Easier Said than Done

Okay, I admit – leaping is far harder than it looks. Otherwise, I would’ve just gotten on a plane 4 years ago and brushed away all the “what ifs.”

My dream was on hold until later. Until I could afford it. Until I had X years of work experience on my resumé. Until my parents thought it was a good idea. Until…. My list of “until’s” was extensive, but excuses made it easier to accept that it wasn’t the right time. I tried making it happen in 2012 and because of a long wait list, it didn’t work out. Then I fell in love (with my partner and his dog), got a new job, moved to a new city. I thought the idea might go away eventually – staying was just easier. But every time someone asked me what I did for work, I would always find myself saying “…and I really want to teach abroad someday.”

“Why don’t you teach here?” they would ask. I studied education in college and learned how much of a curriculum is guided by standardized testing. Not my thing. “But you travel all the time!” they continued. As I mentioned before, work travel can be frustrating, and lacks the immersion experience I crave.

So why now? It’s not like the until’s just disappear. Simply put, it was now or never. My partner and I have been together for over two years, and the pressure of the next step was looming in the not-so-distant future. (Luckily, he is 110% supportive of this.) Grad school is also on my list of goals, so now seems like as good a time as ever to spend some time away before hitting the books for a few years. And those student loans will be there until they’re not, so that excuse really needed to be tossed out the window.

The point I’m getting at is that life will always present you with things that complicate other things. There will always be reasons to stay. I struggled with these reasons for a very long time. Honestly, the hardest part for me is remaining confident while some of the people in my life do not think this is a good idea. It’s difficult feeling like you’re letting someone down. What I realized is that not everyone sees the world in the same way I do (obviously, right?). When you make a choice in life, you won’t always have the support of everyone you’d like it from. And that’s okay. Sometimes you have to be a little selfish. Otherwise, what’s the point of having goals? For me, making peace with my desire to live abroad and maintaining conviction in choosing to finally do it has been really freeing.

I don’t consider myself brave or courageous. If anything, I’m silly for ignoring myself for this long. If there’s something you really want out of this life you have to make it happen. Sometimes it feels impossible, but I’m learning it’s a lot more simple than it has to be.

5 thoughts on “Easier Said than Done

  1. So true Kelly! At the end of the day it is your life no one else’s. ESPECIALLY NOT Sallie Mae’s. That is just another mortgage most of us will be paying until our own kids go to college. Good luck!

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  2. what happens is we are afraid of following our dreams because they are… well, dreams you know and then one day you realize that not following your dreams is way scarier… and that’s how you move forward…

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  3. SO understand what you mean–I went abroad to teach at about the same stage in my life. Absolutely the best decision I ever made, and I just know you’ll be as transformed and enriched by your experience, too! Keep reaching for those dreams–you are definitely the only one that can make them happen, and you obviously have the passion and talent to achieve whatever your heart desires. So happy and excited for you!

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  4. Honestly, you’ve got it quite right–do it now or it just gets too complicated. Not selfish, but rational. The fact that your partner (not to mention the woofer) is supportive should indicate to you you’re on the right track doing this now. If it’s right for you, don’t worry about those who don’t agree–you are the captain of your own ship, and let it take you away to chase this dream. (Let’s face it: wouldn’t you regret it if you did *not* go, if you passed this opportunity up? Grad school, jobs, and even the wonderful partner will all be there, so travel safely and send lots of updates!

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  5. I’m so happy that you are following your dreams. I remember the first time we met and having a long conversation on this very topic. I know you’ll love your time abroad and I look forward to hearing about it and seeing pictures!

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