My heart patient friend is doing ok. Her spirits are a little down because she is stuck at home all the time while the rest of us are at work. She's getting antsy and a little bit frustrated with her limits. The other day, she was puking all day, and we aren't sure if she had a short case of the flu or if there was another reason. I had high hopes of getting over to see her more than I have, but making Christmas presents at the last minute, unpacking and cleaning my new and old appartments, and overdrafting my checking account made that nearly impossible. Just because those are all valid reasons why I have not been over to see her more than once since she got home does not make me feel better about it. It would be nice if we lived in a world where we could drop everything to take care of someone we loved and our employers and such would just understand, and even continue paying us! haha I kill myself.
Anyway, on to the point of my blog today. I saw a quote in the news paper this morning. (Yes, even the young and naive can break the seal of a news paper every so often.) It really got me thinking. Here it is.
"Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
Now here is where I am confused. When we are young, our parents, teachers, and mentors tell us we can be whatever we want to be. We should chase our dreams and never give up. As we grow older, though, it's as if the pessimism sets in. Some of you may say it is not pessimistic; it is merely realistic. However, how can you expect a child not to experience serious disequilibrium by the time they reach their college years? All throughout their childhood, you tell them to be whatever they want to be and that anything is possible. Then, by the time we get to college, a mere 18 years old, after we have been nurtured and babied at home, we are suddenly expected to choose a "real job" that we will be expected to do for "the rest of our lives." As children we are taught that happiness is always within reach as long as we believe it is. Yet, as an adult, we are taught that chasing after our dreams is childish and irresponsible.
This is why movies like the Pursuit of Happyness can exist. It is a huge trial to actually go after what makes you happy, and this quote reflects more the adult mind set than the child-like mindset. We are supposed to sit around and wait for happiness to flutter into our lives instead of reaching for it and chasing after it. Isn't half the fun of seeing a butterfly achieved in chasing after it, free spiritedly laughing all the way? Somewhere in the back of our minds, we know we are very unlikely to actually catch the butterfly, but we continue to try because the experience is worth it.
When do we reach a point in our "grown up" years that we stop trying to achieve greatness, that our imaginations are completely evaporated? Why is it so easy to tell our children or children we know to chase their dreams and be whatever they want to be and yet we can not live to the same standard? I understand that having financial security is important, a necessity more than anything. However, people get so set in their ways, they forget to even try other things. Just because you already have a job, doesn't mean you can't dabble in the arts or wherever it is you find your heart is the happiest. I want to encourage you all to remember your childhood dreams, let your hair down, and chase a butterfly once in awhile.