too interesting to sleep

by Sarah Luna

Lately I’ve been reading the blog Far Beyond the Stars by Everett Bogue. I don’t even remember how I came across it, but it’s inspired constant genuine reflection for about a week now.

His post How to Imagine Your Ideal Reality has caused me to completely reevaluate the choices I’ve made in my life and the direction I’m currently travelling.

Right now, I’m contemplating what he terms the “location independent” life versus what I term the “established” life. The location independent life is a life that can be lived …wait for it…independent of the location. From anywhere. If I wanted to live in Boston for a year, I could do that. If I wanted to live in Shanghai for a month, I could do that. This is the type of life Mr. Bogue leads.

The established life is life in one place. A life of building blocks: education, saving money, buying a house, etc. Staying in one place long enough to have an impact. And this is the only “adult” life I had considered. And it’s not a bad life. I want an education, a good income, a house, a family, an impact.

I drew up a list of items that in my eyes defined both types of life, and what I concluded was this: up to this point, I have been living a location independent life in pursuit of an established one. I spent the first 18 years of my life in California. Then I uprooted and moved to Texas in pursuit of education. I spent four years in Texas–long enough to become established–but I didn’t pursue a long term job here, I didn’t join a church here, I didn’t find a boyfriend here, and ultimately I decided to relocate yet again to New York. Never had it crossed my mind that I would stay in Texas. There was always a bigger, more nebulous goal.

But could I continue to live this way? One of Gran’s favorite stories of me is the first time she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. She expected to hear something like firefighter, doctor, teacher, ballerina. But instead I looked at her and said: “What I want to be hasn’t been invented yet.”  Perhaps the location independent lifestyle could be the invention I was looking for.

Now family, don’t worry. I’m not planning to quit my PhD program or anything rash like that. I’m still fully committed to continuing my formal education. I’ve simply been defining and redefining what is important to me at this moment in time. I’m setting goals for myself. Two columns: realistic goals and unrealistic goals. Both on a one-year timeline. I’ve done some pretty remarkable things. Why not go bigger?

Once I define my goals, I’ll share them. I’ll need all the encouragement I can get. But for now, go read a few of Mr. Bogue’s posts. He’s quite a fascinating individual.

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