“The big question is whether you will be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Campbell
Today I negotiated the contract for the job of my dreams. It involves travel, adventure, writing, business strategy, marketing and working with traditional indigenous healers. In my new job I will work with some of the world’s indigenous spiritual leaders in Peru, India and Nepal on a project to humanise capitalist businesses at a grass-roots level.
Anyone who knows me will tell you this job is me. And my heart and soul have been jumping up and down with joy since I had my first interview last week and then subsequently had the job offer on Friday. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a job, plus.
I say plus because I thought I’d be required to move to Peru to work out of the head office of the company. That isn’t the case. I’ve negotiated so I can juggle my time between Australia and Peru, staying in each country for a few weeks or a couple of months at a time.
This suits me since I have two teenage daughters who still need me present in their lives. Luckily, they have had travelling parents their entire lives and are supportive of my new position.
So, on first glance, this all looks like it’s going to work out. I get to be there for my daughters AND have the job of my dreams. Except my head is now starting to get in the way of my heart.
Financially this opportunity is not a great one. It would be fine if I was living in Peru but to go back and forth between the two countries is tantamount to financial disaster for me as a single mother. So my head is filled with fear and worry about things that I don’t know will ever happen. In addition, taking this job will require moving out of my house, selling my car and learning a new language all before Christmas and then leaving my daughters for large periods of time next year, working in a country where I don’t know the language, finding a place to live… the list goes on and on. All things that are keeping my mind racing night and day.
My heart and soul are one side. My head is on the other. And I’m stuck in the middle.
I’m not just jumping into this job willy nilly. In many ways it’s the logical next step in my career building on my vast global marketing and communications experience over 30 years and more recently, running retreats, life coaching and my own personal spiritual and emotional journey. I’ve been to Peru and worked with this team to create a huge transformation in my own life. (If you haven’t read about my Lares Trek adventure last year, you can read it here.) When I left Peru a year ago, the CEO and I talked about how we could work together but it wasn’t the right time. Now feels like the right time. And this feels like the right job. But I need to make it work for me and my daughters.
I read an article yesterday that said adults who are on their own, due to choice or death of a partner or divorce, begin to live in a world where they always believe their opinions are right, since they don’t have a partner to offer a different outlook or someone to make them compromise on their ideas.
I wondered if that’s where I’m at. I was always the more adventurous one in my marriage. My ex-husband is conservative and brought me down to earth when I had some idea that he didn’t agree with in our marriage. I don’t have a person to discuss big life changing ideas with now. I don’t have anyone telling me I’m wrong to want to do this or listing all the ways it could go spectacularly wrong. I don’t have anyone who is vested in the decision providing a different view.
That’s both blessing and curse. My friends are all supportive, but they aren’t the ones who will have to live with the consequences of my decision. This decision has to be mine – I have to own it. And that requires courage.
When I first left my marriage five years ago I had a bracelet engraved with a quote attributed to Greek historian Thucydides: “The secret to happiness is freedom…and the secret to freedom is courage.” I wear that bracelet daily. At first it helped me when I needed to dig deep and find courage to get through the muck that was my life. I continued to wear it as the muck started to dissolve and I felt happier. I still wear it now that I have freedom to remind me how far I’ve come. And to remind me to have courage to follow my heart.
That freedom is the reason I can even think about taking this job. I have created a life over the past few years where I have fewer responsibilities. I own little, preferring to spend my money on experiences. I collect friends instead of stuff.
I’ve written before on this blog about following your bliss. This job is my bliss. I know that. It’s going to be hard work but an incredible adventure. I have to dig deep and have faith that it will work out however it’s meant to. If the job is successful, then this could be the job I will have for the rest of my life. And the financial opportunities will come as the job expands. If the job is not what I expect and turns into a ‘mistake’, then I will also be richer for the experience of learning – as life ‘mistakes’ are often our greatest teachers.
It requires a new leap of faith. One that says I will be OK in all ways, including financially. That my financial situation doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. And when I think about it, why would I think my life would look like others’ in a financial way, when my life doesn’t look like others in lots of other ways? And I know that many people’s financial beliefs are based in fear of the future, fear of the unknown.
I don’t want a life based on fear where I turn down amazing opportunities because of fear of the unknown or fear of the future.
I am brave, but I’m also nervous. I’m excited but a little bit scared. When I think about it, all the best things in life require that mix of bravery and excitement, tinged with just a little bit of fear.
So here I go again, taking a huge leap of faith. I’m saying a hearty yes to my next adventure.
Wish me luck!