In 3rd grade, my teacher gave me a detention for staring out the window during class. That’s all I remember from the 3rd grade.
In college, I met this lawyer guy. I asked him if I should take time off before attending law school. I don’t remember much of anything I learned in college, but I remember the answer to this question: “Picture yourself in, let’s say, a contracts class in law school. Are you looking at the professor or are you staring out the window?”
I planned a trip to Europe the very next day.
When I graduated from college, I crammed 5 years of livin’ into 8 months of freedom. I knew that I wanted to go to law school, and I didn’t want to put it off, but I also didn’t want to spend 3 years and $100,000 to stare out the window.
So I took that advice to heart and dreamed like I was livin’ forever, and lived like I was dying tomorrow. I went to Europe. I led canoeing trips in the Everglades for delinquent kids. I danced at music festivals. I built homes for Hurricane Katrina victims and watched Barbara Streisand movies while couch surfing in Fairhope, Alabama. I dyed my hair purple. I lived out of my car. I hugged my dog.
And I didn’t stop there. How could I??? I had too many dreams!!! So I kept goin’ -- I traveled with my brother, with friends; hell, I traveled alone. I led a trail maintenance crew in Maine, I meditated in Sicily, I painted orange trees on an Italian organic farm and worked on a vineyard in the south of France. Shit I even slept on the floor of a cargo boat just so I could watch the sunset from Santorini.
And when law school orientation came around, I thought I was ready. Ready to be an adult. Ready to be serious. Ready to give back to a world that has given me so much joy.
And then I got to window dreamin’ again.
And I realized somethin’.
I DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE. We don’t have to choose. I love the field of law, and I’m excited to have a career, but window dreamin’ is a part of who I am. And no matter how many times I, a teacher, or someone I know, tries to kick that from my system, it will always be a part of me.
And so I dreamed a new dream. And 3 years later I was standing on top of Katahdin.
Now that I’m back home, I’ve got commitments and responsibilities like everyone else---commitments towards my friends, family, job, and creditors---but I’m still me. I’m still the girl who painted orange trees and slept on the floor of a cargo boat. And while this may be a sign that I’m finally grown up, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop being me.
A month and a half after summiting “Big K”, I find myself on a plane headed to Florida on business. Starin’ out the window of aisle 18. Smiling. It’s time to dream a new dream.