When I was a little girl, my mum always said that The Master’s Apprentices “It’s Because I Love You” was my song. She insisted that the world was my oyster, and I’ve always been so grateful to live in a country, family situation and life that makes her claims true.
That’s not to say that it’s easy. Sure, when you’re a kid you want to be a princess, and everyone thinks that’s super cute and encourages you even though it will probably (possibly) never happen. Then you want to be a doctor, or a lawyer, and the adults in your family are all for it, of course.
Then you get to high school, and you start exploring more creative options; volunteering in Borneo as an orang-utan carer, starting your own fashion label, working at the lolly shop you always loved as a kid- but you end up doing accounting or engineering at uni, or taking a job as a receptionist for a large company or working as a manager in a supermarket because it’s good work, it’s stable and reliable and there will always be jobs available.
Your parents are happy, your teachers will congratulate you at your ten your reunion on a life well spent and some of you will be content forever.
Some of you will wonder. This post is for you. To those who are happy, I am so happy for you. I do not mean to imply that your work is any less meaningful than anyone else’s, and can understand how it may seem that way. Please, just bear with me- and if you’re starting to wonder, read on with an open mind.
The truth is, humans are lovers of comfort. We admire stability as much as we admire wealth. We’d all like to win the lottery, but would we stake everything we own on it? No. Which is an excellent thing- a part of who we are.
Sometimes, though, this stability can become stale. Sometimes we can feel the monotony of waking up, going to work, clocking in, clocking out, going home, going to sleep and repeating the next day crushing us, and sometime’s it’s terrifying. Even more terrifying are the thoughts that linger around the edges of our minds.
“What if I just left? What if I went to Hamilton island, and became a watersports instructor- or a cleaner, or a waitress?”
“What if I started studying law, right now? Could I be a partner in a firm by the time I’m 35?”
“What if I started my own cafe? Quit my job, bought a shipping container and decked it out in industrial chic goodness and did what I loved every day?”
“What if I put an application in at Lush? It might not go anywhere, but if it did I’d be thrilled! Working with passionate people every day, smelling beautiful smells and loving life?”
So we silence them. We tell ourselves that it’s not worth the risk- it’s not worth the chance of failure, of being broke as heck, of not living life any more than we do at this exact moment.
In highschool, we had a lot of public speakers do presentations. Some of them were a great excuse to miss maths, and some of them made an insane amount of sense. Year 12, first week back came a few words that would never be far from my mind.
“There is no better time than now to chase your dream. You will never have anything less to lose than in this moment.”
Right now, what’s your circumstance? Do you have a baby? Do you have a teenager, going to a pricy school? Do you have a car loan? Do you have a mortgage? Are you locked into a ten year contract at work? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then the phrase above rings true to you.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of your life, I am begging you to change it. Don’t consider it, don’t think about it- get out there and make it happen.
Imagine, for a second, where you’ll be in ten years, ideally. Imagine where you’ll be in ten years if you follow your dream. If you lose the weight, or ask the guy out, or dump the girl that’s actually making your life really hard. Imagine where you’ll be if you step down from your medicine degree that you hate or job selling insurance and you go to TAFE and study childcare, or open a store selling really excellent hats.
Your parents might not be thrilled, initially. Actually, they probably won’t be- and they’re only looking out for you. They might do it subtly, telling you about articles they read in the paper detailing how there are jobs in journalism these days. They might do it not-so-subtly, telling you that you’re wasting your life or that you really did have a talent for hairdressing and why would you give that up to study psychology for a whole four years of your life. You’ll find, thankfully, that as you spread your wings and your happiness glows from within you, they’ll be proud in a way they never knew.
At the end of the day, the one thing that humans value more than stability, more than wealth, more than almost anything else, is happiness. That’s the dream. For some, happiness is a big old house in the eastern suburbs, complete with elm tree, tire swing and golden retriever. For others, happiness is ideas for new jewellery designs at 4AM. Or new heart valve designs, or new ways to teach children Japanese.
For you, it could be anything. For you, my wish is that you have the courage to change one thing today. Anything. See how it makes you feel, experience the way the sun shines a little brighter.
Love, Chloe x