In a few days, there will be 5 years since I left. Mentally, I left long before that, but let’s stick to that one way ticket that made it all true. I left thinking I knew exactly where I am going and where I want, and it took a long time to shake that confidence up.
It took 18 years to leave my hometown, 3 years to leave university, a year and a half to leave London and 3 months and a half to finish my first contract on a cruise ship.
There is nothing wrong in not knowing where you’re headed, I actually found relief in it. Every time you establish rules, make plans, or precisely define aspects of your life, you assign them a great importance which results in expectations. To make it clearer, when I gathered all my resources to go abroad and study, there was no going back. But setting that achievement didn’t imply enjoying the ride. I’m not trying to say I did not enjoy those 3 years as much as I want to say I wish I didn’t expect so much from it, whether I was justified to do so or not.
I found immense satisfaction in not knowing where we were the next day, whilst working on a cruise ship, or being given a schedule the night before. A dear friend pointed how that is being comfortable. The first reaction was thinking of all the uncomfortable aspects of the job but the truth is I didn’t care. I was not ready for someone to take away my floating object, when my soul got so tired of swimming. My mind needed to catch a breath.
I don’t know where I’m headed next. If you follow the count I did in the second paragraph, it suggests the next adventure will be even shorter. If that’s the case, I guarantee the amount of places visited, or distances travelled will have surely increased.
There is plenty of truth and wisdom in being self-aware, but sure takes a whole lot of energy to get there and maybe even more to accept it. For me, it was how much importance to assign the goals and items I worked the hardest for. What do you change there? You don’t work as hard or you take things lighter?
When your mind is filled with examples and, helpfully, role models, how do you maintain your self-awareness at a practical level? Because wanting to be like them, or get where they are, will make you take similar steps and that’s already taking you off track.
If you found this text confusing, which I am sure you have, there are a few things I want you to take from it. I wrote it because I celebrate 5 years since I made the decision to work for who I want to be. That got confusing because I made clear, long term wishes, before I even knew myself. 5 years is half a decade, and I can’t take it lightly. But what I didn’t mention in the countdown I’ve done above, is that, although the period of time shortened, the challenges I gave myself increased. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zones so many times, I ended up on a floating (giant) box in the ocean. The challenges increased, the time shortened.
Next 5, bring it on, I’ll see you at the “one decade later” milestone.
Where were did you picture yourself, 5 years ago?