When I was nine years old and couldn’t fall asleep at night right away, I would often find myself closing my eyes and seeing myself alone inside a small, nearly empty hut with only a small single bed that’s so near the dining table.
I would imagine adding one little closet across the bed and a box with the same width of the bed for my other trinkets, towels and blankets.
I would fall asleep even before I could add the kitchen and bath and forget the whole thing the next morning. I must get up to prepare for school. The same daydream happened for at least few more years until I have totally forgotten about them.
I was told that big houses with separate rooms should be the goal and if I will dream, I should dream big. It’s free.
So I went to college with a big dream house in mind. We are from a village and the only thing that should stay on my mind was that we’re poor and that having a degree would change my life or even our lives.
I even wrote on my college entrance exam that in five years, I would be wearing a nice coat, a black pencil skirt and black sky high pumps while holding a black leather briefcase containing all my law school notes.
None of those happened. Maybe because they were not really my true dream. And maybe because I was scared that my true dreams were too small and too simple that they would disappoint my parents who’re spending thousands for my education.
Sure I looked the part and have worn the clothes but I never went to law school nor felt successful with my salary that was barely enough to get by. I couldn’t afford to buy myself anything with value then.
My salary wasn’t enough for the luxuries that I got used to from my mother. My mother was right. My monthly allowance when I was still in school was higher than a regular employee’s salary.
After school, I would feel guilty that I couldn’t give back to my parents. In our culture, we are expected to give something back even if I didn’t totally get it.
None of the schools I went to taught us that too which kind of made me feel more discouraged to try something different. You know, something that is close to where my daydreams took me when I was nine. Alone. Independent and in control of how I wanted my life to really look like.
But it felt like it will never ever happen without being branded selfish and ungrateful. Culture: Something I love but couldn’t fully get where I came from.
Read also: 10 Things That Changed Since I Lived Abroad.
I was 29 when I realized that I couldn’t say no to my inner child any more. Something inside me was telling me that life is not just all about being comfortable, having a flat line and just waiting for retirement.
Fully influenced by my favorite travel bloggers and authors, I left my job and sought refuge from my parents. That made them treat me like they treated me when I was a child. All of my insecurities were reactivated and all of the confidence I have worked hard for to have just vanished.
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I thought moving back in was a silent cry for help because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Our culture doesn’t have a term for that aside from laziness. Anything mental health is nothing but theater.
Life has been happening and as parents, they are buried neck-deep with responsibilities.
There was no time to deal with me acting like a hormonal teenager. To them they lost the daughter they raised but to me, I was trying to figure out who I was really meant to be.
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I never went back to “working properly”. I went broke but I was happy with not having a boss. I continued to do odd jobs to buy myself some time to really think what I really want. I must find it. I am not ending this break until I find it.
There, at the basement of the old lady I was helping, I found all the answers. They were all inside me all this time but my fears kept me paralized, held me captive and froze me until my soul wanted to jump out of my skin.
Until, with shaky hands, I launched this blog in 2018.
I was alone and broke but I stayed up late writing, learned how to express everything that life taught me since my parents left us to work overseas when I was 15, experiences from all of my solo escapades, losing weight, depression, kissing frogs, moving abroad twice, being homeless and heartaches in an attempt to free my heart from all weight that has built up in there.
I forced myself to read every work of world’s greatest thinkers I could find until I fell love with reading stuff that I used to find boring.
I learned how to stop wasting my time, buying stuff , research how to run a website and how not to give up even if I had to get up early again the following day with every little muscle still sore from the previous day’s grind to start grinding again.
Read also: 10 Books That Dramatically Changed My Life.
These quotes (oh, and Miley Cyrus’ The Climb still keep on playing in the background), helped me change the story I tell myself. Before my greatest downfall, I find them cheesy but these days, they fire me up that just compiling them for this post made me feel even braver.
I hope these quotes help you to find the courage to really go after what you truly want how they helped me.
“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.”- Aristotle
“Have no fear of perfection–you’ll never reach it.”
“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
“Ignorance is the parent of fear.”
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”—Eleanor Roosevelt
“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this deminishes the fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” —Rosa Parks
“Great fear is concealed under daring.” —Lucan
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. -Michel de Montaigne
Fear is temporary. Regret is forever. Unknown
Become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. -Lady Bird Johnson
Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.
Fear is your friend. It is an indicator. Sometimes it shows you what you shouldn’t do, more often than not it shows you what you should do.-Tim Feriss
Run after your fears. Chase them. Make them shake. And dread the day you gained enough confidence to realize they were full of shit. -Thibaut
You don’t need it all figured out. The more you think you do, the more you’ll procrastinate and fear moving forward. Have courage and start now, even if you start small. -Thibaut
Don’t fear. Prepare. Don’t fear. Learn. Don’t fear. Build. Don’t fear. Endure. -The Stoic Emperor
Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it. -C. JoyBell C.
Don’t fear moving forward slowly. Fear standing still. -Chinese proverb
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem to be more afraid of life than death.” —James F. Byrnes
“Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance.”
“Living with fear stops us taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.”
Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart. -Paulo Coelho
The beautiful thing about fear is, when you run to it, it runs away. -Robin Sharma
Courage is knowing what not to fear. -Plato
Remember: the only enemy you need to fear is your own self – your lack of awareness and loss of control. The Ancient Sage
“Fears are stories we tell ourselves.”
“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”
Fear is a pointer to your next adventure. Unknown
Face your fears, pursue your ambitions, and become the hero you are destined to be. Josh Kaufman