As I was walking to work yesterday deep in my thoughts, I took a moment to stop and look around me. This doesn’t happen often as I am normally too busy thinking of something important or on my phone arranging something important. The bottom line is, there is always something more important to do on the way from the station to the office than to actually enjoy a beautiful day and your surroundings.
I am not entirely sure what prompted this sudden desire to break my chain of thoughts and stop for a moment to “observe” and to “marvel”. It was a warm sunny morning in the City of London. I get off at Bank, one of my most favourite stations in London, and I love the atmosphere in the City early in the morning. I sat on a bench in a little corner park where bankers from Merrill Lynch have their cigarette breaks and looked around. Despite the fact it is August the streets were full of people. Mostly people in suits carrying briefcases on their way to work. Every single one of the passersby was either in a rush, on the phone, reading a newspaper (yes, while walking) or just generally preoccupied (probably thinking of something important).
As I was sitting there, I wondered how many of these people are genuinely happy with their lives (is it just me or do you sometimes wonder too?). Are they all living the life that they always wanted? Have they followed their dreams? How many of these people are free and have the ability to “escape” if they wanted to? I, for one, am not free. I have been walking this route to work for over 2 years wondering from time to time “is that it?, am I always going to be working a 9-5 job which I admit I quite enjoy, but is this the job of my dreams?, am I always going to be tied up to my desk because I have bills to pay?”. I mean, there is nothing wrong with a 9-5 job, but I want to do something that truly inspires me, something that I love and something that brings a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment.
I know what I really want to do. I want to break free from this never-ending routine that a satisfactory Monday to Friday job brings. I don’t want to owe money to the bank anymore and to have to work the job that is just “okay” to be able to make repayments. I don’t need an expensive flat which takes 40% of my main income each month. I don’t want the material things in life anymore: I don’t want a car, I don’t want branded clothes and designer shoes, I don’t want the latest gadgets on the market. There is nothing wrong with wanting these things and buying these things if you can afford it, but I guess what I am trying to say is that somehow over time my priorities have changed, and believe me, I did not see this coming.
I want to travel the world. For as long as it takes me to get tired of travelling. I want a simple life where I can experience things, not own them. It won’t hurt if I find this simple living somewhere on a remote Thai island. I also want to teach English in China and practise yoga in an ashram in India. I want to volunteer and do something meaningful. I want to give. I want to experience. I want to grow spiritually. I want to meet like-minded people, learn from them and share my own experiences. I want to live in the present where I genuinely enjoy every single day as it comes, without having to worry about my future or dwell on my past. I don’t want to be in a rush, I want to take my time to live, experience and explore. One day I want to find a long-time partner in life, someone who will be my soul-mate and my best friend, someone with the same values in life, someone with a dream and a purpose in life.
A girl can dream, right?
Well, I am planning to make this dream come true, and I took my very first step in May this year when I decided to pay off my debts. It will take me a couple of years. I can wait. And in the meantime, I will have my dream to motivate and inspire me. You have to start somewhere whatever your dream is, big or small, and I am so grateful I found my way. This is where my favourite quote of all time comes to mind: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Yes, it seems it is that simple.