I wrote that years ago. I remember being at a crossroads in my life where the two decisions I was faced with would’ve taken me down two distinctly different roads.
One option would be to get an apartment in New York City, wander the streets with my camera, cool clothes, colorful shoes and crazy friends. We’d indulge in happy hours and contagious laughs over a few too many cocktails and good food.
Afterwards we’d all head back to my place and get ready for a late dinner at that hot, new downtown spot, then top the night off clubbing while dancing and drinking the night away.
In between it all, I’d meet other self-proclaimed creatives, such as myself, and we’d gab about the projects we’re working on that will break us into the art industry and set the world on fire, because hey, that’s what twenty-somethings do in NY. And then there was the other option….
…the other option that I unapologetically chose. It was the one I deliberated over for days upon weeks back when I was a stubborn, single, passionate 26-year-old waitress and photographer who always had a desire to travel gyspy style with dreads swaying from side to side and camera in tote.
With the little money I had, I booked a flight to East Africa and the rest became history.
Years later at the age of 31, I’m a mother, world traveller, and still a stubborn and passionate wanderlust who uses every last bone and molecule in my body to live life the way I see fit. And let me tell you, it’s not easy.
There were (and still are) times when people said I was crazy for my outlandish decision-making, like not canceling my second trip to Africa back in October 2014 when Ebola was the new scare tactic to incite fear and forever banish the motherland off bucket lists across the world.
Of course I considered what could happen, but the way I saw it, I had a better chance of being swept off this earth in a less dramatic fashion. I was determined to be a woman of my word. I had obligations, and I was going to keep them.
Sometimes, making a promise and keeping it is enough to see your dreams become reality.
With that being said, there are a few things I do to live the life I envision for myself. Here are some of the ways, you too, can get out there and live your best life possible.
Do the things that make you feel uncomfortable, but very much alive
Everybody has that one idea, dream, or goal that seems too ridiculous to consider. Maybe it’s intimidating because you don't want to fail. But sometimes, it’s doing the thing outside of your comfort zone that can bring you to life.
When you're about to embark on something that means a lot to you, usually you'll get nervous and little uncomfortable because of the magnitude of it all. But that's okay! It's probably super important to you, so you don't want to screw it up. That's all the more reason why you should go through with it. It will get easier once you start and will probably be the most exhilarating feeling when you realize you did it despite how afraid you were.
Let that feeling propel you in every scary, nerve wracking major moment you encounter in life. That's how become the best.
Tune out all the noise in the background
All of it! Dad, auntie, your favorite cousin, the sales girl at H&M, they can all go kick rocks. Don’t let them rain on your parade.
Remember, everyone is not going to see your vision. And some do, but will still have their own selfish reasons for why they can't show their support.
Your big dreams will make others uncomfortable, maybe because their balls aren’t as big as yours. But that’s okay! You have to learn to push forward without everyone's approval. You don't need it. You should be your biggest fan, so as long as you believe in your ability to do great things, whatever anyone else says won't really matter.
Take the first step
Start somewhere that will make your dream a reality. Want to break into a new industry? Find a mentor who can give you some insider knowledge or opportunities.
Thinking about starting your own blog? Get your ideas out of your head and start writing, now!
Or maybe you daydream about traveling to a foreign country? Make a plan. Figure out the five w’s of your travel plans– who‘s traveling, when will it happen, where to, what do you hope to accomplish on this trip, and why do you want to go.
Keep your eye on the prize
Your vision is your guiding light. It’s what keeps you focused and tells you what direction to go in. Every decision you make is creating the story of your life and what the outcome will be, so choose carefully, and allow your vision to take you where your heart desires.
Stay positive and speak in affirmatives
It may sound cliché, but honest to goodness, it works like a gem for me. Eliminate all can’ts and won’ts from your vocab. You have to own your shit. You can and you will do this. Period.
Instead of thinking why it won't work, think about why it will, how it can work, and what you can do to make it work.
How about you? What do you do you to make sure you're living the best life possible?