Sometimes I think about all the things I would do, and be, and say and try if nothing were an issue. If I didn’t have to worry about money, or time, about acceptance, or the expectations of others. An unfiltered “bucket list” of sorts, it would be extensive. I feel like I have the potential to be so eclectic, whimsical and cultured. I would be the kind of person I am only able to be in the smallest of portions.
So here’s to imaginary me … and who I’d be, if nothing were an issue.
If nothing were an issue, I would relish in antiques. I would frequent vintage shops and try on hats from eras that most of the world has forgotten. I would find a way to wear dresses that have never lost their style, and I’d buy elegant, age-worn pieces of furniture that I’d refinish expertly. My collection would tell a wordless story that transcends time itself. My home would be filled with items that are unequivocally unique and distinct in their purpose. I’d have large hutches with hundreds of cubbies and drawers, filled with unlabeled treasures for curious minds to find. And with a slight old-world European flair, everyone would feel comfortable, and connected, though they’d not be able to explain why.
If nothing were an issue, I would make my travels brave. I would focus on uncharted, off-map places. From hiking highest peaks to sand-stepping coastal villages, I would find a way to make the digital, fast-paced, apathetic world feel wild again, and vast. I would stand too close to the crashing surf just to taste freedom, and spend hours wandering … not lost. I would take the time to learn the names of flowers I’d forgotten from the garden lessons given to me as a girl. I would track the trails of the greatest explorers to feel the trace of history, and touch the places others seeked to find. To the many settings of the natural world that inspired the greatest of authors to pen them onto page … I would go, just to see how close my imagination really was.
If nothing were an issue, I would take time to make every individual in my path feel special. Not learning, but remembering a name, not guessing, presuming, or assuming, but asking them to tell me their story – this would be the type of relation I’d crave. I would only weave proper introductions, taking my new acquaintance to coffee at a place that had no drive through, and only served on non-disposable dishes. When our time of sweet, grand conversation had ended, I would say “Let’s do this again,” and have a foreseeable date in the near future to make good on my promise. I wouldn’t text, I wouldn’t email, I would call, just to hear the smile in their voice.
If nothing were an issue, I would let myself be young, not only when I thought it was appropriate. I’d not hesitate to climb that tree with limbs like a ladder that tempt me, or feel abashed to make myself grilled cheese. I would drink chocolate-milk on Saturday mornings and take baths with bubbles that threaten to overwhelm me with their lighter-than-air, suffocating multiplication. I would swing with my head parallel with the sky, and make wishes on every star … not just the first one I saw. I would sleep on the floor with my dog and curl into a ball with my cat, right where the sun spread enough room for us both to fit. If I felt afraid of the dark, or the day, I’d find relief in hugging my teddy bear and telling him all my troubles. Every morning really would be new, and bright, and full of do-overs, with no shadows or memories to wrestle.
If nothing were an issue, I would allow myself to dream without conditions. Nothing would be impossible, improbable or impractical, because ambition and my will would consume them. Every great thought, offered prayer, or imagined whim could be satisfied. What was once pretend, a far-fetched aspiration might transform with my assurance. I would believe and believing would surely be enough.
There is no good reason that should keep us from evolving into who we’re meant to be. I’m not there … because things are an issue, but only because I give them permission to be. Coco Chanel once said, “A woman should be two things: who and what she wants.” Little by little – even if there’s an issue – I’ll try, and I hope you will too.