“How did you find your dream?”
I woke up last Monday morning with a question from one of the readers.
How I found my dream?
There’s no way that I could justify the answers in just few lines because it took me three long, agonizing years to find it and stick to it.
I have seen exercises that promised to find it in just five minutes but they don’t apply to me.
It would have helped if during the time that I was so unclear on what I wanted to do with my life if I had enough words to express what I was going through only I stumbled into them a bit later.
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It was and still a process. A process that makes me suffer because I want to feel loved and and that I belong. Because to find my dreams meant my relationships had to go. I had to fight to be myself and to love myself. And worst, the battle is against people whom I expected to be the first to tell me to just go for it.
Nearly four years ago, I left everything behind. No explanation. Not enough money. No plans at all. No intention of anything at all.
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I just wanted out.
I was so uninspired and every fire inside my body has died.
I badly needed to feel that fire again.
So the question here isn’t how I found my dream. I knew it once but society has forced me to forget it. The question would be how I found my passion and fought hard to go for it and live it.
I found myself sitting staring at the nothingness feeling nothing at times until before I came up with the plan of getting an English Teaching Certificate.
I then wanted to go to South America to teach English.
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If I felt so numb as if my body has over produced tranquilizer to calm me down months and days before this. But the three years that followed was the craziest.
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I said I am finally relieved to be away from the corporate world but I never worked hard day and night in my life just to be able to find that thing that I was missing.
I was pressured to do something with my life like a real adult but I forced myself to stick to my dreams. I wanted something that will look cool but I was asked to do something that will make money to make my life stable.
But for me, being stable means a flat line. And a flat line meant nothing but death.
More of this will be part of my book that I have been struggling to finish. And there, I will not hold back.
For three years, I have asked myself questions like “How does my dream life look like?”
“What will I be doing if money is no object?”
“What is this life about?”
“Which will I regret more one day? Wondering what could have happened had I given myself the chance to really dream or not doing it all?”
“How will I find out if I will not give it a try?”
“How I can maximize my potential?”
“How much time do I have and what can do with it?”
“When am I truly happy?”
Trust me. I have maybe thousands of questions. My head was like Spotify which never ran out of songs. It has all genres from musicians all over the world. It’s never silent there.
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I have a degree (thanks to my parents’ hard work) and corporate experiences inside and outside my country. I have a fallback. I have already conformed for the longest time and this time, I strongly feel that I need to gamble and bet for myself.
I can easily say in my next job interview that I just wanted to explore more to gain more skills and experiences that will come in handy for my next job.
But to tell you frankly, I have been dreading to have to sit in a job interview again and come up with lies to just be given a job that I might also run away from if I will fail to feel challenged and fulfillment again.
I have a track record for walking away whenever I’d feel that there’s nothing on it anymore.
I have been picturing this in my head and I will be honest, nothing makes me feel more scared these days than having to go through that again. This is just like declaring aloud that I have betrayed myself and my dreams and that it is not worth to risk for myself.
I always ask myself “Do I want to work for my boss’ dreams or am I willing to give mine a try?”
“Are my dreams worth the risk? If not, whose dreams are?”
The deep questions I have asked myself lead me to ask if someone is already living my ideal life.
Is there a book I can read about my idol and how my idol made it?
How can I learn that? Are there free resources? Does my idol have a website I can binge read?
For me it was a Filipina travel blogger who has been around the world. Her work resonated with me because I thought I wanted to become a travel blogger too and the odds of me facing the same issues she faced are high.
That time, I was already an expat in Malaysia and already given a fair share of wandering.
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She writes in such a manner that didn’t just speak to my soul but also made me relate deeply because we Filipinos are known for being poor and travel is a luxury.
Majority of Filipinos are poor so instead of traveling, we use the money to help our families to get by even if this means sacrificing what we truly desire.
Extended families is a part of the culture and it is normal to pressure family members to settle down at a young age even if we are not yet financially stable and even if we don’t have own places yet.
So if one son or daughter gets married, it’s either the couple will live with the girl’s or the boy’s family. It will be like this whoever gets married in the family, no matter how many kids there will be and no matter how small the house is.
(A typical average Filipino house can fit in a first world basement or the basement is even bigger. This is not yet including the make shift houses in the slums.)
We pressure and shame our people to be married at a certain and young age and then we continue to wonder why we are always poor. We fail to see that this way of thinking make us support and promote a poor life cycle.
We have embraced poverty as part of our culture and we find someone to blame without looking deeply into our actions.
We listen to our families for the fear of being branded as bad sons and daughters. Which meant giving up on ourselves too.
This, for sure, is not part of my dreams so I made sure to tell myself that I will not have my own family if I am not yet financially stable and haven’t found the reason for my existence. I don’t care if I am a woman and it should be my husband’s duty to provide for us. I don’t care how long I have to wait.
All that matters to me is fulfill my heart’s true desires and stand for what I strongly feel for. At first I was scared to be alone but I am confident that the right people will gravitate towards me in time.
In some ways, my search for role models didn’t just show me that my dreams are not impossible but also lead me to (somehow) becoming a feminist without me realizing it. I grew up with just my mother providing for us so I know from a young age what type of man to avoid.
My search for role models has proven that my dream life exists and it is entirely up to me to make it happen.
Fondest childhood memories
All the odd jobs that I did brought me back to my fondest childhood memories where I was content in doing things with my hands.
My mother ensured that I’d have what I needed and wanted which made me a certified brat. I had to thank her too for training me to be domestic because when I felt so lost and hopeless, I found myself doing what others see as lowly job and through it, I was able to have ample time to ask myself, again and again, questions that reconnected me to the real me before society started telling me what I should be like.
I was being paid to clear my head. I was being paid to be patient while I rebuild a new and stronger foundation from my whole fallen world.
It didn’t matter what I am doing. What mattered the most is what I am becoming and I have not felt anything more beautiful than embracing the beauty of being given the chance to feel like a child again who sees magic in every little beautiful thing.
The power in written words
Never underestimate the power of writing thoughts, confusion, hopes, dreams, daydreams, failures, frustrations, heartaches, motivation, goals and fantasies down.
This will lead you to a better understanding of yourself and becoming aware of everything that triggers you.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and feel exposed when you write.
Go ahead and overthink, overfeel and overanalyze yourself. Dissect every little aspect of your life. Write with all of your heart. Write with all honesty. After all, no one has to read it. It’s for you.
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This is the only way you will see a pattern. You will become mindful. Make sure to go back to them at the end or at the start of every month. This will let you know if you are close to your goals and what you must stop or continue doing.
The sooner you start, the sooner you will find what you are looking for. You will realize that everything that you have been looking for is within you but because you are still afraid of not being sure of the future, secured and comfortable, you ignore your true potential and your chance to really be happy by pursuing your dreams.
It might be cheesy to write things down but this is how I found out about my dreams, my passion and what cured my depression. Writing things down didn’t just lead me to find my dreams, I found out that writing is what I am called for.
My latest obsession is my soon-to-be bread and butter and the future that’s waiting for me.
It might not be the same with you. Writing might not be your calling but trust me, it will help you to find the real you or your reall calling.
The Gut Feeling
Our gut feeling is one of the best gifts we have ever received. We have to listen to it and let it guide us. It is our inner GPS.
In order for me to find my dream and fully go for it, I needed to learn how to really listen to what my inner voice is telling me and trust it.
Our intuition has a radar that has the ability to sense when the Universe is trying to send us messages. We just need to learn to stop ignoring it to be able to follow the path where we should be.
Trust me, it is never too late to make a detour.
Allow your gut feeling to guide you.
This the most important factor.
I designed my own planner so I can allot time for things that I strongly feel that I must learn to be able to achieve my goals.
I allotted time to research for new self help books to read.
I stopped buying things so I can afford new books and courses to learn skills that will make achieving my goals possible.
I stopped allowing people to pressure me to believing that I should be something at a certain age.
I allowed time for my transformation and transition from my old life to the new one.
I made plans but I made sure to include how to show myself some love so I will not lose sight of my dreams and goals during the most difficult times.
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I set aside time to rest and recover.
Overthinking is tiring. Redesigning a new life without so much money is even more exhausting.
I stopped wasting my time so I will be able to really answer the question “How I found my dream?”
I found my dream because I made time to find it.
Be patient with yourself. You are all that you’ve got and we only have one shot in this life.
Find that dream.
Don’t stop until you find it and once you found it, do everything in your power to work towards it every single day. Make sure that your actions will in alignment with it. Plan it well.
Invest in yourself.
Make it your new goal.
Give yourself some time. Take the long route and enjoy your journey. Celebrate each day as you wake up and be delighted to be given the chance to work on your real dreams.
Because… You are worth it.