People that know me know that I have incredibly itchy feet, and no not that fungal infectious type that drives you nuts and no matter how much you scratch, it just never stops itching. My itchy feet are due to me being restless, wanting to see more, do more, experience more. I will never forget the day one of my best friend’s husbands said to me that he was ever so fond of me but thought that I was a lost soul. I felt a little perplexed by his statement and almost a little sad as it sounded quite pathetic. Like I was this little flightless bird that hopped around from place to place, because I had not quite learnt yet what to do with my wings or how to use them.
Looking back, I guess I was a bit of a lost soul, wandering and searching, not knowing what I was looking for and also not really caring what I would find. It was more than ten years ago when he made that statement and at the time I sure did not know who I was.
Today, I do know, I am not a lost soul, but rather a curious soul. I am curious about life, about people and their different cultures. I’m curious about how things work and especially about what makes people tick and why they do the things they do. Life and the world we live in interests me to no-end, I cannot seem to get enough of seeing the world, experiencing it, meeting new people, learning about new things and then sharing it. As a good friend of mine Barry said ‘I am a perpetual child’, like ‘Jack’ played by Robin Williams, I mostly see the world through the eyes of a child, always amazed, always intrigued. You see, I am the type of person that believes there is always another way.
If you are not happy or content with your life the way it is, then change it. If a doctor tells me something is incurable, I don’t believe it, I believe there is an answer to everything. I also believe in going to the ends of the earth, if necessary, to find those answers.
So where then does my restless curiosity come from? It started with me never being happy with what I had, always feeling like I was missing out, believing that everyone else had a better life than mine. Growing up I was a treasured soul, the middle child and the only girl. My two brothers and my parents adored me. But……… with it came a lot of over-protectiveness and over-nurturing and because I was a girl I did not have as much freedom as my brothers. Hence the feeling ‘that life was eluding me’. Life seemed so much better if you were a boy as boys were allowed to do more and be more adventurous.
I also always felt like I was missing out on life, if someone was having a conversation in the living room and I was in the kitchen making tea, I would rack my ears to try and hear what was going on or I would make tea at the speed of light, so that I could get back to where the action was. This was of course a running joke in our family and from time to time I got called a busy body or a nosey parker. Well that nosey parker has its uses as I’ve turned into the family’s information hub. If anyone needs information about anything, they call me. Whether it’s about nutrition, health, travelling, a rash, the internet or employment contracts, they call me. But I digress.
I always used to wonder why I was such a curious little bee, I guess I felt a little abnormal to the rest of my family members who are very stable people when it comes to work and relationships. Me, I like to wander, I like to taste life. The longest I have ever worked for a company was 2.5 years, the longest relationship I ever had, until now, was for 5 years. I used to constantly judge myself by everyone else’s standards until one day I was living in New Zealand and after living there for six months I wanted to move on again, I had an intense desire to go and teach English in Spain. I emailed my younger brother telling him that I wanted to leave NZ and almost apologising in a way to him because I would be letting down my family who wanted to come and visit me in NZ. Although I dearly wanted them to visit, I felt depressed that I would have to stay there for another year whilst we all saved enough money for them to make the trip. My brother responded to my email saying, “reading your email I realised that this is who you are, a curious soul who wants to experience the world. I see that and accept that about you, when are you going to accept that about you”? Well you could have knocked me over with a feather. You know how we sometimes need somebody else to point out the obvious? Well, this made me think, I knew he was right and it stayed in the back of my mind, but I still needed to learn and accept some more things before I gave myself permission to be the person that I am today.
The paradox of me is that I also like roots, I have always wanted to own my own house and I always wanted to be close to my family. The burning question that haunted my thoughts was, could I have it all? This question really troubled my husband from time to time, it worried him as his own perception of my restless spirit was that I would never settle down, that what I had was never enough, which made him think that I would never be happy.
But……I don’t think it is greedy, nor do I think it is impossible to have it all. There is nothing wrong with having it all, but sometimes what keeps us from having the lives we so badly want is because of judgement and labels that are assigned to us by others. For instance greed, why is it greedy to want it all? We look at the rich and famous and see pics of them on their beautiful boats, their beautiful mansions all over the planet and we admire and aspire to be like them. Do we say it’s greedy, no, we think them fortunate, lucky or privileged.
Having it all does not only apply to the rich and famous! The every day man and woman on the street can have it all as well. It all comes down to desire, belief and action. Do you want it badly enough, do you believe you can have it and if yes, then what can you do about it. As far as I’m concerned, when your desire is big enough, there is always a way.
So, I have kicked the supposed label that the way I want my life to be is being greedy. Personally I think it’s clever. It took a little convincing but my husband now too wants to have it all. Together we have come up with a fantastic way to split our time between here and South Africa bringing us closer to both our families and we will still be able to travel to others placed in between. Our dream is fast becoming a reality. I believe that if I bought into other people’s judgements and labels, it would not have happened, but it is happening and its happening quicker than we ever thought possible.
So don’t give up on your dreams, you can have it all. All it takes is desire, belief, a plan and lots and lots of action.