This Is Why I Tell You To Take A Leap
Have you ever felt like you are actually meant to be somewhere else?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you are living a different life?
Have you ever thought what it would be like if you had chosen a completely different path?
Have you ever imagined what it would be like if you were only brave to choose that difficult choice you want the most?
So many questions in your head. I know, I felt them too. Deep within my heart, I heard these questions too. As if my heart had a voice, and the voice asked me tens of what ifs. What ifs which made me ponder on hundreds of possibilities over thousands of days I spent waiting, waiting for things to actually happen. This might be your heart talking too. It’s probably talking to you. Why don’t you pause for a while and listen? Because that’s what I did too.
Just when I made a decision to leave home, and even until today, I would still always get the question, “Adah, why?”, and I would often answer “Why not?”. But I knew what they meant, it is such a bold and daring decision, and it surely is. However, this did not happen overnight. I spent 4 long years before I was able to finally take a leap.
At 21, after passing the licensure exam for teachers, I immediately entered public school. If you have a degree in education in the Philippines, public school is one of the best career paths for you, so I knew it was the best for me too. I was young and I already got one of the most stable jobs in the world, isn’t that awesome? I could grow old and not worry about being penniless even after retirement. It may not be a job that could make your bank account grow, but it sure can make your life rich. Years passed and I’ve grown happy in teaching on weekdays, and taking on adventures on weekends. I knew I was happy, because I could do so many things, and I could tick things off my bucket list one at a time. I hiked mountains which I lost count. I got involved with physical sports. I joined in half marathons, I became a member of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, and I even did rock climbing. Plus, I met many amazing people from different walks of life. It was such a blast I was having. But I always feel like I want to do more – you know, bolder and daring things, not for anyone but for myself.
It was a bit crazy. I was literally having the time of my life, but I could still hear all the questions I asked you above. I was happy, but I knew that there could be a possibility of greater happiness. I was free, but I knew that there is an utmost form of liberation that I would like to experience myself. I was already doing great things being a teacher, but I knew that I could be meant to do much greater thing in this lifetime. Everything was okay, but I couldn’t take to live just an okay life. I couldn’t just grow old and say that life was okay, I wanted to be able to say that life was hard but it was at its best and I lived it well. I wanted to get out of my box, and to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to see the world, to immerse myself in a completely different culture, and to grow as individual.
It was such a huge dream I’m having. And when you’re not well off, when you are a woman, and when you are both, and from a third world, it is almost not possible. I was broke. My dream was not something that was usual from people in my class – they would often want the stable job to fulfill family responsibilities, and so do I. I kept on giving myself more time, one more year, I would always say. So I almost could not just make a decision, I was scared. I was not certain if I could make it. A year became two, then three, and then one more year. Yes, I spent 4 years in public school constantly thinking of these things, constantly hearing those questions, and constantly longing for that one day when I would be able to finally take a leap. I knew when the time is right the universe will conspire for things to happen, and it did.
At 25, that day came. The voice spoke so long and so loud that I knew I had to respond. Two months ago, I quit my job as a public school teacher to finally start making things happen. I left my family, friends, and the place where I spent 25 years of my life and moved in a foreign land to pursue my dreams – my dreams which intimidated almost everyone including myself. People were surprised, and they were all asking me why. And all I could say was, why not? I don’t want to be lying on my death bed and look back to my younger days and regret that I did not even try this.
Its been two months since I moved in to Thailand and I was right. It was absolutely one of the most liberating feelings ever. It was surreal. It was ecstatic. Two months has been a roller coaster ride, and I am looking forward to more adventures. I know that it is never going to be easy. It is not certain nor convenient, but I knew I needed to do this. Because I would rather go through the struggle, the failure, the discomfort, and the inconvenience than to get stuck in a certain and comfortable place and just stop growing there. I knew what I wanted, and I knew I have to do it now.
So to you, listen to that voice in your heart. I know that you already know what you want, and even if you are not, this is the best time to try things out. So to every single soul who has been hearing the questions, who has been contemplating in life, this is why I tell you to take a leap – stop waiting and start making things happen. It is never easy but it’s going to be damn worth it. That thing that you want the most has been waiting for you. So take that one step, greater things are waiting to unfold right before you. Just do it.
Do not be pressured on how huge were the decisions of others. I am not telling you to leave your job, travel, and forget your old world. No. Taking a leap doesn’t have to be grand nor bold, it doesn’t have a size and form nor color and shape, but this is the thing that your heart genuinely wants, it is yours, and it can change your life in ways you can never imagine.
You may be a supervisor to a huge company right now, but you’re dreaming of being a full-time yoga teacher someday. Go for it. Your parents might want you to be a pilot, but all you want to be is a pastry chef in a bakeshop. Go for it. You may be a corporate slave, but you want to do something else. Go for it. You may be a teacher, but you want to see the world. Go for it. You may have never tried adventures before, but you have always been curious. Go for it. Whatever that is, take a goddamn chance and make it happen.
You may fear failure, and disappointment, and frustrations, and that is okay. The truth is, we’re sometimes more scared of what others might say when you fail than the idea of failure itself. I remember what my sister told me when I told her I was scared of what people would say if I fail on this, “They had nothing to do with you when you started this, so why would they matter in the end? It is your life.” She’s right. It’s okay, failure is an integral part of success.
So fuck what others have to say. Listen to the voice in your heart. This is your life anyway. Yours to live and yours to decide. Are you also going to wait for 4 years like what I did? Go jump on the other side of that huge wall you’ve been eyeing for for so long. There might be a much better world waiting for you on the other side. Yes, do it. 6 months after leaving home, I have traveled to 6 countries and 10 cities, met hundreds of new people all over the world, discovered my tougher self, and developed a purer soul. My journey is still long and I am so ready to take it.
It is not going be as easy as pie that is for sure, but you are choosing the path that you want the most and you would be willing to walk through it no matter how difficult it is to get to the other end; and that what matters the most. So, go. Take a leap. Drop your fears. To live is to take risks, and to grow is to make the most difficult choices. You just have to do it because you can, I believe in you!
About the writer:
She is a young teacher-writer-wanderess from the Philippines. She blends her passion to touch lives with her lust to wander and with her love for life. She’s consumed by all things pertaining to places, people, culture, and words. Follow her adventures on Instagram @pinaywanderess and on Facebook.