I woke up unexpectedly to a message the other morning from my mom.
‘I am so proud of you for living your dream Byron, you are gathering so many special moments in time which make wonderful fulfilling memories, stay as beautiful as you are and keep on dreaming and living it.’
I’m sure you may be thinking, but Byron that’s your mom, she has to say nice things! Well you aren’t wrong, but quite frankly I love my family and I love my mom for making my day when she sent this.
So why am I writing about this? I wanted to talk about the idea of choice in this post. The idea that living for the things you want to do is a choice. And while that’s easy to say I don’t think people realize how true it can be.
Two months ago I moved to Bali, Indonesia the kind of place most people put on their top places to travel to on vacation. But here I am, working and living, and not just for a two week stint, but for an extended time frame, over a year in fact. I wake up everyday to sunny weather, blue skies and an ocean that is a two minute drive from where I live. I have a bike that can carry a surfboard, an income that can support me every month and a girlfriend I can share this life with.
And I don’t think too many people can say that. This life I’m in is something I chose. It took over three years to be able to make this choice, but it never stopped being what I strove to achieve. I think what people read about a lot of the time is that you materialize what you set your mind to and while that does sound very “vibey”. What I take away from that idea, is that where you place your priorities is where your goals will come to fruition.
Using myself as an example:
Four years ago towards the end of my degree I had a conversation with my mom. I told her that the entire idea of working a 9-5 job everyday in a small office where all I have to look forward to is a two week holiday at the end of the year is something I could never see myself doing.
I soon realized that how you feel doesn’t let you escape from reality! We all need to work if we want to do anything. And we all work for different kinds of reasons: better houses, more vacations, getting out of debt or even getting out from under our parents. Different people have different reasons. But what I did decide was that if I was going to have to do a 9-5, I was going to do it on my terms. So I researched, I asked friends and eventually I moved to Thailand.
I became an English teacher, and while it was tough at first, it changed the way I thought of work. It was not a desk job, it was a job in communication. It challenged and tested my abilities, but it also helped me learn new things and discover things about myself. And this was just the teaching. The move itself was the big thing for me. It changed how I perceived my goals and the way in which I viewed a job.
A lot of people take jobs because they need the money and I respect that, but that’s not me. Currently I live on a salary that is below average in a place that is so far above average I almost couldn’t care less about what I get paid.
I learned that while I worked from 8-4, five days a week, I was living anything but an ordinary life. I was travelling, communicating and discovering new things everyday. I realized that even though I was working, I was still enjoying my life outside of work.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this, ‘What you prioritize in your life is where you will end up one, two or even five years from now.’
I’ve been prioritizing the places I have been living in over the prices of the checks I get paid every month and as of right now I can tell you this, I’m grateful and I’m happy. The real question then becomes,