Often I have been asked, by conference attendees who come to hear me speak, what I want out of life. People are curious if my future includes people, independence, and decadence, or a scary isolated existence. Not that there is anything wrong with living alone, but I do believe most people are shocked when I say “I prefer to live with someone.”
Money continues to be a large reason why I still am not where I want to be, only because we live in a society where access to money is necessary to live. I’ve tried not to dwell on that too much, and instead try to enjoy each dollar to its furthest reach. I don’t need millions, I just need enough. Still, I think there is no harm in dreaming. It helps us set goals, and is generated from that inner desire to see the word for all its good rather than the bad. As I have said before, dreaming is the conceptual art of the inner self.
Assuming money is no object, and my life work blossomed just as I had hoped, then what is the perfect life for me?
I love the ocean. I would want to be as close to the ocean as I could get, ideally in California, though any warm climate ocean town would be acceptable. The beach at my back door, or at least in walking distance so I could view the waves anytime I needed to be calm. My plot of land would be the smallest I could possibly have that would allow for my home to fit snugly. My home would be a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian style home, possibly like the Jacob’s house or the Goetsch-Winckler Usonian house. It would have to have three bedrooms, even after my kids move on, because I would want my children to always have a room to stay in anytime they wish to come home. Being environmentally conscious, I would love to fit the home with solar panels, and use led lighting. The wonderful thing about FLW homes is all the natural light. My studio would be in home, where I could record, write, and create on my own.
I’d love to own a Jeep, though I’d love to convert it to a no emission vehicle. Hopefully, my home would be located in a place where bicycle, walking, or public transit would be sufficient. I would spend time in town people watching, meeting locals, and learning about the world in which we live. I would be the owner of an arts school that uses a teaching approach comprised of unconditional love, open to people of all learning types, and offered the most open scholarship program in the US, making sure that even the poorest of students can learn to play an instrument.
Given that my dream means that my financial needs are covered, I would donate most of my free time to helping public and private schools create disability friendly schools with integrated classrooms. I want the next generation to grow up believing they fit into this world just as much as anyone else.
My perfect life would also include a not-so-perfect someone to live and to share the beauty of life with. He wouldn’t need to share my interests or be anything like me, just simply be my counterpoint. You see, to me, love is not like harmony, but really is more like counterpoint. In music, a harmony supports the melody but is usually secondary to it. Counterpoint is when two equal melodies are played together to create a complex and intricate sound. They sound good together, oscillating between supporting the other melody and leading it. Sometimes the two melodies even argue, but they always resolve in the end. To me, counterpoint is love.
My perfect life has no specific goals or ambitions for my children. I would simply just support what ever goals and ambitions they have for themselves, even if I struggled to see it clearly. Just because we are forever tied together by DNA and by unconditional love, doesn’t mean I have any right or entitlement to insert myself into my children’s picture of their own future. I must be invited by my children, and continue to love them even if I am not invited.
Finally, my perfect life would leave behind a story that could inspire others, even if it is just one other. Pain sometimes needs to be shared, so others do not feel alone in theirs. Yet, beyond that we should freely give away parts of our triumph, not to our own detriment, but in healthy amounts so as to show others that it does in fact get better. If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, then be the spoonful of sugar.
There is not much more to a perfect life for me. Seeing new places in the world is always welcome, and I do hope to travel as a speaker to places outside my home country. It really is just that calm stability that comes with accomplishment that I seek.