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Mary Vidaurri

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How do you balance living practically, with reaching for your dreams? How much does material gain matter, realistically?

As a teenager, there aren't many people within my age group willing to discuss life’s dilemmas outside of drama unfolding on FB, resulting in mental asphyxiation.
I've got my whole, too brief life, stretched out before me, and the sheer stunningness of my own mortality leads me to question the path my life will lead, and the "real" world impact of my decisions.
I want life and every word to the extent that it's absurd. I want to take every opportunity to travel, and fully experience life, even if it means I don't have much in material wealth. I don't mind hardship, I've lived with it. As long as I have enough for food and healthcare I'm fine. (This plan definitely includes college:)
Yet my family and culture pushes me in the direction of "traditional success" which consists of a job paying big bucks, a shiny new car, big house, two kids, and a dog. The American Dream, for a latina in a migrant family. This is seen as climbing up the ladder, it's a practical, comfortable lifestyle. A wise choice many would say and well within my grasp.
So I guess, after all that backstory, I want to hear what really matters once you've well advanced through life? Do you wish you'd taken the leap, or treasure the security of your life?
I don't know, I'm only 16, so I'd love to hear any advice, or common regrets.
and I hope this doesn't sound like typical teen angst, straight out of Catcher in the Rye:)

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  • Jul 23 2013: I recommend three books for a totally different approach to life: Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting by Linda Grabhorn (everything is about energy, and how to keep your life positive); The Power of Now (this present moment is the only time any real action takes place) and A New Earth (especially this one) by Eckhart Tolle. Aside from the ideas contained in those books, I would say that the worst possible goal for any young person is "more" -- more money, bigger house, new car -- all irrelevant to happiness. If you love doing something, do it. If you cannot pay the bills doing it, then do whatever you can to pay the bills and do it in your spare time. I was raised in the Rio Grande Valley, by the way -- my first step was to leave. :) Know that mistakes are your new teachers, and learn from them. It appears you enjoy writing and have something to say. Write stories about your future as you would like to live it. If we cannot imagine a thing, we cannot begin to create it. One more thing: check out www.ic.org -- there are communities forming all over the world; you could travel from one to another, working at each one as needed. The world by the time you are 40 will not be the same place it is now. The present moment, however, is always manageable.

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