Ever since I was a child I’ve dreamed of writing and exploring the world. As I grew older, the desire remained, but my ideas about the possibility of my dreams shrank. By the time I was an adult, I believed that following my dreams was immature and impossible. Instead, I told myself, the prudent thing to do was to follow the well worn path. So I took a 9 to 5, married, bought a house and filled my house with stuff.
It was a nice life, it really was, and I was pretty happy. So happy, in fact, that I would go months and months without remembering my dream. But inevitably it always resurfaced, and in those moments I could feel the empty space that lived inside of me, the void of the unrecognized dream.
The more I paid attention to the empty space, the larger it grew, until I reached a point where I just couldn’t ignore it anymore. I knew I had a choice: follow my dream and fill the void inside or spend the rest of my life wondering what if?
I realized that the only authentic decision I had was to chase my dream of writing and traveling the world. I knew as soon as I made the decision that it was right. But new problems surfaced. What would my husband say about this crazy idea? What about our jobs? Our mortgage? Our pets? What about this life we’d built for ourselves? How did it our current life fit with this new life that I knew I needed to live?
I’m making it sound easy, it wasn’t easy, but eventually every obstacle was surmounted. My husband supported my idea. We sold our house. We’re quitting our jobs. My in-laws are watching our dogs while we are away. I started my blog and began submitting my writing to magazines. Slowly the life I was living began to resemble the life of my dreams.
Joy, I think, begins with allowing yourself to be who you are. By acknowledging my dream I gave it life. Once it was alive, the only real choice I had was to feed it and watch it grow. I find my joy, now, in watching my life unfold. I feel like I’m becoming who I’m meant to be.
Kim and her husband are setting off to travel the world in May, 2012. She writes about her journey on her blog So Many Places (www.so-many-places.com). You can also find her on facebook http://www.facebook.com/SoManyPlacesTravelBlog) and twitter (@RTWsomanyplaces).