A wake-up call to myself


road to nowhere Roes

I am an idealist and a dreamer. Luckily, I’m also a doer. Wonderful things have happened since I’ve actively started to follow my dreams but it’s hard to always keep them in mind. I came across this post from The Heart’s Quest – a welcomed reminder to stick to who I really am and what I want. Do yourself a favor – read it and watch the TED Talk!

I want to be me, “all of who I am”. But what is all of who I am?

I’m nineteen, still a teenager. Thinking of myself as a teenager makes me feel so young, but thinking of not being a teenager anymore soon makes me feel older than I want to feel. Nonetheless, I am nineteen and hopefully there are still plenty of years ahead of me. Years I can shape the way I want to, to end up having a life I’m happy with. I don’t want to wake up in fifteen years asking myself “How the heck did the years went by? What happened to my dreams?”

But it’s not only striving towards a happy life in the future. I also want to be happy with my current life, right now. That’s why it’s important to direct every step you take towards your dreams. Because doing things to approach your dreams is adding happiness to your life.

The life I truly want for myself includes:

  • I want to live outside the box. I don’t want to have a 9-15 job one day. I want to have a life like this lucky teenager who’s traveling with his family since he was six. He’s younger than me but his posts show that his lifestyle has made him a really reflective, open-minded, mature and critical person. I want my children growing up learning things only life and traveling can teach them.
  • I want to see the world and take beautiful photographs of it to share this experience with other people. While traveling the world I want to get in touch with the locals so learning languages is essential.
  • I’ve wanted to visit a Native American Reservation for a couple of years now. After an inspirational encounter with one of my favorite authors in Gotha two weeks ago this dream is so alive that just thinking of how little lacks to fulfil it hurts. All those years I thought it was a faraway dream, now I’ve come to realize that it only requires a little step to fulfil it. And having to wait a little bit longer because it’s not the right moment yet makes me so impatient. I am going fulfill this dream as soon as possible. A promise to myself.
  • Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. – Mother Teresa
    I’m not sure if I believe in God however I love this quote. I want to live by it but I think it’s really difficult to put it into practice without being exploited.
  • I want to change the world. Make a little difference at least. I think working as a volunteer for nine months was a good start but it’s definitely just the beginning.
  • I want to be surrounded by people who inspire me. There’s nothing better than being around people who make me believe that there is more to life and that it’s to me to go and get it.
  • On the other hand, I want to inspire people too. By showing them how many good things can happen when you step out of your comfort zone, choose the path less traveled and take risks. By encouraging them not to bend down before other people’s and society’s expectations.
  • I want to have real connections to people. Talk about things that matter, be open. We hide behind masks way too often and how can we truly connect when nobody is being real? We can’t.
  • And now, since I’m being completely honest with myself, I’ve come to realize that I want to return to live in Singapore. Not forever. But before I have to give up my passport next year. I’ve contemplated it before but the pressure to start studying was bigger. I’m regretting it. Damn.

Things I do because I think I should:

  • Sport. It’s really sad to say it. I’m not a unathletic person and I usually enjoy doing sports when I’m actually doing it but I get myself to do it because it feels like an obligation, not because I truly want it for myself. Even though I know it’s healthy and important etc.
  • I’ve confessed it above, I’m not keen on studying. I’m doing it to get a better foundation for my later life but I’m not 100% convinced of it. And it’s what people in Switzerland do at some point after high school. But I hope that studying psychology will give me the assets to help people the way I dream of one day.
  • Probably a couple of other things too but it’s 1.30am in the morning and my brain is trying to handle the consequences of the realization that I’d rather spent one year in Singapore than starting to study so I can’t think of anything else anymore.

I think I’ll start a ritual of thinking about all those dreams waiting to become a real part of me once a week so I won’t lose them out of sight anymore.

What about you? As I said, real connections are important to me and I’d really like to connect with you, my dear reader! So feel free to share your thoughts about this topic in a post or in a comment!

    1. Love your post! Agree with every word. Also, I sound like a hypocrite saying this (pursuing my MBA and all) but education is only worth it if you are learning something that you are passionate about. If you are majoring in finance when you are a writer at heart, you are preparing yourself (and working very hard at it) to live a false life. No one will benefit from it. Having realized that, I am trying to build an authentic life for myself. Since I am sitting in a creativity class, I think I can post this comment and get away with it. :)

      1. Thank you for your kind comment! I am interested in psychology but I guess I’m just not ready to go back to Switzerland yet. I’m really confused now because on the other hand there’s the pressure of my parents. But I agree to you and I like the sentence “you are preparing yourself to live a false life”. That would be really true. Cool that you’re following your passion anyway and I’m sure your MBA will be very helpful! :)

    1. You have some really smart and amazing goals. Especially that you can recognise that you don’t want to “wake up in 15 years and wonder where all your dreams went.” I feel the same way, but I keep waking up and wondering haha. I think it’s especially difficult to surround oneself with inspiration and inspirational people, don’t you? There’s a lot to be said for inspiration from within, but the people around you can really weigh you down sometimes. Anyway, you’re already successful just because you keep up with your dreams and know what you want. How do you work towards these things? I only ask because I often have trouble working towards the things I want. Don’t know where to start, I think.

      1. Dear Jess,
        Thank you so much for your comment, it really made me happy to read it!
        Maybe I’m lucky. Many of my friends are encouraging me and when I know that someone would rather weigh me down I avoid talking about the things that matter to me. But I think that there are also a lot of inspirational people online and blogging really helps to connect with them! I think I’ll write a post about it soon :)
        Can I ask you what are the things you want? I’d love to hear from you!
        I try to notice situations in which I can make baby steps towards my dreams. Invest time to learn a language, save money for a trip, being kind when I actually don’t want to, make decisions in favor of my dreams NOW instead of waiting for “someday”. Does that help?
        Thank you so much for your kind words, this really gives me strength to carry on :)

        1. You’re welcome! You are very lucky to have such wonderful friends in your life! And to be so in tune as to know who to cut out.
          What things I want? Oh that’s tough. The biggest thing would probably be to know what I want. To have a clear head. I know, that’s really general, and basically what everyone wants. I just need to work on breaking it down in to smaller steps. Like you said, ‘baby steps.’ I move towards certain things such as learning languages and I have travelled to some lovely places but I tend to dwell on the end. I have a goal of overall zen so, surrounding myself with good people and promoting balance in everything that I do would be a good goal to work towards. Haha, you see how complicated I make this for myself?
          I admire your ability to stick to the ‘now’ rather than waiting for ‘someday.’ That takes guts. I’m glad that my words have made you feel good. I just call them like I see them. ;)

          1. I’m really lucky with my friends, yes :) but it hasn’t been that way until two years ago.
            Something else I realized about having inspiring people in one’s life: TALK about what you love, talk about your dreams and your wishes. People can’t connect to you if they don’t know about those things. And you’ll realize it easy enough if someone else thinks and feels like you and then you can inspire each other (that just happened to me this week).
            I think those baby steps are really important because they are the ones who will bring us towards what we want, not giant steps that probably will never happen. Hey, you do know what you want :) and yes, I get that those concepts sound complicated but I’m sure you can think of possible ways to achieve your goal!
            haha I’m working on the ‘now’ thing. :P
            btw I really love that you’re an advocate for solo traveling! :)

            1. Ah yes talking. Communication. It’s important but at times so difficult. Are you a list maker by the way? Do you dedicate logical time to these things or is it all more abstract for you?

              1. I’ve just come across this post and thought of you: http://awayfromthenoise.com/2014/11/17/how-do-you-know-what-you-want-and-what-you-can-do-to-get-it/ :)
                I guess there’s always the risk that people don’t react the way you wish when you speak openly about what you care. But for me it’s worth it :)
                I’m a very impulsive person and often have random ideas but then I try to think of them in a logical way (also with pro/cons lists) and it happened many times that I decided afterwards that the idea wasn’t as random/impossible as I thought :D what about you?

                1. That is so sweet of you to link me to that. :) It was a very interesting read so that’s even more wonderful! I think you have such a great grasp on your future. You’re inspiring. As for lists, I am definitely a list maker but the lists hardly ever make sense or I abandon them too soon. I always wonder if it’s helpful or not because I make them but to what end? Haha.

                  1. I’m glad you found it interesting!

                    Thank you for your kind words :)

                    hmm maybe making lists helps you too structure the thoughts? other than that, I can’t think of any benefits of making lists one doesn’t use haha or why do you make lists?

                    1. I couldn’t tell you why I make the lists, haha. Just a simple way to get my thoughts out in a concise way probably.

      1. Thank you for leaving those two comments and visiting my blog as well! :) Happy New Year!

    1. Lucky you, you have at arms length the fulfillment of your passions in life.
      What truly amazes me about you is that you have the generosity of heart to extend your privileges in life to other people. That your dreams doesn’t end up on yourself alone.

      Young as you are, you can clearly see who you want to become and where you want to be in life. Keep on fanning into flames your passions and callings. You’re going in all the right directions.

      Best of luck. Regards,

      1. Hi Andrei!
        wow, you’ve found an old post here haha thank you so much for commenting!
        I think it’s amazing that you see me in that way. People like you are so encouraging and help me ‘do my thing’ no matter what my insecurities tell me.
        I hope you’re doing well! Take care! x

        1. Hi Monika,

          Thanks for the care and concern. I’m at the most challenging point in my life right now after losing my mom just recently.

          During these times that I must seek encouragement and draw inspiration from people like you who have big dreams and have vibrant and colorful outlook in life.

          You just don’t know how much your particular blog is helping me. Thank you. Keep it up.

          Wish you all good luck too.
          Take care.

    1. HI Monika,

      Your thought process is amazing. I envy you. I remember being 19 and not having a clue about anything. I just did what every other boy of 19 did; try and impress girls. I now do things for myself and always make sure that what I do impresses me. Thank you, this post was beautiful.

      1. Hey, you’ve found an old post here :D thank you for your comment! It’s really fun to read this post again, realising how it changed my life. I’m glad you’re more focused on doing things for yourself now :) take care!

Let me know what you think!

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