Have you ever wanted something, but figured you could never get it or couldn’t afford it, or you worried what your friends would think? How many times have you tuned down your dreams to fit into your current life? What would happen if you dreamed about the things YOU really want? Not the things your friends, family and society think you should have? Does fear of not fitting in scare you?
Well, you are right, your life will change, and you are the one to decide how. What other people choose to think and do is their business. Your business is to figure out what to do with your dreams.
Sitting here at age 62 I have the opportunity to look back at my life and marvel at how I got to where I am now. Yes, I followed the time worn path of getting an education and working hard, but the life I chose to create from these efforts evolved as I did.
The day that I decided there must be a better way to live, doors began to open. I was offered a job that upped my salary by 50%. I was so excited about what this would mean to my family and all of the dreams we could live. Unfortunately, the man I was married to at the time didn´t have the same ideas. Now that I was making more money, he could make less, and hence we remained in the same making-ends-meet rut. My dreams and his dreams didn´t match. It took me a while to figure this out, actually it was long after the divorce that I realized this was the true reason for our divorce.
Although the loss of my marriage was painful it did provide me with an opportunity to figure out what I wanted. My job had opened doors to meeting new people and seeing new ways of living. I volunteered to work a charity wine event and met someone who gave me my first lesson in wine. I attended functions in upscale venues and thought, “Wow, I like this!” Then a man walked into my life who took me sailing in the Caribbean and introduced me to his brother-in-law who knew how to live life to the fullest. I found myself attending parties with celebrities and enjoying professional sporting events. I made friends with neighbors who would encourage us to take our first trip to Europe.
Change didn’t happen over night. During the first five years after my divorce I opened new doors and tried new things. These experiences opened my eyes to a life I had never considered and allowed me to set a new path. As I had each experience, I was able to decide if it was part of the life I wanted to live. I decided I like drinking good wine, doing charity work, living in a high-rise and traveling. In the end, the celebrities and sporting events just weren’t my thing.
This process continues today. After traveling to Switzerland with my neighbors we went on to visit Italy, Japan, Belgium and China. Then came the opportunity to work in Kuwait. After opening all of those travel abroad doors we were ready to try living abroad. Two years in Kuwait allowed us to do so much traveling that we decided we wanted to continue to see the world and live with a variety of people. And, here we are now expats in Valencia, Spain sharing our lives with people from all over the world.
Has my life changed from the teacher who struggled to make ends meet and never took vacations beyond the US borders? Yes!
Have I had to let go of things and people in my past to live the life of my dreams? Of course!
Would I do it again? I’m doing it everyday.
If you were to ask for what you REALLY want, what would it be?