Living the Dream: A Tale of Prayer Answered

Jun 18, 2011 by    Posted under: Life, Travel

I am living The Dream. Well, I am living My Dream. My dream of having work that allows me to travel freely and experience the world. My dream of having a job where I am the moderator of my own time. My dream of being free off four set walls, a time clock and florescent lighting.

I don’t know exactly how it happened that I came to have jobs that can be done from anywhere in the world (so long as there is internet connection), where I work pretty much on my own time, my own schedule, my own preference about where my office will be each day.

But here I am.

I only know that I wanted it with every molecule of my being and dove into myself to find the place where I could create an opening for it in my life. And I don’t take any moment of it for granted. I am fully aware of how lucky I am.

In 2008 I found myself miserable in my job, in chronic pain and so anxiety ridden I was having to pull over on my three mile drive to work to put my head between my legs, pull myself together and talk myself back onto the road.

I was a Neuromuscular Massage Therapist working in rehab. For years I loved my job, loved that I could help people feel better, loved getting to know my patients, loved working with my hands on people.

I didn’t want my job to make me so unhappy and so I told myself that my unhappiness was all in my mind and pushed these feelings down and tried to ignore them. It wasn’t until I absolutely hated my job that I realized I needed a change for my own well being. Part of my dislike for my work was that I developed severe hand pain and just holding a pencil threw me into a pain induced sweat and I grew to resent having to put my hands on my patients.

Resenting my patients made me feel guilty and bad about myself as a human being and as a therapist.

And so the cycle of deep unhappiness began. Looking back, the obvious answer would have been to just quit my job, but I had never quit anything in my life. I have stayed in situations that have sucked absolutely everything out of me for the sole reason that my deepest fear is to let anybody down. Quitting would mean doing just that, even if staying meant imploding in on myself.

There were also a lot of incredible things about my job which made thinking about leaving nearly impossible. The family I worked for was wonderful, they treated me like family and gave me a lot of freedom in my work. I was very close with my coworkers. I had a flexible four day workweek and could juggle my days around to maximize vacation time and long weekends.

But the best part of my job were my patients. I met the most amazing and interesting people in my therapy room. I loved hearing their stories and getting to know them, to see them through part of their healing process. I loved them all and could not entertain the idea of abandoning them, no matter the pain it caused me to work on them.

I remember my father once gave me a list of five questions to ask myself when I was in difficult situation. I don’t remember the first four, but the last one has stuck with me all these years and I often come back to it:

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? I asked myself this question a million times. It took about eight months before I could find an honest answer, an answer that was speaking to only me and not all the other people I felt a responsibility to. This answer came through prayer.

I am not a religious person, but I have a very personal spiritual practice and deep connection to…something. When I say prayer, that I have prayed, this is a deep thankfulness/desire/problem within me that I lay before the great unknown known by many names – That, The Universe, God, Allah, Hashem. It is not just a laying down of troubles then waiting for Him to fix them.

For me, prayer is an ongoing conversation and a dialogue with this entity whose presence I don’t need proof of but still know is there.

I hoped and prayed for so long for work, a life, where I could travel and be free of a set office and set hours and yet, the reality of creating this new kind of life for myself went against everything I had ever wanted before. Up until this point in my life I had only wanted the structure and security of a steady job and roots firmly planted in one place.

What do you do when what you’ve known as truth is no longer valid, no longer the healthy way to live your life?

I prayed. I prayed and I meditated and I read books about how to change your life. I talked with friends, I journaled, I went to church, to temple, to the ocean, to the woods. Eventually I found the courage to quit my job. I did so without another job lined up, without an idea about what the next step was. I only knew I needed to leave.

It’s a funny thing, leaving something without know where you’re going. There was fear, yes, but the sense of freedom and relief was so much stronger.

I didn’t know what was next but I knew that between me and my faith, I would find it. And it would be the right step for me.

And so here I am at this moment, working from Italy. I live 3000 miles from where I started this journey, I have worked in eight different countries in the past two years, spent weeks and months at a time traveling through the United States while working and I now know that gigantic dreams really do come true.

I suspect it is different for every person, but for me, it took wading though the darkness until I could truly feel that happiness was more important than holding on to fear.

Through prayer, hard work and a whole lot of faith, I am living my amazing, gigantic dream from anywhere in the world my heart desires.

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4 Comments + Add Comment

  • You are truly blessed, being that you have a job that you truly enjoy doing….so many people don’t. Hashem has you in the palm of his hand….prayers and meditation and looking deep into ones self can answer many questions that we humans have. People just have to take the time to explore their inner being….thanks for the incite to your wondrous discovery of your self.

    • Thank you Margaret! My cup runs over and most days I still have to pinch myself that this is real. Self reflection, looking into those dark spaces and faith we will come out the other side is really helps us find our way, doesn’t it?

  • This makes me indescribably happy, B. Love you and your travelin’ self so much!!

    • Kim – YOU make ME indescribably happy! Thanks for sharing this crazy life with me…molto amore

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