Week 1 – Careful What You Wish For

Ahhh, the DMP. What is my purpose in life? Damn big question to start with!
My initial concern was narrowing it down. I have a zest for life that also means I’m pretty easily distracted. I want to learn Spanish, travel to Nepal, write a book about Nepal, do a triathalon (the short kind), teach kids financial literacy, grow a garden, become a yoga teacher, start a backyard garden program, raise money for causes I care about…did I mention Nepal?
It’s exhausting to me just reading that list, especially since it is only a small piece of what’s actually going through my head, and I can barely get supper on the table in time for 2 hungry kids!
But this is a paralyzing way to live, and exactly why I’m taking this course. So back to the question, what is something that I could throw all of my energy behind, with gusto, and never waver. What is something I’ve been passionate about since the beginning?
There really is only one answer for me – freedom.
This has been my driving motivation since elementary school, no joke. In fact, when I look back at every decision I made up until the age of 29, it was a result of my yearning for freedom.
I reached my goal at the age of 24 when I got hired as a flight attendant with Air Canada. I didn’t make a lot of money, but it was enough to live on, and more importantly, I could hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world I wanted to. I rented a small room in another girl’s house (my whole life, including my car, fit into my brother-in-law’s trailer when he came to move me at 29) and I lived almost completely free from responsibility and commitment.
But, I wasn’t happy. And to prove it, I did a test: I decided to take advantage of my freedom and circumnavigate the globe on a whirlwind 3-week trip of a lifetime. Most of the flights were first class and total airfare came to a whopping $350. I stayed with friends everywhere I went: Korea, Amsterdam, Geneva, etc. When I got home, I realized that I had everything I had ever wanted, but I still wasn’t happy. WHY?
That’s when my life came crashing down around me (save that story for another day) and I learned why my definition of freedom wasn’t making me happy. It was a long, difficult journey, but my life has never been better. Freedom is still what drives me, and what my DMP will be based on, but the definition has evolved. To quote the immortal words of Janis Joplin: “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Jaime

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