The universe has interesting ways of teaching you things, and I have learned that there are only two constants in the world;
- the only thing I have control over are my choices, and
- I will never stop learning.
A lifetime in the making, I am finally looking at living a life that I had once dreamed, and dreamed regularly. I leave behind a stable job, that had become the longest single period of occupancy in my life, in order to pursue my longest running passion, as a career. A lot had to happen before this choice was made, and one of those was finding the confidence.
I look back over my life, and the hindsight is sometimes painful and features little “Why didn’t I…?” questions here and there. If only I had… Why did I… It seems to be a part of the human condition to find things to regret, or maybe we are expected to find things to regret. Sometimes I get the two confused. Some of the most influential people in my early life were wary of my interests in the arts, and I chose to listen to them. I believed in them, and wanted to please them. What child wouldn’t. Regardless of how old I was, or how naive I may have been, I chose to listen to these people. The truth is, even though I listened, I never really heard them.
I may have outwardly demonstrated that I was doing the things that, in hindsight, were expected of me; study a science, get a good job, focus on the money you could earn, etc. Inside I hadn’t heard, didn’t agree, and continued to dare to dream. Quietly, even to myself, I started making plans that would take decades to bare fruit.
Standing where I am today, I look back and that part of me that can be selfish, emotional, and complains a lot when things don’t always work, starts picking those points in my life where I had opportunity but didn’t take it. As my wife has said to me, I didn’t make the choice because I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t in the mind-set needed to either see, or make the best of, the opportunity that was (or was not) there.
The metaphor of taking a cake out of the oven before it is ready comes to mind. A sure way to ruin an opportunity is to go in half-baked. I do regret not being able to make those choices. I also see that there was a reason they weren’t taken. Humbling.
So here I am, facing the very dream-come-true reality of today. I am scared, excited, anxious, eager, daunted and encouraged. I feel one fifth my age, and the world even looks different.
And what have I learnt? A few things;
- Dreams do come true,
- You’re never too old,
- Persistence does work, just don’t rush,
- Never give up,
- And always listen to your heart.
Wow Jeff. What you wrote is quite beautiful. Well said.