O.K. So I’ve said I was planning on moving in this direction.
You know… the travel to Europe, work on my business, and create a life where I can work doing what I love and have time to take care of myself.
And you know what? I am. I’m doing it. I’m taking my laptop and business aspirations and moving to Europe. There were quite a few thing I planned on accomplishing 9 months ago when I left a certain career path. Among those things were: building a personal business that I could one day support myself with, traveling more (and figuring out a way to have a lot more travel in my life for the long term), and furthering my professional writing endeavors.
I’m now 9 months farther away from the place I was, and things have become more and more clear as time continues to pass. My fears have become much more obvious: fear of public opinion and approval of what I really want to do, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of following a path that doesn’t guarantee ‘security’. Fear of ending up alone if I throw myself heart and soul into everything I want to do (which includes a lot of travel, living on very little money, and putting in a lot of long hours).
Yet, my true desires have become much more clear. I am able to admit them now, and to throw away some of the shields I was putting up that were for the benefits of others (public opinion..) and not conducive to progress.
For instance, leaving one career path and pursuing advanced education while working on building a personal business. This is a lot to take on at once. How much did I want the advanced education, and how much did I want the personal business? Short Answer? The business was always the true desire. It is the desire that has resided within me for as long as a I can remember. It is the desire I always saw as impossible or perhaps just didn’t believe in myself enough to pursue it. It is this desire, that truly encompasses everything I want to achieve: greater personal freedom, greater future financial security (if I have only myself and my own hard work to rely on, I know I’ll succeed), the ability to travel and be part of the international world, and the opportunity to do something I’m passionate about on a daily basis, for the rest of my life.
The advanced education was the backup plan. The ‘I’m making a valid life choice’ example to hold up publicly so that the world would see me as legitimate. Sensible. Academic (which seems so much more respectable than an entrepreneur with no nest egg trying to start a successful personal business).
While publicly talking about my education and my entrepreneurial endeavors (as if I could only do the one, while pursuing the other) I personally became aware that I was wasting time spending half of my energy and savings on an education that wouldn’t get me any closer to having a successful personal business (or closer to any professional goals to be honest). But what I also realized, was that my endeavor into beginning an advanced degree was something that was serving a bigger purpose. The purpose of helping me to see what it is that I really want, and what I don’t.
Right now, I’m clear on this goal: traveling back to Europe, and staying for an extended period (I’m thinking at least a year) while enjoying the feeling of being a European citizen (I have an EU passport). Yet, also consistently working towards multiple lofty professional and entrepreneurial goals. I want to get better at writing professionally, get things published, and find a voice for my blog. I want to consult with small businesses on their social media and marketing/brand needs and learn how to utilize the tools that are out there, during the process, to help them. I want to practice my foreign language skills and improve my Spanish or learn French.
Where am I going? I’m not quite set on that yet. I have done a LOT of research over the past 3 months and it has narrowed my preferred choices of cities, down to a shorter list, but there is still much that is undefined. A lot depends on where I find work or is cheapest (must pay the bills while I pursue my dreams!), where I feel the most at home, and where there are the right kind of opportunities that present themselves to me. I feel I’ll know it when I find it.
I have a goal of finding either remote work or some sort of work to help pad my finances (even if that means tutoring English students or helping professionals prepare for interviews with English speaking companies) but right now I have enough to scrape by, if necessary, for 12 months.
Do I sound a little bit insane?
Am I scared?
But my fear is more of the loneliness of not seeing close friends and family for so long and missing creature comforts from home (Hiking and beach nearby, Netflix, Whole Foods…whole grains… tacos!). I’m less scared of not being able to support myself, or of not progressing with my personal and professional goals. I know I will be able to do both of these things, as soon as I find my direction and after enough hard work and time.
Does anything I’ve said in this post, resonate with anyone?
What is stopping you currently, from doing what you want to do most? Do you feel, like I felt, the pressure of maintaining a successful image and the fear of losing prestige if you follow your dreams?
What are your dreams?
Would love to hear from anyone contemplating big changes in their lives 🙂