Since the beginning of my work on Priscilla last summer I have developed an intense affinity for Australia. Fast forward to these last 7 months and it has only grown exponentially. I have always had a curiosity about the country and a desire to visit.
However, in true Andrew Norlen fashion I have spent these last 7 months trying to find every possible reason why I shouldn’t go…. What about NYC? What if the “perfect” broadway show comes along for you and you are not there to audition for it? What about all your friends and network in the city? What if you fall in love with Australia and want to move there? Then what happens?
These many “what if’s” have been swirling around recklessly in my mind, causing me intense crippling self-doubt and making me question what is the “right thing” to do?
If my time away on this contract has taught me anything it has illuminated the fact that I often opperate in my daily life of decision making from a space of fear. My choices are often led by the thoughts… Will this make (fill in any other name BUT my own here) happy? What if this is the wrong road to go down? If I crash and burn doing this, will I be able to get back what I lost? Will this make my family proud?
You see, all of these thoughts are stagnate and toxic to my own self-worth. I am so fearful of the outcome that more often than not I don’t take the risk out of sheer fear of failure. I work so hard to “be in control” and know my next move that I often miss what is happening right in front of me. Being present is of course a difficult thing for everyone, especially in the world we live in today. But the more I can shed my endless to-do list running wild in my mind and stressing about what has yet to happen the stronger and more relaxed I will be.
These last 7 months have shown me just how truly minuscule and insignificant I am in this giant beautiful world we live in. And I mean that in the best way possible. When you travel you are confronted with the realization that the issues and trivial problems we encounter daily are meaningless in the grande scheme of the world. I have also gleaned such a respect and appreciation for how easy my life has been. Something I have taken for granted for so long that I have discovered is not customary to the rest of the world.
In an incredible way this contract has been a huge wake-up call that life isn’t going to wait for me to get my shit together and then carry on. It is constantly changing, evolving and never what it was the second before, that is the beautiful thing. WE make our own paths, WE have to carve out space to exist and make change, WE are the authors of our own experience.
Freedom happens on the other side of fear. The moment I can relinquish control to “have it all together” and stop living my days like I am a finished product, then I will be free.
Last Sunday I did it….I bought the ticket. And the reason I bought the ticket was because I woke up and made the conscious choice to not make any decision for anyone but myself. It felt amazing!
Now of course all the many questions (as usual!) tried to creep in…. Why are you doing this? What if nothing comes of this trip? Why are you blowing money you have worked so hard for on this holiday????????
But instead I said NO. I said no to the voice of fear of this unknown thing, and instead I said YES. Yes to all of the opportunities that exist for me there and more importantly all the opportunity that does not yet exist that is mine to create.
I am going to fail. Everyday. When I leave to Australia from PDX on September 22nd on a 24 hour flight for 3 months it is just a known fact that I am going to encounter struggles, frustrations and many failures. But what I refuse to do is let those feelings that are inevitable win any longer. I want to change my thinking and vocabulary to eliminate the words “failure” and “I’m sorry” from my daily vernacular. I don’t want to apologize for my existence anymore. I don’t want to be ashamed of who I am. I don’t want to just “get by”.
I want to try, and mess it up. I want to fall flat on my face and figure out how to get out of it. I want to chase after the things I love and desire with utter abandon and sheer passion. My dreams and goals are ever-changing and I must allow space for them to do so instead of thinking that when a new desire or path pops up that I should stifle it because its not in my “plan”.
So I am going to Australia! Woah! I simply can not wait!!! I have met such incredible people here on the ship that I will get to see there, My Aunt Heather and her husband and three little ones live there, I have housing in an amazing area already lined up and the rest is just one big question mark….now, usually that would freak me out and I would need to make a grand plan to “be prepared”. But instead I am going to take the risk and leap into the unknown, use a bit of the hard earned money I have made here and do something for me and only me…….today I choose to relish in the big question mark of what is to come.
Today I choose freedom.