As a kid, I would spend my days lost in a dream. Dreams so real that my mom would think I had hearing problems, as I often wouldn’t hear a word she was saying, even from the other side of our Geo Prizm. Little did she know, in those moments I was living another life. I was a mermaid in the tropics, an acrobat, a surfer, a gypsy, a hunter, a traveler. I would dream about my magical life as a grown up; the adventures, the travels, the love, the freedom… I dreamed of a time when I could open my heart and live my life fearlessly.
“Life” quickly sets in when you reach the teenage years, expectations and responsibilities rise, and through the influence of those who surround us and the level of fear we choose to adopt, our identity is formed. At hand of the beliefs I so innocently adopted, I learned that those dreams that once kept me so alive were surreal. How could I ever be any of those things? What real adult actually dedicates their life to learning, play and travel? So, I surrendered.
I admire those who thrive in this system, those who come home from work, sit on the sofa and feel content. I admire those who look around at what they have with a sense of satisfaction, and look ahead with a sense of eagerness. I wanted that, yet never managed to find it. For me, there was one lingering question that popped up every time I sat on that sofa…
Is this it?
Today I’m 30. The big 3-0. That age which marks for most of us a time of completion, the end of our childhood, the beginning of true adulthood. It is an inevitable time of reflection, be that of accomplishments, goals, visions or dreams. And in my reflections, I find myself in a place of complete and utter gratitude, strangely enough, not for my accomplishments, but for having given up on them.
At 27 I had had enough. I would look in the mirror and often wonder who it was I was looking at. I wasn’t looking at a gymnast, a yogi, a mermaid… I was looking at a girl who had built a life based on everyone and everything but what actually mattered… herself. A moment arrived where a decision needed to be made: continue this path, or be true to that adventurous child who dreamed of bigger things. I chose the child.
And thank goodness I did.
Thanks to that decision, I’ve found the courage to fulfill my dreams. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and have become reacquainted with the daydreamer in me. Really. Fuck being normal, fuck being professional, fuck living a life dedicated to anything other than service and my own truth. I found there are ways of building a life and making money that don’t sacrifice my values (first edit: turn me into a miserable zombie).
By society’s standards, my success in my 20s has been mediocre and fairly normal. Got a few jobs, built a business, fell in love, bought a house, spent time with my family and learned to cook… However, by my standards, it just wasn’t enough. There was a huge part of me that was being ignored, a huge part of me that knew that no matter what I accomplished, that path would never lead me to a full and accomplished life.
Though just entering, I’m beginning to see the advantages of this elusive decade. It’s beautiful, when you truly release what is expected of you and listen to that voice within, things come together as they should, as you truly want them to. Life stops being such a struggle and at some point along the way “I’m figuring it out” turns into “I’m doing it”. There is no more time for bullshit, drama or negativity (God, if only the 20 year old me knew that!).
Today I am 30. And success has taken a whole new meaning.
I have finally created a life that the 10 year old me would be proud of.