“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that was not what it was built for.”
– Albert Einstein
When I was a little girl, maybe eight or nine years old, my Mum urged me to endeavour in two things before settling down. Two things I think she felt didn’t exist from her mind as a young woman. Things that were also absent from her identity as an older woman and that she recognised as significant steps in one’s journey of life. These two things are career and travel.
Just 18 when she first married, and 19 when my eldest brother was born, she wanted me to have experiences that she never could. From “that generation” it was only upon reflection that Mum saw that there are more options for young women than bringing up a family. And whilst she never regretted the path she took, she wanted me to consider her advice carefully. Career: empower yourself – be your own person. Travel: open your mind – be your best self.
Throughout my life she echoed these pieces of advice. Not with huge justification, but it triggered my own mental debate. Subsequently, her words resonated.
I’ve never been much of a risk taker. But when I made the decision to leave a perfectly good career in London behind, along with close friends and family, it felt as though I’d laid all the chips down. Mum’s desire for me to have drive in a career of my choice was absolute but this traveling malarkey felt a step too far. Was I doing the right thing? Will this set me back? Can I really do this? As the time grew closer, I was more anxious than ever. “Sort your career. Travel the world.” Mum was still in the back of my head.
The anxious feelings still crop up even now if truth be told, lingering in the subconscious, trying to cover up my Mum’s pleas with a firm hand pressed across her mouth, the mumbles vaguely understandable. Inside my head, they fight each other often. Or at least they did. But as time has gone on, the hand has lessened its strength and my Mum’s words are taking over the race again. Reflections of what’s already been achieved, the people I’ve met and the experiences thus far have all elevated that she is one wise woman.
And I know that as I grow older I will be thankful for the advice given to me at such a young age. I will be more fulfilled, more compassionate and importantly, have a much shorter bucket list than I do now :0).