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8:59 a.m. - April 27, 2005
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I was never one to dream big, never announced this-four-year-old-will-be-president, never wrote astronaut, celebrity, or lion-tamer on lines inquiring into desired future occupations. Teacher, doctor, translator - these were achievable, fit neatly into the plans I measured out and pursued with sangfroid certainty. Choosing to teach over pursuing medical school was difficult but once made I moved on blithely, as if choosing white over black socks for the morning. If there was an arena where I dreamed large - not big, because these were will dos - it was in travel. Not merely the largest temple, but the smaller, lesser-known, less convenient complexes at Angkor. The pilgrimage for Camino Santiago Compostela. Placing my cheek against the anchor stones at Machu Picchu. Worshipping at dawn at St. Catherine's. Some places I've reached, others have been removed from the list - too many destinations water down the importance of the others - but I realized a while ago somehow my will-dos have morphed into fantasy and would-have-dones. I am not going to experience these things, will not go to these places, won't run my hands and eyes across these things for myself, won't have this pleasure of myself for myself. Thinking about this is similar to pulling out a beloved toy from childhood and putting it back in a box: As much as you're tempted to play for a minute and would like to, it's just not the same. I put away my list, shrinking my universe.

Thought about that this morning as I showered.


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