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good life with amanda dorough

Part of cultivating a good life is following your passions and fulfilling your dreams.

When I was young, I would pour through my father’s National Geographic magazines, fascinated by the exotic people and places. I distinctly remember an issue featuring the ruins of the great Khmer civilization of Angkor in modern day Cambodia. The crumbling stone facades appeared so magical to me — like something you would find in a fairytale. I knew that one day I must visit, and suddenly my young self had begun her first bucket list or moreover a dreams list.  The following years saw many other dreams added to the list. There were places to visit, things to see, goals to accomplish….

The list got long. Like super long.

Fast forward to my freshman year of college. I was a quiet pre-med/biology major, and I hated it. Often times instead of studying, I would find myself combing through the internet, searching for the exotic places on my list — the history, the culture. I did love medicine, but there was so much world to see, so many experiences to have. My life felt stale, like I was missing the key ingredient to happiness. Then one night during that first year of college as I was laying in bed thinking, it dawned on me. I had the ability to change my path, to follow my heart and passions, to do what I loved. I wasn’t stuck even though common sense told me I was. So I completely changed my direction. I changed my major, changed schools, and left to travel the world.

In October 2009, 18 years after I first laid eyes on Angkor in National Geographic, I got my chance to visit the ruins. They were just as spectacular as I had always imagined. Giant statues of kings long dead, temples overgrown with jungle vines. As I walked through ancient passageways, I couldn’t help but feel a little like Indiana Jones. The smile on my face could have lit a room. This was it, I was finally in the place that started everything. And boy did it feel good.

I realize as I write this that the freedom I had for a complete change was a luxury. Unlike many of you, I had no significant commitments holding me back. However I want to encourage anyone who feels stuck, lost, or unfulfilled that no matter your season in life, you can follow your dreams and check things off your list. For every person the journey is going to look different, but if you truly desire something you’ll get there.

For me, when it comes down to it, I know that my life is what I make it, and it’s chasing my dreams that truly makes it a good life.

Amanda is a part of our Creative Team using the Project Life® App. She was born and raised in Seattle, Washington but currently resides in Texas.

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