I don’t remember the last time I was this petrified. The last time my stomach was in this many knots was probably the morning of both my kids being born. Before that it would have been my year 9 running race. Life is a funny old thing. We are inspired and taught to dream big, follow them, chase them and live life to the fullest. Yet we are also taught to buckle in and work hard, get a good job, buy a house and settle down. How on earth does one ever do both? How do we live our life to the fullest but yet stay stuck in a safe bubble?
I by nature am not a risk taker. I like my safe world that I have created and have set up for myself and my family for the last 15 years. I know what will happen at work, I know our morning routine will be the same each day, I take my lunch break at the same time every day and I travel the same route to school drop off and work every day. I have a good life, a happy life but over the years we have had moments of wondering if this is it? We run a good business that has served us well but yet the last few years I have no actual job satisfaction. We earn decent salaries but as we are now an established business the mouse keeps the wheel turning and the business cogs keep turning. There is nothing challenging or overly rewarding in my job except earning money. Many would wonder what my problem is, but we have dreamt about trying something else, trying different achievements and challenging ourselves.
Neither of us has ever lived overseas. We have travelled fairly well, but the travel tapered off when we had children and as you do, you buckle in to establish your life as a family. Over the years we have travelled back and forth to New Zealand. We love it over there and as a child, I travelled back and forth more than most kids would have travelled anywhere in their lifetime. My family also almost moved there when I was around 11 years old. For many years we have thought about what life might be like if we moved to New Zealand. The people are lovely, the scenery beautiful. The lifestyle is different to Sydney, the education system is different and the quality of life is different.
When you are childfree it is easier to try and achieve your dreams or at least give them a chance. What have you got to lose? And if you are eating baked beans and Weetbix for a week, it doesn’t matter. But when you become a parent, your dreams also then affect your children’s life as well. If all goes well, fantastic. But what if your dreams affected your children in a negative way? What if you took their good life away and it ended up worse? These are the things that have plagued our thoughts for years. Doing what is best for our family and for our future.
We have lived in our safe bubble with our family for over 8 years. It is a safe bubble for so many reasons. We have a solid friend and family network around us, the children love the local school and we have a home that we love. All that is about to change. We wanted change and so after dreaming and wondering what if, we put our property on the market. We sold our home that has been our family home for a long time. The only house our children have known and loved. In 16 weeks we have to vacate the premises and find somewhere else to live. Even if we don’t go to New Zealand there is still change and we must start a new adventure in a new place. I know that in time I will pat myself on the back for my bravery, but right now I am scared. Scared for all the unknowns that are flowing through my head on a minute by minute basis. I am scared for working out how we are going to do it all and many times I just want it all to go away and crawl back into my safe little box and stay there forever.
The problem is, even if I could do that, nothing is forever. There is no such thing as everything staying the same forever. It is important to adapt to change and show my children that we can adapt to change. Over the next 10 years plus of my life and theirs, so many things will change regardless and we need to be okay with change and to be okay with being scared. I also want them to understand that sense of adventure. I also want them to know that despite all the lovely materials things we own, there is more to life than what we possess. I want my children to understand that while it is good to finish school, get a good education and a good job, there is also more to life than a huge mortgage and a flashy car and all those things we hold so dear to us.
Chasing your dreams can be a combination of thinking you are incredibly stupid one day to feeling completely liberated the next. Right now, I feel completely terrified. Right now we have stepped off the cliff and I am completely free falling out of control with no idea where I am going to land. I know that we will land on our feet. I know that it is a process that will take time to work through and there will be hurdles and obstacles in our way. There will also be moments where we are just amazed and excited by the challenges and new things we discover. We will embrace our bravery and new life. Learning to let go of control is a tricky thing. It is funny how daily we think we are in control but we actually aren’t. Anything can happen at any time and we don’t really have any control at all.
So while at this point I am still in shock for having stepped off the cliff and my head feels like a massive ball of emotions, I will believe in us and what we have wanted for us and our family for so long. I will have faith in us as a family unit and know that no matter where we end up, the family is all that matters in the end. Wherever we are together is home.