Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What if the things you're wishing for aren't your wishes..

I am a dreamer, the kind who wish on the first star they see in the sky and capture moments in the day to daydream about the future. I've always made wishes and I've always had this unwavering belief that any wish I have could come true at any moment. I'm the sort of person who once I had a goal, I worked hard, prayed to God and took all the opportunities that came my way.. Last year I was very blessed to have most of the major wishes I had to that point come true and that's when I realised that not all of the wishes were actually my wishes..

Don't get me wrong at the time of making them I thought they were but when I look back now I realise that many of them were dreams I thought I should have, items I should cross of my list of things to do, many of them came from the media and popular culture, from family history. I was a lawyer working for a company I was excited to be a part of, with people I loved, I had a loving and supportive family, I lived in the inner city of Sydney, I spent my weeknights in fancy restaurants and my weekends in bars and nightclubs, I got to wear pretty dresses, my friends were amazing and I was going to Church and bible study (when I could fit it in).. others looked at my life and saw a women who's dreams had come true but for me something was missing, something was very wrong yet for over 12 months I kept pushing the feeling away and filling my life with more stuff that would make me happy - during this time I fell in love with Sydney Dance Company Classes and V Club Gym. I was living the dream for crying out loud and I would be happy even if it killed me!

I remember the moment I realised that many of my dreams, the ones that had come true, weren't actually my dreams. I remember looking at my life and all that I had achieved and feeling lost in the stuff I looked in the mirror and I didn't recognise myself anymore and I wasn't ok with the person I had become. I was lost, overwhelmed and incredibly sad. Somehow I got caught up in life, in the dreams you should want, in the things that make you successful, in other peoples definitions of a good life and I spent the first 25 years of my life making those dreams my dreams and then achieving them. 

By 26 I had everything I thought I wanted and then I realised that I never actually asked myself, my real self (the one that lives deep inside us all) what I really wanted and what actually makes me happy not what I thought should make me happy. Once I asked those questions I realised that at that point all I knew was that I loved spending time with my family (but didn't see them enough), that I felt like a lawyer as opposed to a whole person and I wanted to feel like myself again, I wanted my job to be something I did and enjoyed but not who I was. I realised that God and being in His Church gave me peace and I wanted to explore that more, that I am a sunflower who needs sun to flourish and that the cold Sydney winters withered me, that I loved children and dogs (this surprised me more than anyone in the world I thought I was a cat person), that I love to run and finally that the thing I wanted most of all that I wanted to find out who I was and what my dreams were. This level of self-knowledge seems simple but it took me a while to get there, at one point it was impossible to even find the time to consider these things.

So I walked away, away from the dream life. I spent a month resting in the country with my parents and then I moved to Brisbane, a place that felt more like home than anywhere else, a place full of good friends who knew me well enough to guide me back to myself when I had forgotten who I was and who now patiently love me as I figure out what's next. This circle of friends has grown and I feel incredibly blessed by all the wonderful people I get to do life with. I've also planted myself in a Church and committed myself to exploring the peace that I feel when I'm in the presence of God. Already through this experience I have grown and healed in ways that I didn't even know were possible. I sit here now not knowing what my future holds and I feel alive and happy! I still daydream and wish upon the first evening star but now the dreams are my dreams because for the first time in a long time I'm allowing myself to just be me :)

I pray for everyone reading this that we all have the courage to ask ourselves the hard questions that help us determine what happiness looks like for us and that we have the grace to accept the answer in spite of what the world might think. May each of us become the person God created us to be and live a life that is full of all of the things that make each of us happy no matter how simple or complex those things might be xx

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