Recently I gave an acquaintance a lift in my 12-year old (and very beaten up) Mazda 3. On the way there, she gently asked “so…is this your second car?” She didn’t seem convinced when I explained that no, it’s my only car, but it’s so much fun to drive… oh and that I also rent by choice (and nope, no investment property either). Perhaps she felt I needed some sort of consolation, as she went on to commiserate with me – isn’t it wonderful that I’ve opened a dance school and decided to follow my passion?
Which raises the question – do I drive a bomb and rent (in my 40’s!!) so that I can do what I love? Or is it the other way around – am I doing something that gives me so much joy and deep fulfillment, that most ‘normal’ aspirations have ceased to matter?
The answer is somewhere in between. I am incredibly lucky to have more than most in this world. The essentials are easily met (roof, food, clothing) plus so much love, family and friends. I eat out and drink out (sometimes too much) without a second thought. Yet I am not in debt, I don’t have a mortgage or loan, and this in turn gives me the financial and psychological freedom to take risks and create my own job. The type of job that makes me jump out of bed every day.
I find it odd when people assume that I’ve ‘sacrificed’ things to get to where I am. The term sacrifice implies that I’ve given up something I love. Yet I am surrounded by ALL that I love. Sure, I have given up some things along the way – like earning big bucks in a corporate physio career. But, if I had to choose between a Ferrari or a dance studio, hands down a dance studio wins anytime (although both might be okay too).
It’s not all a bed of roses and running my own business has its challenges. But it’s strengthened my feeling of self-worth and doesn’t make me question a ‘deeper purpose’ in life. Perhaps if society stopped chasing the ‘Australian dream’ then we might find space to realise and live our own.
30 January 2019