Last year on this day I made the decision to pursue a longing that was with me for years already.
Although I didn’t really knew what shape or form it would be, the decision was made.
I love to think and talk about longings. Especially big ones that maybe never will happen. They make clear what someone really wants. One of the things I did as a freelancer before I went on my letting-go-adventure was guiding people with their next step in life. I coached, gave workshops and made online courses to help people with (re)discovering and acting on their talents, dreams and longings. For years I asked people questions about what they really wanted if time and money was not an issue. And in the meantime one of my own longings was formed: to go away from the things I was used to and be offline for a month.
Not the most impossible longing, but I always found excuses that seemed very real to me: lack of money, I need to be available as a freelancer, maybe after the next project that I am doing. So I kept thinking and saying it without really taking it serious.
Until that day a year ago.
A lot of things happened in the 2 years before that. Lots of ‘small’ things. Books that I read. Conversations that I had. Insights that came to me. And a few so called big things.
My father got very sick and died after an intense, heartwarming, joyous, sad, loving and mindful periode of 8 months. My closest aunt got sick in the same period and died a year later. Their warm and open approach to it all, and the heartwarming reactions from family and friends teached me many new life lessons. It made me very clear -once again- that life is really about trying to be a nice person. It’s not about the clothes you wear, how much money you make, what kind of job you have, how big your house is, the pictures you share on social media. How you are as a person, that is how people remember you.
So that all made me rethink and refeel a lot of things.
Like my working life. For years I enjoyed being a freelancer. But being honest to myself I had to admit that I didn’t anymore. I got stuck in trying to earn money and how to get new clients and projects all the time. Lots of thinking, less feeling. I noticed that I was in my head a lot. And while my attention was there, I didn’t feel like smiling to strangers. I was less present as a human being and that was not the kind of person I wanted to be.
So things shifted.
In the months before May last year I made the decision to quit as a freelancer. I went looking for a paycheck job. That didn’t go well. I wrote many application letters and only got rejections. Some of the jobs recieved more than 200 applications! And I didn’t seem to fit in their wishes.
I always believe that if something doesn’t happen, it is for a reason. That there must be something better waiting to happen. So I tried to keep that in mind, while wondering what to do with my life. It felt off and I didn’t know which way to go.
Until exactly a year ago.
I went for a drink fo catch up with someone I worked with during my freelance years. I was talking about everything that didn’t work out at the moment and he asked me what I wanted. I heard myself say: “I just really want to go away for a while and be offline”. But this time it was different. It felt different. Something shifted. “Oh oh”, I said to him, “I think I actually mean it this time”. For the rest of the day I was confused. Could I really do this? It felt so scary and in the same time so appealing.
At the end of the day it already was some sort of a plan instead of just a longing.
I could do this. Just go. Really go. Quit my rent. Get rid of lots of things. To let go and see what happens. To be somewhere else. Just me and a few of my things. Instead of scared I felt relieved. In the next days I spoke with a few friends. Made some calculations. And a few days later I made the decision with my head as well.
But the 12th of May is the date that I really listened to my heart and decided to follow it.
So my longings became this plan: to go to Ireland to do voluntary work for at least a few months. In August I went. Read this blog if you’re new to me/my story/this site.