Where do you go when your dream isn't your dream anymore?
I am a 27, single, wild hearted, fearless female and in the last seven years I have lived in five different countries and visited countless others. I’ve been living my dream life.
I had everything I could have hoped for in my latest stop, Canada. The perfect Nanny job with two amazing parents and their wonderful children. I had a lovely house and plenty of disposable income, I had friends and I was traveling every long weekend. I was exploring Canada, I was delighting in having seasons after living in the Caribbean for a few years, I was having fantastic adventures, I was secure and settled in. I was sure that this was what I wanted. It felt good. It was the dream life.
Then some familiar old feelings began creeping in. That wandering spirit began bubbling, my mind began working overtime and that restlessness feeling I knew all too well was demanding to be heard. For a while I listened with half an ear and entertained those thoughts and feelings with just a small corner of my mind. I had only been in Canada 9 months but it was time to make a decision about renewing my work visa.
I kept telling myself that this was exactly what I wanted and I had created this amazing life and shouldn't give it all up for some beating heart moments of rash thoughts and ideals. I wanted this incredible job, I wanted to give settling in and commitment an honest go.
Looking back now I knew the truth then but didn't listen to myself throughly enough. I waged a war in my mind and fought my heart with my head.
I said these things aloud to friends and family with so much conviction I almost felt like I was telling the truth. But my soul shook and heart pounded as I said these things and yet I still ignored those flashing neon caution signs inside myself. I told myself I had everything I had wanted and I was being greedy.
So I applied for the visa and committed to another year in my wonderful Nanny job and I convinced myself I was very content and happy with the opportunities that would bring.
But what happens when you get it all but then realize it might not be what you want anymore? Where do you go when your dream isn't your dream anymore?
Suddenly life felt like it was rushing by and yet in the same breath completely standing still. I was uninspired, unfocused, lonely, bored and yet somehow apparently living my dream life. And with that confusion I sunk into mild depression but I didn't even know what it was. I knew something wasn't right. I had days when I felt overwhelming sadness for reasons I couldn't even figure out. A sadness would stir somewhere way down deep in a place I couldn't quite uncover and for reasons I couldn't determine. I wanted to retreat and sleep and the places my mind could wander would scare me. My thoughts rode a roller coaster so unpredictable I felt like there would be no getting off.
It unnerved me immensely to feel lost for the first time in years.
I had used words like independent, free, wildly happy and following my soul to describe myself, so now why did they sound like false advertising? It was immensely unnerving for me to feel weak and uncertain of who I was and what I truly wanted.
Going to a counsellor and beginning to write, really write from the depths, was what brought me back to me but to a different me.
I wrote fearlessly, unapologetically and without intending to showing anyone. I wrote for me about me. It was amateur, raw and unedited.
I muddled my way through what I thought were insane emotions, I began thinking of new plans and options I previously would have never considered.
I wanted to run away from the way I was living but I didn't know how to tell anyone that I got what I wanted and yet wanted to give it all up.
I fully realized that my current ‘dream life’ was not actually my dream anymore. No longer did I want to move to a new country where I knew no-one, after 8 years no longer did I want to be a Nanny, no longer did I want to shy away from commitment for fear of losing independence, and not for one minute more did I want to be away from my family.
Honest revelations that took months to allow myself to feel ok about.
Now my dream life consisted of wanting to return to New Zealand after seven years away, I wanted to dive in to committing to a relationship despite it being riddled with long distance obstacles, I wanted to challenge myself with a new career and I wanted to know my family again.
All of these things paved a new path I would never have seen myself on a year ago.
So what did I do when I realized my dream wasn't my dream anymore? Well I got lost, so lost, then learned that the gut feeling and the little voice in the back of your head is almost always right. That is your soul speaking to you… Listen to it! Maybe it’s not always right to act on it instantly, but it’s always right to listen and acknowledge it. Breathe, trust yourself, feel your feelings and trust your soul for it will never lead you wrong. And to let an old dream go only makes room a new one to be realised.
She’s a wanderer, a wonderer, an adventure seeker and a dream believer.
She ventures to discover herself, her soul and to never think what if.
She lives her life without waiting or hesitating only to be rewarded by finding the world is on her side. She's an honest free woman.
I am Sally,
a Brave Babe. I love and accept myself.