If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” – John Irving
Once upon a time, a poor village girl was lucky enough to be able to go to university in the city financially supported at the start of her degree. It was a dream come true for her, it was almost surreal and fear consumed her to live the life in the city. She continued hanging on her old ways being scared of embracing the wealth of experiences ahead of her.
What happened next is kind of expected. She didn’t adapt well in her new city environment, looked down as being the provincial girl, almost failed at a new subject she’s never trained before, alienated the sponsor for her financial aid, and became the almost-dead tiny fish in the big ocean.
She almost died because the skills required swimming in the small pond is way different than swimming in the ocean. It takes lots of courage. Not only deep-breath-take-in-all courage but make-it-happen courage.
She didn’t have the courage but what she feared most of all is going back to that same old pond, where everything is predictable. Fear of leaving the big ocean took over and survival instincts came in huge wave and she kept on swimming ferociously.
Spoiler alert – the girl turned in to a woman who had her dreams come true.
And what happens when all dreams came true already and we are living the life we love? What happens when the future is now?
What happens when we are in deep on the ocean and mingling with all the sea creatures and see habitats underneath? And we ran out of oxygen?! Oh boy that is scary!
It takes courage to live the way of life we love. The what-ifs, the expectations, the fear of losing everything.
It takes a lot of courage to live and improve the way of life we love. The fear of failure on totally different level, the fear of much more risks, the fear of embarrassment, of fear of not reaching the full potential.
It takes a lot of new level of courage to set goals improving the way of life we love. The fear of not being content with the way of life.
At the present time, when stepping up and making things happen for me and my family, when we set any goals, especially travel goals, my metaphor goes from the deep ocean to city’s skyscrapers.
I think skyscrapers when we want to live the way we love and improve it further. Well, I used to think of mountains to conquer, but now, somehow, tall buildings and majestic towers appeal to me more. Maybe because I know, there a lot of things going on inside the buildings that to reach from one floor to another is way more complicated than it seems. For sure, mountain climbers will say the same thing, that going to higher levels require more skills and tools, and that is very true. Not a mountain climber just yet – but it’s on our family bucket list, too!
The point is…
Living the life we love and fully embracing the fun of the experiences takes a lot of courage. I think skyscrapers because when you look down at the view, there is a feeling of falling, and that is scary. What if the building collapse? What if a tsunami washed away the building? (This happened.)What if planes crashed into the tower? (This happened, too.) What if we fall? Oh boy, what if we fall? The embarrassment, the shame, the pain of falling!
Swimming in the big ocean or appreciating the view from a skyscraper may require different set of skills to keep going but it does require the same courageous attitude to keep exploring a different territory, of living a way better life than what we have already or even staying put and enjoying the blessings we are already given.
The first act of courage is to accept that we deserve the way we live, good or bad. Thereafter, to act like we belong, to act and make ourselves deserve more than what we have, that’s the next level of courage.
Looking at how we live as an expat family in the region, we realize that we are sacrificing a lot of things like little bit of green environment. Our family life is nowhere perfect where we want it to be. Yet this is how we want to live our life now. This is what we deserve now. We are in our comfort zone now.
Seven years or so, from now, we made a conscious effort to make things different for our family. That took a lot of us, to look beyond what is now, to set goals and while at the same time, enjoying our happy and content now.
To accept that we prefer the brown sand (and dust!) over the green for now, that’s courage. If, in the near future, that we realize that we can’t survive without a little bit of green, it will take a lot of courage on our part to make the changes we are supposed to do. We can almost feel the fear and we are looking forward to it.
For now, the brown sand (and dust!) enables us to enjoy a variety of colors while realizing our travel goals.
It takes courage to set priorities over our desires.
It takes courage to focus on our goals while living the life we have now.
It takes courage to say out loud to the world our goals.
It takes courage to live the life we want.
It takes a lot of courage.
How courageous are you and your family?