Do you dare to follow your heart?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in About Jane, Courage for travel | 6 comments

Do you dare to follow your heart?

I was immobile, staring out from behind solid black bars into nothingness.  I felt like a beautiful butterfly who had beaten my wings so hard and for so long, desperate to fly free, that I’d given up and was lying crumpled and broken on the cage floor with my delicate wings crushed.

I knew something had to change in my life.  I’d been married for eleven years to a good man.  But something was definitely not right.  I wasn’t living my life the way I wanted to – I didn’t feel alive at all.  I was dying on the inside.

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For years I’d been so extremely fit and strong that I used to dream that Sir Edmund Hilary would ring me and say “I’m climbing Mt Everest again – are you coming?”

And I’d say “Give me twenty minutes to pack.”

Then one day, as I was running around the lake in my lunch hour, I suddenly felt very weak and barely made it back to work.  I was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.  I went from being super fit to having to sit down in the shower and crying with the effort of carrying a basket of washing and was virtually bed-ridden for an entire year.  Although on the surface, we were happily married, I felt very stifled and caged.

When my husband asked me to marry him I had said “Yes, as long as I can still ride my bike around the world”.

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That had been my dream for as long as I could remember. Of course he agreed, but it was my dream, not his.  His dream was a secure government job and a house in suburbia, not too far from his parents.  Working at a desk – a tiny cog in an enormous, slow moving wheel – and cycling home every night to do more work on the run-down house, every day taking me further from my dream, slowly began to destroy me until I became very ill.

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My doctor advised me something had to change.  Something I didn’t want to admit to.  From deep within my soul, the dream resurfaced and at first it seemed totally impossible.  I was married to a home-body, had a government job and a mortgage, and I had chronic fatigue syndrome.  How could I possibly just jump on my bicycle and set off around the world?

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I knew that I would shrivel up and die if I didn’t change my life.  When that decision to make my dream a reality surfaced, I was terrified.  I knew my life depended on pursuing it.

That was nearly twenty years ago…..I made an enormous and courageous decision and haven’t looked back.

6 Comments

  1. mig@curiousnomad.com'

    Thank you for sharing your story! That’s awesome you chose to live authentically and follow your heart.

    • Thanks Mig,
      I truly believe in making the most of life and I have no regrets, although it’s been a difficult road.
      I hope that you are also following your heart.

  2. traceyacroke@gmail.com'

    Love it!!! Here’s hoping Edmund still calls…
    Tracey recently posted…Calling All Travel Bloggers: A Simple Lifesaving Soap Story You’ll Want to ShareMy Profile

    • Thanks Tracey. Unfortunately it’s too late for Sir Edmund….I’m disappointed I never got to meet him.

  3. davidryan320@gmail.com'

    Love this! Not everyone is brave enough to follow their heart. Way to go for being bold.
    David Ryan recently posted…trading comparison infoMy Profile

    • David, I really appreciate your supportive comment. Thank you very much. It was certainly not an easy decision, but a life-saving and life-changing one.

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