That Time I Decided to Become an Astrophysicist

nebula in space

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how quickly time moves and how you have to make the conscious decision to make every day count.  I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot recently too, and how much he left undone.  All those dreams and plans that he had for himself, as well as those I had for him.  We tend to live with the expectation that there will always be tomorrow, that you have the time, and that opportunities won’t pass you by.  And yet, it happens – and while I try to live my life without regret, I still have some.

It’s not always necessary to take every path, to grab every opportunity, to grind ourselves down by not taking a moment to be still and breathe.  Dreams are opportunities to imagine what could be/what could have been.

But, when you choose to take a different path, and see where that road leads – what do you leave behind?

Years ago, I had an experience that was one of those moments in my life where time seemed to stand still.  It was a moment where a door cracked open and a little dream was revealed.  I’d never told a soul, I’d never even given credit to that little voice inside my head that wanted it.  But, in that moment of revelation, that door was opened up and the idea was brought to the surface.

I wanted to study astrophysics.

For anyone who knew me – artist, dancer, some might say “alternative” in those days – this was as far out of left field as you could imagine.  And yet, I wanted it.  And better yet, for the first time in my life I actually felt like it was something I could do.  It felt like suddenly it became a possibility.  And what else are dreams for, but to awaken ourselves to possibilities.  I was lit from within, filled with excitement and passion.  I shared it with friends, who were so sure I was joking that they laughed.

That little dream still haunts me from time to time.  Friends will occasionally say to me (laughing) “remember when you wanted to be an astrophysicist”.  As if this is the reason that other dreams haven’t been fulfilled – because I didn’t dream the right dreams, the reachable dreams, the ones that fit within what others’ expectations allowed.

I have that voice inside of me that says “you can’t because”.

So, I’ve started looking at all those things that I’ve said no to, all those things that I couldn’t muster up enough energy for, all those things that reason told me were out of reach.  Why can’t I be a writer/belly dancer/travel photographer/mother/astrophysicist?  Why don’t I make time for those things that I never seem to get around to?  What’s stopping me?

And the answer?  Only me.

1 thought on “That Time I Decided to Become an Astrophysicist”

  1. You can do anything you put your mind to.
    You can be a belly dancing, mothering, astrophysicisting, artist, photographer who travels anywhere you want to go, including space which would fit into the whole astrophysicist thing.

    I remember when you told me.
    I hope I didn’t laugh. I remember being vaguely surprised, but I hope you haven’t let go of that dream.
    You still have time, if you want to, to do all of these things.

    At least that is what I tell myself when I ask what I want to do when I grow up. LOL


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