Living the dream is getting up at eight instead of nine to enjoy an hour worth of lie in, and knowing that sometimes living the dream is sleeping till noon.
Living the dream is not being afraid or too self concious to give it a go.
Living the dream is about being present in the moment and giving it your complete self to those around you, undivided attention and whole hearted helpfulness.
Living the dream is going for a swim in a lake, when you thought you might have just stayed dry.
For me – on a large scale, the dream knowing God, playing music, writing, and getting to know all sorts of interesting people all around the world; and everything else is decidedly arbitrary. Nothing is permanent or constant save for God – and so the dream changes daily.
Right now, the dream is listening to Ryan Adams and writing this drinking Lady Grey tea.
Living the dream is essentially breathing deeply in that life is good, wholely good – for it’s great days and it’s completley afwul ones, and coming out the other side of those days knowing you’re whole, and you’re living a full life.
In the last few days I’ve had some revelation about living the dream, a lot of opportunities have come my way that could make or break or alter my idea of what living the dream is. But now that I have mentally cemented what I want to do… knowing God, playing music, writing and knowing others… I find that the difficulty is not in figuring out what my dreams are (which is an enormous struggle, I know) but it is in defending that dream, and trusting that it can change when it needs to.
What I mean to say, without further gilding of the lilly and no more adieu… is that in this day and age – where we have every opinion and ideal under the sun bandied about us it becomes increasibly difficult to remain true to our convictions and dreams. To the point where consistently living in such a way to dare to strive for your dreams has become almost as mythical as the actual achievement of such dreams.
So go on, try it. The last week of living the dream in every day life has been incredible to say the least. It has made me more thankful than ever before, this realization that I get to live the dream – and get to share in others’ dreams too. It has made me drop my grocery bags and do a cartwheel in a carpark in the middle of the night with my best friend – just because. It’s made me want to encourage others to dream and dream and then live it too.
It might sound childish and hopeful, but you know what – Jesus was all about childlike hope, so by my standards… why would I want to be doing anything else?
Two Thousand and Eleven, live the dream.