The concept of idealism is seeing things a lot better than they really are. I feel like this is one of my strengths, and weaknesses, all in the same breath. I think it might be why I like fantasy so much, because I wish everything could be absolutely fantastical. But even when I am in my realistic thinking, I have quite a bit of idealism going on. For example; I see a hundred things around the yard or house and I think ‘I’m going to fix that’ or ‘I’m going to change this’. Then I end up not ever getting to any of it because I’m too busy trying to keep up with basic survival tasks like laundry and homework.

Of course, I do choose to go on a date or help a friend over pruning the bushes and cleaning my room. However, the fact still remains that I think I can do all of it. I get excited about possibilities and don’t actually have all the resources, primarily time, to accomplish them. The problem here with my idealism is that I try to take on more than I can handle. Which is why I can’t get to all my projects while I’m working full time, trying to expedite through school, and have a social life.

Another area where my idealism causes problems is my bucket list and life goals. Some of the things I really want to do is make a living as an author/writer, start and run an equine therapy center, and travel around Europe. I, like anyone, am not always working consistently towards my goals, so I realize that my accomplishing all three of them may not be realistic when I keep dragging my feet. But I have moments when I wonder if these are really things I’d like once I actually got to them.

Paris is at the top of my list for going to Europe, cliche, I know, but it’s cliche for a reason. I know I won’t be a fan of a busy city, so I really actually think I’ll love some little town in France and want to live there forever. But my idealism of France could be completely wrong. I might feel like the weather is trying to kill me in France and end up falling completely in love with Sweden.

Idealism is a funny thing, on the one hand, it motivates you to work towards your goals, and on the other, it keeps you from them. So here’s a challenge, phrase your idealism in a way that pushes you towards your goals. For me, if I don’t ever go to France, I won’t ever know if I like it, and if I make it there, I may happen to also visit a country I love even more. If you don’t try it, you’ll never know. If you don’t make a list of projects you’d like to do, you’ll never do any of them.

For a bonus, here’s a writing prompt. Write about idealism. This can be about the word, or idealism can be the theme. You can make it a strength or weakness of a character, anything. What do you think of when you hear idealism?

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