This one is for those who are going for their dreams and may feel a little behind.
Every person has a story to tell, and I have built this platform to share people’s experiences, as well as mine. This has not been a solitary effort; neither has it been a short and sweet “I just thought of this one day and did it” kind of thing. Allowing yourself to dream your dreams can be daunting: you see this bright shiny place you want to get to, and you feel this excitement, and also alot of uncertainty you know will come up to be seen and dealt with.
At the same time, there is no better time than now: there are plenty of wonderful people sharing their stories and their journeys and you feel inspired by them sometimes, and feel dismayed and unsure about yourself at other times. Why do they seem to have such a smooth sail? Why does that one seem to be so consumed by their illness, shortcoming, or tough times? Is it always so hard? How can it be so easy for some? Is it true what they say, that people who seem happy are only putting up a front? A brave face? Wanting to pretend their lives are so great while they might actually not be? So are we supposed to look at each happy story with cynicism, wondering where their imperfections are; are we supposed then to support only the underdogs, people whom we think deserve help and love, and put down the ones we find are too happy to be comfortable with?
What remains clear is that doing what you love and living your dreams beyond what you could ever expect, can be done, and has been done many times over. You often start out feeling isolated and alone, and slowly realise everyone feels the same way at some point or another, as we each find our own way and connect with others on the road (or out in the open sea), learn something, share a few laughs, swear, smile, cry (sometimes all at the same time), and just keep moving along, collecting memories, treasures, trinkets, lessons, and experiencing layers falling away, and pieces filling in.
Once you start there is no going back: the only other option is to anchor yourself in the everchanging current and tides, and stay in the same familiar spot, and expose yourself to every storm and wave there is. You don’t get to see new places and try new things. Or maybe the outside does not have to change, but as you think and feel things through, things inside you shift, and you see the same places in changing light.
Every person in the same place will experience it differently. Every person has their own uncertainties and struggle, and every person will have their little (or big) list of things that make them happy (make one: go build your own). We each have that thing that we spend our lives facing over and over again, when a new situation arises, even if it was once part of your shiny goal and you have made it to spot ‘X’: when you reach a new level, a new place, a new crowd: we each have the thing, that can feel like it takes a superhuman amount of effort, to get to a ‘level’ where it feels like you might be just like the others, and feel a part of ‘normal’ and can relax.
There is so much talk about it being okay to be weird, because sometimes we need all the reassurance we can find, and slowly learn to give it to ourselves: that we are great as we are. We are wired, to want to feel the ease, comfort and familiarity of the safe, wrapped and accepted okayness of things, but realising you might need to voice something different from your immediate environment, that feels true to you, can send anyone running for the hills or retracting back into their shell. Or maybe you have been the one who felt no hesitation saying and sharing what you see, feel and believe, and along the way started paying attention to the one or two criticisms, drowning out the chorus of praise and love, and things just wore you down. Or maybe things have been so confusing, so often, that it has become tricky to interpret and understand when someone means well, or not.
Sometimes you feel like you have been doggy paddling for so long, and finally got to the shore, and while you are lying tired on the sand, the waves and shore dumps are still crashing on you. That is also when you realise you have been paddling for so long, but hey, you got to the shore, there are things to take care of, like finding food and shelter, but it’s ok to take a few minutes to breathe, and let it all sink in, and say nice things to yourself: you have come so far, take yourself to a space where you feel safe, and let yourself rest. And celebrate wherever you are, and see the beauty around you.
What three nice little things can you tell yourself today?
Write them down and place it on your bathroom mirror with some sticky tack, so that you can see it!
xo Candace Loy
This was also published on the Huffington Post.
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