Breath in. Breath out. My heart beats loud. I take the stairs, instead of the elevator, when slowly going down the office building I went to work for every day. And then it hit me. I realise what just happened. This was my last working day. I move on walking and I feel a little bit like I am in a movie. “Everything is possible”, I think quietly to myself and keep on walking my way to the subway.
The funny thing is, what is also so paradox about all final decisions, that I felt a sweet feeling of melancholy when I said goodbye to my colleagues. Sentences like “Oh well, it wasn’t that bad after all” and “I am surely going to miss them” sneaked into my thoughts.
I am not sure if you know the episode of How I met your mother, where Ted is trying to break up with Zoe for reasons that are really logical – they just don’t work well together. But every time he is about to finally do it, he starts to see her in a different light. Her hair flies all romantically around her face and all of the sudden he gets cold feet and starts to think breaking up is a bad idea. This is how it is with many situations you actually want to escape, don’t you think? You start seeking out for excuses and persuade yourself of staying and not leaving because simply you are scared of what will come after. We persuade us that the situation is not that bad so we can bear it just another year.
“This can’t be everything?”
However, I survived my Ted Moment pretty well. In despite of all the excuses I made, I pulled myself together and showed balls – I decided to quit my job, so I can start a new life chapter in Canada. It was always my dream to work and live in an English speaking country. And please don’t get me wrong! I loved my job and the team I was working with. I am very passionate about my work, since I found a job that I actually like. However, I just knew there are new challenges awaiting me, like I felt this feeling of “this can’t be everything”? I guess you know what I mean. I had to do what I am doing for myself. Just for me.
“What are you going to do once you will come back – you don’t have anything left then?”
Unfortunately, since my decision to leave all behind, I had to encounter so many repeated questions. Okay, it wasn’t that bad. But let’s face it, it wasn’t nice either to have myself always justified. All the questions from friends, family members and colleagues did left me doubting a little. Was it the right decision or stupid…?
However, I just know all will be okay. I am confident and foremost I do believe in self-fulfilling prophecy, like illustrated in Shakespeare’s MacBeth. You just need to believe in yourself, and you can move mountains and of course you can eventually become the king 😉
I guess confidence is a trait that you get when you travel. Once you are out there on your own, especially as a girl, you learn to be calmer and positive otherwise I guess you would go mad.
So and now for everyone, that is asking me the same old questions. This is for you. I don’t know what is going to happen in a year from now. Nobody knows that, people. I just know that I do not define myself through status symbols and, who would have guessed it, I don’t care about my furniture. Hard to believe, but true. I know many people out there invest their energy in material objects. They save up money for a watch, or the one pair of shoes, or for a particular car, which is of course totally okay. But I save up for experience. Like many like-minded people, I save up money for my travels and the memories.
“Routine kills happiness”
Once I am back I will be so much richer – richer by experiences and stories that I collected. I am not going to be back and “be with nothing” as many tell me. And what did Dr. Thomas Gilovich once say, “life is all about memories – not diamonds.” The psychology professor at Cornell University says that we buy things so we become happier and yes we are successful in doing that but just for a while. New things are only exciting at the beginning, but after a while we get used to them. They become part of our routine and so they will lose their shine. I am not saying here that one shouldn’t treat oneself every now and again. Quite the contrary, you should reward yourself every once in a while. I do that too.
But I am saying in the long run you profit more from experiences and memories. They make us who we are because they become part of our identities and ourselves. We are not only the average of the 5 people we hang out with the most, we are the total of our experiences. Think about it! Once you arrive at your sunset years, you will surely not reminisce about the time where you bought yourself the new adidas shoes in limited edition, but you will reminisce about the so-called good old times where you have grown through others or where you inspired others to grow through sharing your stories.
I see it like that. Everybody reaches his or her goal. The question is just how much you will take with you from life. Of course you can tick everything after another: A-level, apprenticeship, bachelor degree or master degree, work, work, work, and work. One surely will also be happy that way or you make detours on your way to happiness (see my sketch below).
As you can see everybody makes his way on the pursuit of happiness somehow.
However, I sometimes wonder why everybody looks at me so irritated and worried when I tell him or her about my plans to go to Canada? As if I am making a mistake? Why is it still incomprehensible for many people if you do something “different” with your life? Which is not even that different considering the amount of people who do their own thing.
„If I were you, I wouldn’t have quit my job.“
I think because many people just don’t know it better. Many of them judging me have never travelled in their lives. They only left their home city for a package holiday and that’s it.
I guess and that is why they are missing one particular trait – confidence. I am neither naive nor stupid, but I am confident that at the end of the day everything is going to be okay, otherwise it wouldn’t be the end 😉
I am not saying that all I am doing is right. But I am saying I will be okay, even if not everything works out fine from the first start. Because why do we fall? So we can get up again! Maybe some people judge me, because they restricted themselves from dreaming and now they are angry if somebody else is going on the path they always wanted to go. But maybe they are genuinely worried…who knows.
After all, I am also not saying, „If I were you, I wouldn’t have taken out the loan for the car!“ or “If I were you I wouldn’t have gotten married so early!” and do you know why you will hear such sentences so rarely? Because society says that it is okay to follow the path that is followed by the majority. But why do people rely on the majority and not on themselves?
„Either way, all of us will reach their goal!“
And some of us will have some crazy ass stories to tell their children and grandchildren, while others simply won’t.
Therefore, don’t let society dictate you what is okay and what is not. If you want to follow your heart and dreams – do it! At the end of the day you aren’t accountable for no one, but yourself – and that is what matters the most – yourself! You need to be happy with your decision and foremost you need to stand behind your decision. If you like to live abroad or you wish to become self-employed or all of the sudden you realise you would like to become a hand model or cruise ship entertainer – do it! If not now, when?