Oh boy, I am sat here faced with an empty screen, and I have no idea where to start. So I’ll just start from the beginning, shall I?
Maybe I’ll tell you a bit about myself.
When I was growing up, my parents’ attitude was that if I got a well-paying job that enabled me to have a mortgage, then I was doing well.
To be honest, I think that is the attitude of most people. Especially when you hit your late teens and early twenties. At that age, all you want to do is move out of the parental home, and so if you can get a job which will finance this, then you’ve made it. Until you’re a few years in, and by then you’re wondering if this is all there is to life, and thinking that surely there must be more.
I did things the opposite way, and that didn’t do much for my hopes of ever having my own place. When I left school at the age of 16, I immediately took a low-paying job because I wanted to ride horses. It didn’t take long for me to discover that there was no way on earth, that doing this would ever enable me to buy my own house. By this time, the shine of working with horses had worn off. I had no other skills, and I was fed up with working for a pittance. I also had no clue how to change things.
My husband on the other hand, comes from South Africa. He was working there at a time when his employment prospects were rather underwhelming. The only job he could get, was one as a delivery driver, and it took six months of searching and knock-backs before he could get that.
Through a great opportunity which came his way, he was able to get together enough money to come to the UK. He had quite a different attitude to me. Because he’d been struggling in South Africa, he decided that he wasn’t going to do a job for the love of it; he was going to do whatever he could to get ahead and be financially secure. His first job in the UK was on a building site, and then he was offered an entry level IT job.
When I met him, he was a Software Tester, and had managed to get a mortgage on a little two-bedroom end of terrace house close to the North Circular in London.
It was after we married that the real adventures began.
In our twelve years of marriage, hubby has gained a degree, and we have gained five kids. We have moved house 18 times, and I think about 9 of those times have involved a change of country. Five years ago, we emigrated to the opposite side of the world. Hubby has had a business which has enabled us to be location independent, though he did have to work nights for a while over here. And we are now in the process of setting up two more businesses, which will enable us to continue this location independent lifestyle, where we can travel at will, and school the kids along the way.
When I look back over the years, and think about how we’ve achieved all this, I can see one thing only: the refusal to settle for the norm.
We both entered into our marriage with a whole heap of issues and baggage. And our motto from the beginning was ‘healing at any cost.’ We didn’t care what it took, because we were in the business of self-improvement, and we wouldn’t rest, wouldn’t give in, wouldn’t just settle for the way things were. No way. We would fight until our last breath, to become better people.
It’s that same attitude which has led us on our adventures. Our refusal to settle for what was in front of us. The point blank refusal to accept that what we already had, was all we could hope for. We wanted to live life on our own terms, and we wanted freedom. There was absolutely no way we were going to settle for anything less.
My husband used to look at the people commuting into work in London every morning, and vow to himself that he would never become one of them. Riding the train for two or three hours a day, for forty or so years. Becoming as grey looking as the weather because they had no hope of ever doing anything different in life. Trudging along with no spring in their step, because they were worn down and worn out. He decided pretty early on, that the commuting life was not the life for him.
So when I look back at all of this, I don’t see us as people who are cleverer than anyone else, or more qualified than anyone else. I just see two newly-weds who refused to accept things the way they were, who were determined to create the life of their dreams, and were committed to self-improvement along the way.
We did not start with money, and we didn’t have a business of our own. We didn’t qualify to emigrate, either, and nobody handed us anything on a plate. All we had was the determination to live the life we wanted to live.
I don’t say this in a bragging way at all. In fact, the only reason I mention it, is because I believe that anyone can create the life of their dreams. It may take a bit of time, but there is no reason it can’t be done. You just need to know what you want, and be determined to get there. The rest will work itself out along the way.
Give yourself permission to dream, and to dream big. And dare to believe that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Because you can do it. You can.