Ten weeks ago, I stumbled upon The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, a book that encourages people to make art and discover their inner creativity. To Cameron, everyone of us is an artist, and we are responsible to nurture that artist so we can create the ideal world that we envision. For 12 weeks, we are to do ten tasks each week to explore the playful child in us. One of the tasks requires that we list 15 imaginary lives. If we just allow ourselves to imagine, if we just allow our minds to wander, what kinds of lives would we want to live?
Here is my list:
1. Travel Writer
To work as a travel writer means to never work a day again in my entire life. Imagine flying to far-flung places of Mongolian rice paddies, sleepy coastal towns in Portugal, secluded mountain hamlets in the Himalayas, or crisp French vineyards and writing about your travels in quaint coffee shops or on outdoor benches with a flock of turtle doves. To travel and to write? These are the top two things I am passionate about. And starting today, I shall make that dream come true. Gay Emami, the Pinay Travel Junkie, is already living this life. So, why can’t I?;)
2. Tour Guide
To be a tour guide entails a strong working knowledge about the history of a place and the culture of its people. Writing this blog is like guiding would-be travelers in their search for understanding and love, except that the preferred medium is the written language. Being a wide reader and armed with deep desires to discover places through culture, architecture, and food, I would probably have a chance to become a tour guide someday. It would be a very good opportunity to know what other travelers are thinking about or what questions are being raised by them. I think the most critical purpose of travel is to make people ask questions and, by becoming a tour guide, I wouldn’t run out of things to ponder upon.
When I was a kid, I often played with acrylics, watercolors, and oil pastels. In fact, my favorite toys were crayons disguised as superheroes. “Cornflower” would be the protector of the farmers; whereas “Periwinkle” was a mysterious sprite that guarded the mystic lake. I used calamansi (Philippine lemon) to imprint watercolor images on paper, and I would often “waste” acrylics on pieces of bond paper while waiting for my midday snacks. Is it too late to rediscover my passion for painting? I don’t think so. In fact, I am on my way to Sip and Gogh to take my first painting lesson while downing a glass of German beer.;)
I love fantastic stories – those that can send me crying at night or laughing horribly or even meditating silently. I can imagine the lives of my favorite authors and the way they think by reading their literary works. Their lives must be very interesting (and worth living, too)! By becoming a novelist, I can dig deep into my imagination and have an encounter with my own psychological activity. Furthermore, I can be a wellspring of inspiration for writers and artists who also wish to grapple with the same artistic endeavor.
Singing is one of my artistic strengths but I wish to become a full-fledged musician so I hope to learn to play the guitar and the piano, too. And to learn to write my own songs would be a bonus that would enrich my musical experience. Sometimes, I dream of playing music and singing in a jazz bar or in a local music venue. Sometimes, I just want to go up the stage and rock the world with beautiful music. I want to be like Taylor Swift or Josh Groban. They sing, they play instruments, and they write their own songs.
I might not have published any poem yet but I have already written hundreds of them. My goal? To read them in public, to join in local poetry readings, and to publish anthologies of my poems. Or perhaps I could start with a poetry blog? Hmmm. For anyone who wishes to be part of my poetry group, please click here. We hold monthly meetings to talk about poetry, books, films, and life. Be inspired now!
7. UN Volunteer
Volunteering at the international field while meeting new people from various backgrounds? Check! Traveling to places that regular tourists won’t normally visit? Check! Helping other people build their lives while you also build yours? Check! The world needs great people. To be a great person, one must do great things. This could be your spring board. I intend to volunteer for a full year in 12 monthly portions when I am 28 years old, when I have already finished my master’s degree and when I already have 5 years of solid work experiences under my wings. For now, I’m content with volunteering for other local causes. Were you inspired by this? Check out the website of UN Volunteers here.
A budding polyglot here. It started when I went to the US to study high school. I took up Spanish for a year and was accelerated by one level when my maestra remarked that I learned too fast. When I came back to the Philippines, I had to take up French in my senior year because it was one of the required classes. As much as I wanted it, the teacher was always absent. Then came college when my mentor encouraged me to study German. Deutsch was one of the languages I never wanted to learn until I actually showed up for the class and ended up as a top student. Being able to speak foreign languages is magical. One gains access to another dimension, another consciousness. Linguistic and reasoning skills are further strengthened, and understanding and appreciation of cultures are heightened.
Of all the imaginary lives I have mentioned so far, dancing is the only one I don’t have a natural knack at. Well, I danced folk dances back in grade school. But hip-hop? Ballroom? Forget it. My body would easily surrender. But that’s the reason why it’s called an imaginary life. Perhaps, in an imaginary world, I could find myself dancing like Usher or Adam Levine. 😀
10. Professional Mountaineer
Yes, I’ve been climbing one mountain every month, but that is not enough to make me a mountaineer, or a professional one. I need mentors like Gideon Lasco of Pinoy Mountaineer. I need coaches to train me to become one. I need to be able to use ropes when assaulting steep rocks. I need to shake less when walking on the edge of death. I need to take up a basic mountaineering course, just like the one taught by the AMCI Mountaineering Club, Inc.
11. Doctor of Alternative Medicine
Need I say more? Western medicine has been so focused on treating illnesses and using artificial methods in managing health conditions. This will not give you the ideal health that you want. I believe the focus of medicine must be the fortification of the body and the strengthening of the immune system and not solely the treatment of diseases. Coughs and colds can often be prevented AND treated by taking virgin coconut oil or by drinking fresh ginger tea, so why rush to the pharmacy for a 7-day prescription of questionable antibiotics?
12. Mountain Biker
Because I love hiking and biking, I figured I could combine the two and be a mountain biker, too. 🙂
Wha wha what?? What is that? An epidemiologist is a health scientist who studies health outcomes and the factors that contribute to those health outcomes. Long ago, epidemiologists used to study diseases only, but modern epidemiology also focuses on health promotion and nutrition. The health field has always been my courage zone. Here, I always feel engaged and passionate. The life of a health scientist is my dream life.
As a chemist, I enjoy making experiments whether in the laboratory or at home. My family and friends have expressed their awe in my cooking, but I admit there are still a lot to know. Perhaps taking a cooking class would help and make me learn more techniques. Chemistry, after all, is one of the sciences behind cooking, and what better place to apply chemical concepts than in cooking! Besides, eating gourmet food everyday without spending too much on restaurant food is already a bargain in itself.
15. Martial Artist
I am not a fan of team sports, not because I am not a team player. Quite the contrary, in fact. I dislike team sports because it is often difficult to find people who would be committed to play sports on a regular basis; hence, I’ve always been doing individual sports like running and biking. Taekwondo is a good idea. I used to take taekwondo classes back in college and was one of those few who got accelerated by two belt colors after taking the exam. Busyness in school took away some freedom, but I guess there’s always a next time? Meditation, discipline, and self defense? The benefits are too good to ignore.
The post above is not supposed to make the readers think that there are too many things that I wish to do given the limited time. No, that was not my point why I wrote this. I am sharing this because I believe there are so many possibilities in this world and, to refuse to give ourselves that chance to partake in the wonders of life, we risk denying ourselves the possibility to encounter the right paths because we never allowed ourselves to open any doors in the first place.
What about you? If you could lead 15 lives simultaneously, what would you do?
I am very excited about your thoughts! Please share them here! 😀
Your Pinoy Joie de Vivre