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The Broken Road – Following My Own Dreams

I was told throughout my entire life that‭ ‬“God never gives us more than we can handle.‭”‬ With everything that happened to me‭; ‬the open heart surgery,‭ ‬having to give up drinking and change everything in my life,‭ ‬failing businesses,‭ ‬and getting my heart destroyed,‭ ‬I was still standing there,‭ ‬but it was getting exhausting;‬ continually picking myself back up and fighting through another day.‭

falling down and getting back up‬I am sure I was having the thoughts that a lot of people have on a daily basis…‭”‬When is it going to get easier and when was the next time I was going to be pushed to the ground? ‬Was I going to have the strength to pick‭ ‬myself up again,‭ ‬dust myself off and‭ ‬continue to fight?‬” I didn‭’‬t know.‭ ‬Trying to remain strong through all these trials and tribulations was killing me inside.‭

I needed to adjust my overall vision about life and what would actually make me happy.‭ ‬Growing up in the USA and in the world in general,‭ ‬programs your brain to think that your life‭’‬s path needs to go a certain way and only that path will bring you happiness.‭ ‬The illusion that I was raised with and I think most people are taught is go to high school,‭ ‬go to college,‭ ‬get a good job out of college,‭ ‬get a high paying job,‭ ‬find a spouse,‭ ‬get a house,‭ ‬have kids,‭ ‬and all of these things are what you are‭ ‬supposed to do in society to play by the rules and find happiness.‭ ‬There is a problem with that‭ ‬though‭;‬ I do not see many people that are happy with that life.

Sure,‭ ‬when you meet someone there is that fresh love,‭ ‬romance,‭ ‬passion and hormones that come with meeting someone new and finding out who they are,‭ ‬but can that last for a life time‭? ‬I know that for some people this life has made them happy but for a majority,‭ ‬this choice in life has led to a loss of passion and the inability to follow their own dreams.‭

About‭ ‬50%‭ ‬of marriages end in divorce,‭ ‬so obviously the union between‭ ‬2‭ ‬people forever is a coin flip on if it will work or not.‭ ‬While you are figuring out if you truly want to remain‭ ‬with this person for the rest of your life,‭ ‬most couples have a child as that is what society says you are supposed to do.‭ ‬For the‭ ‬18‭ ‬years,‭ ‬the task of raising a child and financially supporting the family puts strain on the relationship and many couples do not make it through this.‭ ‬Then,‭ ‬the ones that do seemed relieved when the kids finally go to college so they can start living their lives again…normally over the age of‭ ‬50.‭

Others that had been‭ ‬“staying together for the kids‭”‬ can finally stop faking their loveless marriage and go their separatestaying together for the kids ways.‭ ‬PS you are not fooling the kids,‭ ‬they know that you are not happy and it will‭ ‬affect their decisions on all their future relationships.‭ ‬There is a problem‭ ‬though‭;‬ starting to try to date or start a new‭ ‬relationship in the twilight of your life is a daunting task.‭ ‬I always remember the scene from Before Sunset when Jesse and Celine are talking in the taxi about how their lives were not what they wanted them to be.‭ ‬“I just…‭ ‬I don’t wanna be one of those people who are…getting divorced at‭ ‬52,‭ ‬and falling down into tears,‭ ‬admitting that they never really loved their spouse,‭ ‬and they feel that their life has been…‭ ‬sucked‭ ‬up into a vacuum cleaner…But we’re just living in a pretense of a‭ ‬marriage responsibility,‭ ‬and all this…just..ideas of how people are supposed to live.‭”

I needed to‭ ‬finally internalize the fact that this life which had been presented to me by society was not my utopia and that it was time to refocus‭ ‬realize that finding my happiness was in my own hands.‭ ‬It was time to redefine success and what constituted‭ ‬achieving success to me.‭ ‬I had‭ ‬spent my entire life trying to live the life that everyone told me to live instead of the life that I wanted to live.‭ ‬What was it that filled my life with passion‭? ‬What was it that stimulated my mind and heart‭?

Each day was a process‭ ‬to allow myself to grasp and internalize that I was not going to get married and I was not going to have kids.‭ ‬This was‭ ‬hard‭ ‬because as humans,‭ ‬we crave companionship,‭ ‬and have the need to be with someone else,‭ ‬if only for sex.‭ ‬But as the days went on,‭ ‬letting this go allowed me to start enjoying life more.‭

When you are thinking about your future and making sure that you are on the right career path to be able to have and support a family,‭ ‬your decisions are not made from your heart and what sparks your passion.‭ ‬There are those around the world that wanted their lives to be different and had such high hopes of following their true dreams growing up,‭ ‬but as the reality of‭ ‬financial responsibility and the costs of family set in,‭ ‬those dreams‭ ‬are‭ ‬pushed aside and in many cases‭ ‬forgotten.‭ ‬I had been given a second chance at life and I wanted to start finally living for myself.‭ ‬Not my parents.‭ ‬Not my friends.‭ ‬Not society.‭ ‬Just me.‭

As I assessed my life,‭ ‬the things that I most enjoyed were writing,‭ ‬teaching,‭ ‬marketing and creating things both tangible and in cyberspace.‭ ‬I began to refocus on these items in my life in hopes to try to let go of my anger and find internal peace.‭ ‬Filling my life with these things that brought me passion was the only way to start taking steps in my life to find my own destiny.‭

follow your dreamsThe newspaper had been a kind of‭ ‬pastime which‭ ‬was fun to play with and see how many people I could bring to the site each day.‭ ‬I had already surpassed the other online media I had worked for in a matter of about‭ ‬6‭ ‬months,‭ ‬but I wanted to learn as much as I could about social media,‭ ‬sites like Reddit,‭ ‬SEO,‭ ‬and whatever other knowledge I could digest.‭ ‬It was fun learning all the information,‭ ‬applying it in real life and seeing the results.‭

This also gave me the chance to write on a daily basis.‭ ‬Any frustrating ‬occurrences in Costa Rica that had happened to me that day could be expressed and published.‭ ‬It was both cathartic and started giving the online newspaper a reputation as a source that spoke the truth and in many cases pissed people off.‭ ‬But many others were going through the same experiences ‬as I was so it connected on a personal level.‭ ‬The number of daily readership kept‭ ‬growing each day.‭

Although the newspaper felt like my‭ ‬child having to nurture and tend to it each day,‭ ‬I could not let my personal connection to it‭ ‬affect me when‭ ‬people would comment on articles.‭ ‬That is one thing you have to remember,‭ ‬you are not going to please everyone with opinion pieces.‭ ‬Someone is always going to disagree with you and those are normally the people that will comment.‭ ‬They are not attacking‭ ‬you‭;‬ they just disagree with what you are saying.‭ ‬It was an incredible feeling seeing something that I had created grow and have such enormous reach in a short period of time.‭

While‭ ‬continuing the newspaper,‭ ‬I picked up other jobs that I could fit in my schedule and that I enjoyed.‭ ‬I still needed to pay the bills and the newspaper was more of a‭ ‬pastime than something that generated capital.‭

I started marketing for a shipping company,‭ ‬began dental tourism marketing,‭ ‬began‭ ‬tutoring English on the side,‭ ‬and pieced together an SEO team.‭ ‬All of these employment opportunities I could do at home and most importantly,‭ ‬I enjoyed them.‭ ‬I was not getting up in the morning dreading the day of doing sales calls or having to go to work at an office,‭ ‬I was my own boss with the ability to do my job where and when I wanted.‭

It was about being happy with what I had and not what I thought I needed.‭ ‬I had a roof over my head.‭ ‬I had food in my stomach.‭ ‬I enjoyed my work each day and it was bringing in‭ ‬enough money to pay the bills.‭ ‬I no longer had the monkey on my back of thinking about having enough money to‭ ‬support a child or get married.‭ ‬I had freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted.‭ ‬As I heard old friends and new friends talk about the problems they had in their lives,‭ ‬I knew I had made the right decision to start following my own path and my own dreams.‭

Going through the open heart surgery and the fight of recovery had shown me that life really can end at any moment.‭ ‬Why waste moments not doing what you love or staying in a relationship that does not make you‭ ‬happy‭?

Next Up‭ ‬-‭ ‬Putting the Pieces Together

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