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Start Small and Look Up: Achieving Goals from the Bottom Up

Written by Caroline Davis on May 31, 2014

My goal in life is to move out of a basement apartment.

So I’ve often said.

It’s funny. And it’s a thing to say when the people around are discussing their plans, ambitions, and accomplishments, and then it becomes my turn to talk. I get a laughing reply,

Well.... it’s good to have goals.

Yes, it is.

Basement apartments are usually the least costly units in a building. I’ve rented three. They have small windows at ground level, and they have a certain quality, a certain atmosphere—a certain smell. There can be bats, of course. And the sewer problems of the whole building are most likely to back-up in the basement apartment.

Yuck. The spiders are big, but the centipedes are bigger. And the cold is too cold.

Move out when you can, and move up!

But throughout my tenure underground, I found basement living to be honest. I could have gone into more debt during school, or I could have demanded more from my family. I could have built up around me a comfortable, prosperous-looking bubble, in which I had all the sugar I wanted, all the technology, and all the beauty. But it would have been all illusion. No, I can’t have that, I learned to tell myself.

Not yet.

And doesn’t the honesty of the basement create honest goals? The basement, perhaps, is a form of hunger. Hunger is honest; hunger prioritizes. Acknowledging what you really have, and what you really know - along with what you don’t have and don’t know — is the first step towards finding the next step.

But congratulate me.

Now I'm living in a first-floor apartment. I've accomplished my first life-goal!

Are you looking for new ways to stretch yourself, but wondering where to look? Check out Caroline's post Get Connected! Lessons from the Checkout Line.

And take a look at Caroline's post on looking forward, Face the Future and soon you'll be painting up your future.

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