Yesterday I came back to work, ready to unpack, sweep, and possibly spray another round of bedbug spray over my suite before the students came back on the bus, only to find that my keys were locked in the office and no one could let me in. I sat by the front desk and started reading (I’m halfway through I Know This Much is True) when a coworker sat next to me and said, “Kylie, what is your dream?”
I think writers, by definition, are big dreamers. I spend more time inside my imagination than outside of it. I’m also a massive and unapologetic optimist, so I can only imagine the brightest future for myself and everyone around me.
But I also know that life never goes exactly how you expect it to. As much as I like to make lists and plan everything down to the last nanosecond, I also know that learning to accept surprises gracefully and without (too much) complaining is the only way to be happy. So my dream isn’t as specific as living in California with a K-Pop star husband and a permanent spot on the New York Times Best Seller List.
“My dream is to be happy,” I said, “and to solve more problems in the world than I create.”
The latter part of my dream is a quote from a Vlogbrothers video that I can’t seem to find, but I think this should be everyone’s goal in life.
I remember an episode of Arthur from when I was little where Binky Barnes wished that he’d never been born, so one fairy-godmother-like character showed him what the world would be like if he didn’t exist. She showed him all the trash in the park that was blowing around in the wind because he was always the one who picked it up. I’m sure there were much more profound differences in the non-Binky-Barnes world, but I can’t remember them. But the message stuck with me:
Above all else, I hope to live and impact the people around me in such a way that, had I never been born, the world would be a slightly darker place.
If I can find a way to do that, I’ll call my life a success.