“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”~Anais Nins
In the two or three years leading up to my 40th birthday I knew I wanted to do something spectacular, something that most people wouldn't think to do. While most people dread the changing decades, I embrace it. As the saying goes, "Do not lament growing old, it is a privilege denied to many."
The only person I shared this crazy dream with was my sister (and well my husband). My sister lives on Ottawa and it was the location of the skydiving company where I considered doing the jump. She wanted to do the jump too, so I made her promise to keep it between us. I knew if I told anyone, especially my protective older brother, he'd try and talk me out of it! Ha!
I knew I wanted to make the jump on my actual birthday, not the day or week before or after. As the date drew closer, I started to feel nervous. I didn't think I would be able to go through with it. I felt I was taking an unnecessary risk, especially being a mom. Yet I knew I wanted my children to see that life is meant to be lived to the fullest. With time getting short (only about 10 days away from my birthday), I pushed aside my fear, booked a plane ticket to Ottawa and booked the skydiving jump. I still didn't know if I was going to chicken out but I was a step closer.
Obviously, I did follow though with the plan. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had. Something changed in me that day. Somewhere in that 60 second free fall I decided I would never let fear stop me from achieving a goal or a dream. I cringe to think I almost let fear stop me from leaping out of that plane (well, technically, the guy did the jumping for me, not sure I'm brave enough for a solo jump). All of the fear stemmed from the unknown, as most fears do. I plan on going skydiving again, for my 50th birthday. This time I'll be taking the kids with me and we'll experience it together.
When I got out of my head (stop over-analyzing everything, Wendy) and into my heart (follow your intuition, Wendy) made the leap into creating the life I visualized in my mind and so desperately desired deep in my soul.
I realized that most of my life had been spent doing things because I thought that’s the way they had to be done. I realized I was doing things I thought other people wanted me to do. As a teenager, I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I thought it was too risky and I should do something more “stable”.
So I did.
I went to Art school (because, I mean, that’s the real money maker right?) Ha!
Looking back, everything happened for me exactly as it was meant to. Going to Art school actually was my saving grace. After Art school I went back to university to get an Education degree and, luckily, I landed a full-time position as an Art teacher in a 7-12 high school even before I finished my degree. I had a job waiting for me as soon as I graduated. Had it not been for the Art degree, I may still have been looking for a full-time teaching position.
“Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.”
Having been a teacher for 15 years and counting, it has prepared me to be exactly where I am meant to be now. I have had so many rewarding years in the classroom. I’ve practiced and honed my skills in Art, public speaking, planning, and leadership.
But there was always this lingering dream of entrepreneurship that kept whispering in my ear, gentle reminders that it wasn’t done with me yet!
I started listening.
I committed to doing more of my own art. I revamped my website and added an art store. I started putting myself out there (which is no easy task for me). I started seeing results. It was exactly the motivation I needed. It was exactly what my soul needed. Fear may creep in again from time to time but I'll never let it stop me from living my best life.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
~ Howard Thurman
Things I love (in no particular order):