It’s funny to make a plan that frightens people so much. Moving to Europe is the equivalent of moving to the Moon in my parent’s minds. Still, the most common response I hear is, “I wish I would have when I was your age.” Then a story about mounting responsibility as you grow older ensues.
It humors me to hear all of the “I was going to but I didn’t” stories. Dark humor, I mean. It is a little sad that so many people dream of doing things that they never accomplish. Maybe they are not passionate enough about that particular thing to make it happen, or maybe the fear of failure overcomes.
A good friend explained it best when I gave the ‘bad timing’ excuse. She said you will always be able to justify reasons not to do something. The excuses won’t go away in a year or ten years or ever. She opened my eyes to my own fear of the unknown. Not enough money, too much good family, the good job, the boyfriend, the bills, health, language barriers, ignorance, the list is infinite and expanding faster than the universe.
So, of course I have thought of 1,000 reasons not to go to Prague. I have as much baggage (good and bad) as anyone else. I’m leaving behind a good family, a job I shouldn’t have at my age and a world of opportunity. But there is one overwhelming reason telling me that it’s okay to go: I’ll regret it if I don’t.
Not everyone has the same Everest. If a desk job and Excel worksheets are your dream, you should, by all means, follow that dream. Get the extra lumbar support in your chair if it makes you happy. It’s not about how unconventional or adventurous you can be. It’s about following your heart and your dreams and looking back when you’re 80 and saying, “Damn, I did life right.”