I’ve spent a lot of time dreaming in my life
One day something changed though. I’m not sure exactly what it was or how it happened. One day I woke up and decided to start to do the things that I dreamt about. When I’m an old woman I don’t want to look back on my life and see wasted potential. Instead, I want to look back and see a life rich with experiences. Triumphs and failures. Joys and sorrows. Even if I never achieve my loftiest goals, I will be content to know that I gave it a shot. I tried my hardest and lived well because of it.
Do you know who Sarah Marquis is? Let me tell you about her. Sarah Marquis has walked 20 000 kms from Siberia to the Gobi Dessert. She has walked 14 000 kms across the Australian outback. Then there was her 7, 000 km trek from Chile to Peru. Just to name a few. All these journeys she made alone. On her back she carries a hundred-pound back pack with her home and everything she will need. The weight of each item must be considered and so she brings no books and no music. For months or years, she walks by herself, in nature, with only her thoughts and the animals around her to keep her company. Then she writes books and does public speaking about her experiences. Sarah Marquis is amazing and extraordinary. Sarah Marquis is a role model of mine.
Here is a line that resonates with me from a Ted talk she has given:
“When you look through a window, when you look outside but you’re in the house, in order to experience the outside, you have to take that step outside the house. You need to go outside your comfort zone. And in that little step there is nobody to help you. It is between you and you. But there is one thing will help you and that is curiosity. Curiosity will help you to open your vision, to see further.”
At a certain point I came to realize that no one was coming to save me
While I may not know exactly what it was that facilitated this internal change in myself, I do know that at a certain point I came to realize that no one was coming to save me. No one was going to give me what I wanted. No one was going to make my dreams materialize. That was my job and my job alone. To some this might sound depressing to give up on people. But to me it was empowering because while there is a lot in this world I have no control over, I do have control of myself. I can control what I do. How I spend my time. Where I invest my energy.
As a woman, I have been discouraged from many things. Don’t travel by yourself, you’ll be assaulted. Don’t ride a motorcycle, what if you crash? Don’t go hiking by yourself, what if something should go wrong? Don’t speak up, you might rub someone the wrong way. Don’t do this. Don’t do that.
I live in a world of what if’s, a world of endless possibility
But I will not live in a world of fear. I will not live in a world of limitations. Instead I live in a world of what if’s, a world of endless possibility. What if travelling by myself were to expand my mind to a global scale and help me realize that both pain and love are universal and we are all the same in our hearts. What if riding that motorcycle were to give me the strength and confidence I needed to stand up to the bully’s in my life, the people who had always held me down. What if hiking by myself gave me the opportunity to release bottled pain that was crippling me. What if speaking up gave me the opportunity to connect with amazing individuals who shared my values and visions and who could be a network of support on this journey I am on.
Sarah Marquis has broken the mold of what a woman can and should do and she has inspired me to do the same. I don’t know what I believe in terms of the after life but there is a chance that this is the one conscious life I will have and damn it, I’m going to make the most of it, no matter what people say I should ort shouldn’t do. Because as Sarah Marquis says, “It is between you and you.”