Jealous and bitter
The above screenshot is from a blog that I found when reading through the daily links that comes to our blog on the Internet. It's written by a Swedish blog reader and if I translate it to English it would go something like:
This is a blog (link to our blog) that I'm reading sometimes, when I'm in the mood. It's written by a couple who seem to be crazy in love and they are very beautiful. It is almost like they don't exist. They have left the boring life at home and gone sailing, around the world.
So I'm reading, and am impressed by their drive. That they dared. That they had money to do it. And I'm dreaming away. And I get jealous, and bitter. Because they dared, because they had money to do it. Because I cannot.
Isn't that the worst thing that can happen to you? To be jealous and bitter, no one wants to be that way.
So I'm trying not to read their blog too often...
Honestly, tears were burning behind my eyelids when I first read this. Not because I felt proud or honored. But because I in some weird way take it personally when people, women in particular, let themselves believe that they are not able to lead the lives they wish. Or when they compare themselves with others and let those comparisons bring them down and make them suffer when they absolutely don't have to.
Anyone who knows me, knows that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in this world that gets me fired up faster than when discussing a modern woman's right to choose a life for herself. Nothing makes me so upset than seeing a girl or a woman treat herself in ways that are destructive, stressful or cause anxiety just because she wants to fit in to a role or into something that someone else, media or society, and not herself, has created. I have fought with girlfriends as well as male-friends a thousand times because I've wanted them to be true to themselves, to take better care of their lives and respect the choices and freedom that they have, and to not let other people abuse them nor tell them what to do or not to. I have argued over and over with friends because they have accepted the minimum when they could, with the little tools we all got in our hands - willpower and a bit of focus - get so much more out of our short time we have on this earth. It is such a loaded and sensitive subject to me that I have even broken up with friends in the past because of their inability to stay true to themselves, and thus they've been fake, jealous and destructive to their surroundings as a result of the anxiety and low self-esteem that they've embraced and accepted as major parts of their lives. Neither of which I am interested in having to deal with in my life. Though the older I get, the more I understand that it is hard to help and change everyone, especially those who live deep down in denial, so I try to not get too personal nowadays. It is sometimes better to leave them alone and time will eventually give them more reasons to act.
Not only have I met this type of mentality and thinking among friends and people I've met during my lifetime, but I have also written different personal blogs for the past seven years and have been in touch with tons of girls and women on a daily basis since 2005. Among many experiences and conclusions that I've made during these years, is that there is an incredible amount of people out there who suffer from anxiety of some sort. People who are confused, bitter, jealous, insecure or fight the wrong battles in life. I have received numerous emails and comments from girls out there who've asked me how I dared to 1.) Open my first own company at 21 2.) To move abroad and live in different parts of the world without close friends or family nearby 3.) Sail around the world 4.) Drop everything and every piece of security for the sake of wanderlust or curiosity 5.) Break up with a partner or a friend when I felt it didn't give me what I had hoped for etc etc.
Many of these girls/women have expressed their fear of not measuring up, fear of being left alone, not choosing the right path or partner in life, not believing there is something better even though they might be miserable and the list goes on and on and on. And my answer has always been: Why spend time on fear or making excuses when all you need to do is to stop thinking so damn much, set a goal and work your way towards it? If I can do it, you can do it too. If you are capable of deciding that you should wake up 5.45 every single weekday morning to be on time at work at 7 am, you can also choose happiness before misery. It is that simple.
I understand that with the way that I have created this blog, beautiful photography and lots of fun things going on, it might appear as we live a fantastic life. And yes, it is a fantastic life indeed. Because that's what we wanted out of life and we won't settle for less. But it isn't fantastic all.the.time. No ones life is. We did also not get here out of luck nor because we had a lot of money on the bank. We are here because of two focused minds, hard and tiring work, persistence, willpower, many fights and disagreements and a chain of many different choices and coincidences, good and bad, made earlier in life.
If you read the blog carefully, you will easily see that we have the same problems like everyone else has, just that we do not choose to make them bigger than what they actually are. Alex and I argue about stupid things, we have gone through a relationship crisis and are luckily on the other side of that (first one?). We have loads of work that occupies us and hinders us occasionally from being as free as we would want to. And the money that we got when we sold everything we owned before we left on this journey, they are long gone in the process. We miss our friends and families a lot, and even if we have each other, it does occasionally feel very lonely to live the way we do. We are no perfect human beings neither of us. Both of us have some things with ourselves (and each other!) that we are not perfectly happy with, but we choose to focus on the good things instead of ranting about what we don't have.
To give you some more information. Neither Alex nor me come from perfectly conventional family backgrounds. Both of us have lived most parts of our lives without some of the most important people in a human beings life. Alex without his biological father, me without my mother. Although we have got good help and guidance along the way from family members and other people who have loved and cared for us, we both have had to work and support ourselves earlier than most others. Our unconventional backgrounds have brought us close to the real side of life and of course we could have chosen to give up and feel sorry for ourselves at many occasions along the way, but instead we have meticulously fought our way forward. Instead of letting fear or anxiety take over our existence, we have since the very early years decided that if something's going to happen here, we better take care of it ourselves. I talk a lot in we-terms when I speak about these things, and it is because if there's one thing Alex and I are similar in, it is exactly this.
One of my best friends has recently decided that she wanted to quit smoking and she told me some parts of the book which will help her to get over the ten year old addiction. In the book, the author explains, not how to fight against the addiction, but how to change your mindset. You know that smoking is not good for you, so instead of feeling sorry for yourself and fighting the fact that you can't smoke those wonderful cigarettes again, you must brainwash yourself into the realistic understanding that smoking is not for you. Because you do not want to be a slave to something so destructive for yourself. Instead of making it a big deal, you need to simplify and just get over it. Just quit and don't look back. This is the same change of attitude that I always come back to when I speak about a human beings mental wellbeing. Be realistic. Don't overdramatize the change. A change is not definite nor is it dangerous. If you know that you're not happy with whatever you are doing, then just take a deep breath, make a plan and set yourself free. Don't fuss over it. Don't make excuses. Don't try to feed your illusions and do stay focused on what you really want out of your life. And if you do want to make it difficult and continue to lie to yourself, go ahead and make another excuse, but don't come and cry over misery, boredom or anxiety again. You want a change in your life? So it's about time you stand up for who you are, what you want and just get the hell out there and make things happen.
Before someone comes with an objection, you must understand that I do only talk to the ones of you who desperately are longing for a change of some sort. The ones who dream and long for a change but haven't yet began their new journey. I do not talk to the ones of you who are half/half happy and already accepted that your life is, more or less, OK. Cause you have already decided, right? So do not take what I say personally.
Without getting too deep into spirituality and affirmations again, but we all should know by now that what you project, is what you get back in return. If you feed your brain with thoughts and feelings of hopelessness, jealousy, anxiety and bitterness, that is where you will stay until you learn better. But if you instead teach yourself that it is fully normal to dream big and fight for what your gut tells you is right, that is the direction your life will be heading. Life is not easy for anyone of us. We all have to go through our own individual hardships and challenges. That's another fact. So with that in mind, why not take the bull by the horns and let the challenges at least bring yourself towards a workable, positive goal. And we all must stop being afraid for disappointments and failure. Personally I love a bit of pain and struggle in some sick kind of way, as I know that it will teach me another important lesson. And if I fail, so what? I have no time to be afraid of failure as that would stop my personal growth. It is our society and people around us who have taught us to be scared of failure. But you don't have to buy into any of that shit, do you understand that?
If I use myself and my younger me as an example: I have not always known exactly what I wanted to do in life, nor with who or where I would live. Those things were always secondary to me. My focus was more of the sort one finds within oneself. The things that always drove me, was the will to become a strong, confident, experienced, stable, genuine and independent woman. Later on, I also promised myself that I'd never settle for any man or friend or relationship that didn't fill my life with genuine love, respect and happiness. All else can get the fuck out of my view, literally. I thank my Grandmother for planting the seeds of strength and independence into my brain. But most of it all, I thank myself for always staying true to my fundamental beliefs and for not compromising on my core values. If anyone comes in to my world and tries to mess up with my beliefs or my feelings, I will gladly show you the door. My life is my life and no one is in charge of it except me.
I have experimented with tons of things in my thirty year old life as I wanted to get to know myself completely and learn what I really wanted out of my time on this planet. Not what people around me, what society, magazines or hollywood movies suggested me to become. But who I was deep within when I was the driver of my own destiny. I've worked for many different companies in many areas and industries to gain experience and learn, mostly, what I did not want to do. I've also worked many years for myself which I eventually found suited me better. I have made a lot of money but I have also been terribly broke at times. I have loved many people and I've left some of them behind. I've spent longer times living with different friends or partners but I have also loved the times I was alone. I have enjoyed and indulged in what life has on offer in every way and dimension imaginable but I have also failed and stumbled hundreds of times. Do I regret any of my experiences? Of course not, not even the bad or the sad ones, as they have made me the full and complex person that I am today. When I had the possibility, I have always traveled. I wanted to see the world and get to know as many cultures, different mindsets and point of views' as I could, as a chance to learn something new. I saw my journeys around the world as an opportunity to grab the best of what I found so that I could construct my own life where I truthfully felt in peace, happiness and harmony. I have gone through many different stages of love, despair, longing, pain, excitement, fear, genuine happiness, sorrow and thrills in one big massive roller coaster. What my experiences have given me, are far greater than any external thing or illusionary projection one could've so intelligently build up around oneself. My life: the good, the bad, the confrontations, joys and struggles that I've been through have made me just what I was dreaming about since I was a young girl. A strong, confident, experienced, stable, genuine and independent woman. And the prove of that is in all what I get back from the world and the wonderful loving people that I have had and have the pleasure to share my life with.
Let me use a metaphor from a part of Alex's life as another good example. Alex had a dream of owning a classic yacht. A fast, gorgeous sailboat which would fit for our lifestyle yet be safe and strong and take us around the world in safety and good style. Now, I mentioned already that we do not have much savings left and we consider ourselves more poor than rich in terms of money, but that didn't stop him from making his dream a reality. He wanted the best and wouldn't settle for less. So he sold his well equipped, super safe and strong boat, the one we started our journey in. To be able to get what he was dreaming about, which is this very boat that we live and travel in today. He couldn't afford buying a well maintained classic yacht in the size that we needed, so this was the closest we could get. This boat is an old, modern classic racing sailboat and built by one of the more famous sailboat designers (Halsey Herreshoff), though it had been literally abandoned for the past ten years or so. Even when Alex, and not to mention me, saw the devastating amount of job that he would have to initiate, he still refused to look another way. He saw the great potential under the dust of this yacht and he dared to dream beyond the mess that he had put himself into. And now we are here, almost a year later and the boat is steadily getting back to the beautiful standard that she once were in, if not better. What I wanted to say with all of this is that the change to the better didn't come for free. Alex has been working on this boat from eight in the morning till sometimes midnight in order to make his dream come true. He had a vision of what would make him and us happy and he stuck to it. He saw no other option than to go through the sweaty, hard work, day and night, seven days a week, just to get to where we are today. The option of staying with a boat that made him unhappy was nonexistent. The worst thing he could have done to himself, would have been to accept the safety, comfort and the risk-free situation of staying with the boat that we had before.
I think that one of the worst disfavors you can do to yourself, is to limit your personal growth or potential happiness because of fear or because of all the other excuses that people tend to do on a daily basis. If you want something so bad, there ain't going to be no one but you stopping it. And if you do continue to make excuses or hindering your own development, I can only take it as that you simply didn't want it bad enough.
Not everyone wants to sail around the world like we do which I fully understand, but the mindset I've been rambling about for the past thirty minutes (for a lifetime?) can be applied to all things in life. You are the master of your own life. Make sure to respect and nurture that very gift the best you can. I would also never ever accept myself being jealous or bitter, as I know that I don't have to and because I much rather spend that precious time on fulfilling my own, personal dreams, and not only someone else's.