Day Seven: Give and Take
Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
compare and contrast….
Dreaming of doing something totally unexpected and freeing or continuing on down the same path your on. Getting up everyday and doing the same thing for years on end. Coming up with an idea, a crazy, wild idea and working towards making that idea a reality. This is a comparison I’ve made in my head many times. I often wonder if, had I not come up with my crazy idea to expatriate and begin an adventure in a different country, would my routine have become so unbearable to me? Or would I have eventually come to feel exactly as I was feeling about the sameness of my days by the time I was prepared to leave? Did the dream of doing something different slowly make my current existence feel unsatisfying? Up until I began dreaming of living in another country and changing my life completely, I was perfectly satisfied with my life and the routine I had created for myself. I often wonder if I would have eventually begun to slowly sink into that feeling of monotony.
So, you begin to dream about a change in your life. Then slowly, as time goes on you begin to research little things about that dream. Reading online, googling different things that relate to the dream. Then you slowly begin to talk to people about what’s been on your mind. You share with trusted friends and people in your life who you know wont gasp with horror at your new idea. People you can chat with about it who agree that , yes, that is an interesting idea. Soon it’s on your mind all the time and you even wake up in the morning having had an actual dream about it while you slept. Then you begin to daydream about it as you drive and walk around. This dream is becoming an obsession. Then somehow without your noticing it, your getting really bored with what your currently doing day in and day out. Your fresh new idea has begun to take on an appeal and your beginning to really crave the reality of what could be.
At some point in your daydreaming you realize your new idea for a new way of living your life could actually really become your reality. You can make it happen if you choose. It will be hard, you don’t totally hate what your doing in you life currently. Your not especially unhappy or even unsatisfied at all by what your life has evolved into. Your actually quite happy with your home, your career, your friends, nothing about your life is so bad that you feel the need to escape. But still, its just all so predictable and ordinary. Your craving change, not just a new hairstyle or a new outfit, something much bigger, all consuming even. The thought of such a huge life change both terrifies and thrills you. Your stomach has butterflies just thinking about what it would be like to do it. To actually dive in head first into a massive life renovation. Can you do it? Can you really do it? Can you make such an immense life change? Will you be happy? Will you regret it? You’ll be giving up so much. You’ll never be able to look back or go back to the way it was. Is that what you really want?
So many questions that have no definite answers. There’s no way to look into a crystal ball and know for sure that all will be well, that giving up what you have will be the ‘right’ thing to do. But, will staying in the same ol’ same ol’ be right? Will you feel happy to ‘not’ do it? What will it feel like to never realize the dream that has you awake all night dreaming? Will the dream just eventually go away if you don’t do it, if you push it aside and try to forget about it? Will you regret not doing it? Will you always wonder what it would have been like to dive in? Will the life that you currently love become a life that you resent? Will you come to feel as though the path you’ve stayed on, the path that’s predictable and known, has become a prison of sorts? Who knew that a dream had the potential to ruin what was, before the dream, a good life, and turn that perfectly fine life into something regrettable? hah! Is that what dreams are for? Are they meant to propel you forward towards change? Change that can become transformational?
In order to grow and to really experience life to its fullest I think one must be open to change. To force yourself to continue down the path that is known and predictable is to reject change. To reject change is to stay the same and never grow. As you know I dove in! Head first! I walked away from everything that was familiar and known. I knew I’d never be able to turn back, to return to what I knew I loved. I took a chance on adventure. And I embraced change. Total and complete , all consuming change.
In many ways I had to spend a lot of time comparing what I knew I loved to what I knew nothing about. I didn’t know for sure what my life would be like living in this little town in the mountains of Panama. But I knew exactly what my life would be like if I stayed in Los Altos. I knew I’d continue to walk to work everyday through my beautiful neighborhood. I knew the grocery store I would continue to shop at day after day I knew the view I would see when I looked out my bedroom window. I knew it well. I didn’t know who my friends would be. I knew who all my friends were in my former life…and I loved, respected, admired and cherished them to the moon! I didn’t know for sure what my living situation would be if I moved to a different country. In my old life I knew that I loved where I lived I loved my house that Scott and I so lovingly built ourselves. I didn’t know if we would for certain have another house that we felt so proud of and that we felt so at home in. One big thing I knew for certain was that no matter where I went in the U.S. I could communicate with everyone I came into contact with…not so in the new place I was moving to. I had no idea what it would be like to struggle to communicate everyday. I had no idea what it meant to dedicate myself to learning a language. I never learned any other language and wow, I had no idea what a difficult yet totally rewarding aspect of this new life this one thing would be for me.
Had I made a different choice about following this dream of totally changing my life, what would that have felt like? How would my life look today? Would I even be blogging now? Would I have embraced this surprising and new passion of writing? I suspect I’d still be doing all the same things I was doing before I decided to uproot myself and embrace change. I would have rejected my need, my deep craving for change. It would have been pushed down, repressed and never realized. I would not know so many new people. I would never have known how to speak Spanish! Scott and I would never have had this incredible adventure of building a home in a different country. It makes my soul hurt just thinking about the people I would have missed out on meeting. The experiences that Scott and I have had together as a couple, experiences that have changed us in so many ways….how sad to have missed out on so many opportunities to grow and evolve.
To have decided to ignore that dream of altering my reality I would have truly missed out on a life filled with a multitude of blessings. Yes, I would have remained living a life that I was happy in, but Im so pleased to now be experiencing a new life that is proving to be another path to look back on with pleasure. How wonderful to be able to compare and contrast two totally different lives and to know that both very different paths have been rewarding and wonderful in so many ways. Yes, I made the right decision for me. This type of experience isn’t for everyone. We all have our own very personal dreams that are right for us. But I think the most important thing about a dream is to find your bliss in whatever unique path that makes your heart soar. It may not be a ‘dream’ at all for you, it may simply be your current ‘reality’ where you embrace your bliss! And I say, Good for you! Adventures are all a matter of perspective and one cant compare your own with that of another’s. I wish for you an Adventure today that makes you feel as though you’ve embraced a change that creates growth in your heart in some magical way. Life is good! And I just love an Adventure!
Great comparison. It is so true we must be open to change in order to really embrace life and what it has to offer. Jumping into the unknown is scary for anyone but if you know yourself and are open to accepting the changes, you can do anything. Each experience has it’s own blessings and rewards.
I like this. I often ask myself, is it the need for change that causes the notion of a dream, or is it the other way around? Good post.
Oh those nagging comparison questions:)
Great post! You continue to encourage me toward a similar adventure of my own.
Don’t know what to say exactly. But thanks Holly. I’ll be down in June for my third visit. It’s like a magnet…David.