I always see these super together young women on airplane and in airports looking like they must be taking a vacation from some really really important career, probably running a refugee camp and leading a foundation for inspiring young girls through scientific reading and experimentation.
And they just sit there, looking all beautiful and wonderful and happy and really together. Like, this kind of person never has stains from sweaty armpits on their grey t-shirt. And they have a perfect messy bun and a beautiful tattoo that peaks out from under a perfectly fitting tee with something cute and smart and sarcastic.
Of course this spectacular human is reading a non-fiction book on why wars funded by the US government in Afghanistan are perpetuating inequality between men and women.
This is what I want to look like in my dreams of being the queen of humanitarian + agriculture + innovation development organizations. I’m calmly breezing through life with a smile on my face, an intellectual book in hand, and no sweaty armpits.
Flash forward from my dream to my real life.
I’m in an airport moving to a new continent, by myself, because I thought it would be a good idea to take a job before sorting out the details of how my life partner and I could live in a new place together and both have jobs and both be happy.
My Mexican street dogs are crying in their kennel while the airport employee stare at my situation, watching the chaos unfold. Five different bags are half open across the floor. A few credit cards are strewn about. Dog food and water are splattered around me. Amazingly I have all the paperwork in order. And thankfully the airline people held onto my credit card to make sure everything was paid for.
And I am sweating.
Ohhhhh am I sweating. By now I know I have to wear black clothes in these situations so you can minimize the visual aspects of this experience but its dripping down my face so I am fairly sure everyone knows.
By miracles of all miracles I got all the things in the number of bags allowed + a half-broken reusable grocery bag where all the things that didn’t fit are being stored. I rush through security and get to my gate just in time to jam all the things I think I might need into the random storage pockets on my carry-on backpack which ensures that I stumble onto the airplane looking like a person who is not mentally stable enough to be allowed to be alone on an airplane.
So while I dream of being the queen of the world,
I also dream of being a less sweaty, more well prepared, not a scary crazy person alone on an airplane. And though yes, in 18 hours I will be starting out a new life in Rwanda with an interesting and innovative organization working to make the livelihoods of farmers across East Africa better.
And I am freaking excited about it.
But I am scared too.
Because following dreams is hard.
Probably that lady sitting calmly in the airport with no sweaty armpits saving the world might even think following her dreams is scary too.
But you know what?
Sweat dripping from my forehead, no intellectual book in my arm because it would have set me over the weight limit, puppies crying under the airplane, and fear of what is to come --- I am still glad I followed my dreams and will keep doing it over and over again because I do not know any other way to live.
I hope you can follow your dreams too, and I hope it is a lot less sweaty than my dreams.