I guess you could call me a dreamer. Or you could call me crazy, illogical, or unrealistic – I’m use to being called all those things. It’s been that way my whole life. Do other people not have dreams? I mean I know great people have dreams but your average Joe. Does he not dream? I don’t think anyone around me does. It gets so frustrating. I just want to be me. Walk out the plan for my life but everyone in my life thinks I’m just stupid and unrealistic. I have a lot of dreams. I have a vision for my life that, to be honest, I’m completely unsure why God has placed some of these desires in my heart. My biggest “dream” though is to travel. I mean everywhere! It’s more like a need than a dream but I’m not sure how to explain that.
I often get this urge to just leave. Go somewhere new, try new foods, meet new people, and explore a new place. This desire is so strong that I get restless until I can go. I examine every possible avenue in which I can travel. Saint Augustine said “The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” This really registers with me because, after high school, I became a flight attendant. I can tell you with all honesty that I learned more in those few years traveling than I learned from my entire education. Being a flight attendant was that job that didn’t feel like a job to me. I was excited every single day to go to work. I love airplanes, people, hotels, and new cities. I’d have co-workers ask me constantly why I was always smiling. Why I was so happy. Because I was.
Then, I got pregnant out of wedlock- FAIL. I got married to an abusive husband who cheated- FAIL. I got divorced- FAIL. I started a business that went under- FAIL. My life is a series of failures. So many of them. But then I started thinking about all the extraordinary people that have failed. Albert Einstein couldn’t learn traditionally. R.H. Macy had many failed retail venues before launching Macy’s. Walt Disney was fired from one of his first writing job because his editor said he had a lack of imagination and no good ideas. Thomas Edison was told repeatedly that he was too stupid to learn anything. JK Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she wrote Harry Potter. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television anchor job foe getting too emotionally involved in her stories. Steven Spielberg was rejected from the School of Cinematic Arts several times. An executive from Harrison Ford’s first movie, told him he’d never make it in the industry. Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. Lady Gaga was dropped from her first label after only 3 months. Theadore Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 publishers. Sir James Dyson had failed 5,126 prototypes before his 5,127th model was a success. He’s now worth an estimated $4.9 billion. It took him 15 years to get a prototype that people wanted. Stephen King threw “Carrie” away. It only got published because his wife took it out of the trash. Henry Ford had several failed business before developing Ford Motor Company. And the list goes on and on and on. What if any of these people listened to anyone around them? What if they just gave up after their first fail?
I guess I just refuse to give up. I get so drained from all the put downs. Why am I so different than everyone else? Why can’t I be content just being here? Why am I so spontaneous and adventurous? Why do I embrace change when everyone around me seems to want things planned out, to never change, and be content with life as it is? I found out there may actually be scientific evidence to back up my struggle. It’s called the Wanderlust gene.
David Dobbs of National Geographic explained that 80% of the population has the DRD4 gene while 20% of us have a mutant form of this gene DRD4-7r. This mutant gene is linked to human migration. People who posess it tend to be incredible resourceful, pioneering, creative, and predisposed for wanderlust, Dobbs says. People with DRD4-7r are naturally curious, restless, and have a passion for travel. They are more likely to take more risks, explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships, drugs, or sexual opportunities. Bearers of this gene generally embrace movement, change, and adventure.
Wow. So there. Scientific proof that I am different and that’s ok. Dream on dreamers. Don’t give up. God made you that way for a reason. Mark Twain said “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”