Lately I have been talking to a few people about dreams and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. I love those conversations and I love hearing what people dream of and what makes them feel alive. A couple days ago a woman urged me to continue seeing the world if that’s what awakens a fire within my heart and said, “…And then when you complete this chapter of your life you can chase the next dream, and then that dream that you so yearned for will become another beautiful memory that forever changed the fabric of your own universe.”
Less than a year ago I lived in the US and attended college while working overtime just to make ends meet. I spent a few hours on the road in heavy traffic each day getting to and from work and school and was always mentally and physically exhausted. A break didn’t exist in my mind save for the occasional night out I’d allow myself (“everything else can wait for a change!”) or when I’d close my eyes at night and have one of my familiar “Holy hell, I have a TARDIS and can go anywhere I want – Oh look now I’m in Paris – Oh look, now I’m back in Sweden – Woah now I’m in Germany” dreams. Every time I did, I experienced a brief moment of absolute bliss – the kind that lights an inextinguishable flame within – the “I want to scream it off the roof tops” sort of happiness that gives you complete and utter purpose: “This is why I’m here – this is what every atom in my body was designed for.”
But for several years I kept going – weaving in and out through traffic on the highways and in and out through crowds who did not understand the strange longing I felt. They wanted that life – the life I tried to reach for with such determination, but I felt stuck and uninspired and even more frustrated that I was different and that I needed something more – something I felt I could not reach.
But one day as I laid there the thoughts in my head began to unravel into a finer mess of dreams and hopes and for the first time in far too long I began to listen to myself: “What are you so afraid of? Not meeting the expectations you’ve set? Losing everything? Regret?” and then I realized how pointless it was – believing for even a second that I wasn’t in control of my life.
A few months later I found myself on a plane to Europe with naught but two suitcases. I was terrified and did not know what to expect except for the harsh reality that I had made a great compromise – I would lose people who meant something to me and I knew that the day I return I will not be the same even though everything there stayed the same. But I would not take it back for the world – all of these horizons and multitude of perspectives, the languages, cultural differences and people, and the lighting of an explosive spark in my soul and leaving fragments of my heart all over the world.
So if I were to ask something of you, it’d be to always follow your dreams. I don’t care if your dream is to travel the world, become a writer, or leave home for another place that you for some mysterious reason feel a deep-rooted connection to, or to start your own business or to live underneath the stars. Take small, steady steps or leave everything and jump and don’t you dare let anyone talk you out of it, including yourself. We are the authors of our own lives, but we only get to write one story, so make it a good one. 🙂