In high school I used to dream of grand success. My goal was to work in heels, have my own office, perform and give speeches, meet lots of important people, make lots of money, travel around the world and overall live a busy life and build a long career. I was so sure that’s what I wanted and I was eager to make it happen, like a rocket ready to be launched. I couldn’t wait, I even considered dropping out plenty of times so I could start my dream life already and not have to worry about math exams. I didn’t understand people who had no big goals and felt sorry for those who gave up on their dreams.
After overachieving at school for way too long, my mental health started collapsing and I’ve been building it back up for years. For years I’ve also had time to look back and think long and hard about what I really want. Maybe it did take that collapse and these years to get to this conclusion: simple life isn’t really that bad of an idea after all.
Mostly what these years taught me was that I had to learn to listen. My body is sending all kinds of messages all the time and for a long time I’ve been pushing through ignoring these signals. The biggest things for me have been sleep and stress. I’ve pulled all-nighters studying for school, stayed awake late even though I had to wake up very early, even had my fun with working night shifts and messing with my body clock. And stress… I’ve stressed way too much over school projects because they had to be perfect, and worked at places and events where I get lots of anxiety. Major signs that I should have stopped.
When you don’t listen, your body eventually puts you on your knees and makes you listen. Unhealthy habits do not lead to health and happiness, that’s just a sad fact and no matter how much you ignore it, you’ll pay for it later.
Think about those people who live busy lives and have successful careers. They all have had to give up something for it and many have ignored their health in some way or another. Exercises, sleep, food, mental health, relationships, hobbies.. You need all of these to live a long happy life and be healthy. Is something like a career worth risking your health?
All this made me aware that I have to take care of my body and mind, my temple, because if I don’t have them I have nothing. Maybe peace and quiet is what my body and mind really want and have been trying to tell me. I know for sure I don’t want to have a stroke at 50. I don’t want to have stress in my life because now I know what kind of health problems it eventually causes. I want to have time to take care of myself and spend my time with those who actually matter to me. Truth be told, being a successful workaholic businesswoman probably wouldn’t allow me to do all those things and listen to myself.
Balance is key, but whatever that is, it’s different for everyone and will probably change many times during a lifetime. I believe everything happens for a reason and I try to be one to always learn from my mistakes. If I don’t change anything in my lifestyle, what was all that even for? I ain’t begging for another collapse, hashtag the only way is up.
What comes to giving up on dreams, I learned there’s two reasons why people do that. One is that they are afraid to do it, which used to be THE only answer in my opinion. Now I know there’s another one too and it is that they know it’s not what’s best for them. There’s nothing wrong with remodeling your goals and dreams, because they will need a touch up or two when you grow and become wiser. That doesn’t necessarily mean giving up. Maybe it means growing up.
So what’s my current career plan? A poet. Artist. Photographer. Writer. Anything creative, calming and down-to-earth, achievable in nature, preferably in a hammock and not bound to one place. Dresscode: cute but casual. Heels are not that comfortable anyway. 🙂
Have you changed your dreams and career plans for your health? What would you risk in order to succeed? Tell me in the comments!