Follow your heart or do what is right?

I usually write my posts in cafés, on my ipad, with coffee in a paper cup and a cheeky slice of cheesecake on the side. But not this one; this one is different.

I am at home, listening to a Joyful Noise by Gossip, drinking a cup of lukewarm liquorice tea out of a chipped pale yellow mug. I have my laptop on my lap, my feet dangling from my window, stepping on a blue and pink sky.

I got some DMs on Twitter and a message on Facebook about my ‘cryptic’ last few posts. What happened in Greece? What did I mean in Red and Gray? Is everything ok?

So here I am, with all the answers. Today has been a challenging day, and I feel like sharing.

Earlier this month, I had to deal with two deaths in my family. Irvin Yalom said that the thought of death is an ‘awakening moment’, as life’s alarm clock. Realizing that we are mortal wakes us up; and losing two people in the space of 2 weeks is a rather loud wake up call.

I don’t know how I cope with the thought of death. My grandmother died 4 years ago, and it is something I don’t think I have processed completely. I don’t remember why i didn’t go to her funeral; distance, coursework, denial. One day I was walking, and I saw someone that looked like her; I turned the corner, buried my face in my hands and cried for 20 minutes. I am dreading the moment I get a call about my other grandmother. I think I dread the thought of death, its consequences to others, the finality of it, the normality of it.

I had to go to Greece for the funerals, hence the being Greek post. I cried in both funerals. On the plane home, I was reading gossip magazines and eating Maltesers. Life seems so surreal sometimes.

So, I came back to London. I swapped my T-shirt and flipflops for a coat and an umbrella, walked down streets taking pictures of corner shops and having icecream in the rain.

I am working part time, and doing a part time internship in a magazine as well. So, in one of my internship days, I was preparing a file, when I heard a ringing sound. An alarm bell that I had been ignoring for some time. An awakening moment that stayed dormant as I kept pressing the snooze button. So, I decided to listen to the sound, wake up, open my eyes and see what is out there. What do I want to be spending my time on? And I knew.

Through a truly lovely person, I found an opportunity in one of my favorite magazines as an intern. In addition to that, I found some freelance work to an amazing up-and-coming fashion brand. Cue anxiety. This was becoming real. Do I quit my job to pursue a full time internship and freelance work? Leave what is certain for a possibility? Do I dive in or keep floating?

There was a moment in me, where I had to choose: do I follow my heart, or do I do what is right? I spent five days thinking about it. My head felt like a televised political debate: on the left, my carefree do-what-you-like self was urging me to leave as fast as I can, start pursuing my goals at this moment-seize the day! On the right, my suited-and-booted self was looking at me in disbelief, in awe of how immature I was being, leaving a certain job to chase a dream. The television set was running all day, and I found myself going through the motions, smiling mechanically as I was contemplating who would win the elections. What would my choice be? On the fifth day I woke up, and I knew.

I quit. I walked in my part-time, steady job, and I quit. I made a decision, and trust me it was really hard. In the end, I followed my heart, and did what was right; what was right for me.

But quitting suddenly and in an unfortunate time causes ripples, and sometimes this might blur the image underneath. Since then, and for a variety of reasons (mostly personal), these ripples have been intensified, and it has been progressively harder to move on. Today was one of these day. I still have two days left at this job; I feel like I already left, like I am not a part of it anymore- maybe because it stopped being a part of me. And in its place something else, excitement mixed with another feeling -fear?

I have this internal fear of moving on. What will happen if I don’t get a permanent job after the three month internship? What will happen if I suck at it? What will happen if the freelance work stops? What happens when you are within touching distance of your dream and it feels too good to be true?

I am taking a chance. I am diving head first; and it feels right. I need to do it, because I can not keep wondering, asking myself when my dreams will take form. Dreams don’t come true by themselves, you have to work hard, pursue and persevere.

And that I will.

It is now dark, and my tea is cold. I hop into the living room, and turn up the volume on my iPod dock. Beth Ditto says she is in The Right Direction; and so am I.

Thank you for being a part of my journey,

G

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26 thoughts on “Follow your heart or do what is right?

  1. You had me on pins and needles wondering how you might choose. I’m happy to see you chose wisely. I’ve been on a similar path recently, only I’m probably twice your age and I’m struggling daily with my decision to keep chasing the dream. But, I am sticking with it, despite the glaring fear. Nothing worth anything was gotten doing things the safe, easy way. Good luck and God Bless!!

    1. It is so nice to know that there are a few of us embarking on similar journeys, incomprehensible to others, only natural to us. Thank you so much for all your lovely words!

      P.S. I will keep my fingers crossed for you! Let me know how everything goes!

      1. You’re welcome! I’ll be starting an internship in a couple of weeks. Heading in that freelance direction potentially as well. Turned my nose up to a steady-paying ‘safe’ job in the old profession recently. Keeping my eyes ahead. Free fall… scary as all hell but still feels right. Safe travels!

  2. I was faced with this situation at one point of time, and finally I did what you are doing and its the best decision I’ve made. It feels right because even if has its downs it is what you chose and the satisfaction of that solely is amazing. Go at it boy! All the best! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this brave decision. Being afraid that a new direction will not work out doesn’t mean it’s a bad decision. Change is scary. Wanting to do well at something new is scary. In your gut – you feel it’s right, and you go ahead despite the fear. And that’s what courage is. Best. 🙂

  4. I absolutely LOVE this post, and connect with it so deeply. I’m currently playing that “but what if?” game with my dreams – out of the same fear of instability and uncertainty that you’ve so eloquently discussed here. Thank you for making the difficult, right choice. You are an inspiration!

  5. “I am taking a chance. I am diving head first; and it feels right.” This is how I feel about my transition. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    -Connie

  6. Great post. Love the directbandvopen script. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the journey. My dad diosn’t think you should regret anything you did……. Just what you didn’t!

    You DID! That can only be good.

    This is your new journey!!!

  7. ‘The Right Direction’ is my current theme song, too. Good luck with your dreams – it sounds like you have the strength and determination to follow them, and I really admire you for that.

  8. So sorry for your losses.
    Once when I was younger I passed up an opportunity out of fear and because my parents did not believe in me as an artist nor did they want to guide me in that direction. Only practical life for me.I lost a truly magnificent something. I regret it sometimes but I have chosen the path I have and must walk it. Knowing what I gave up even though it would have meant moving and working part time, I wish I had the wisdom I have today to have made the riskier choice. Follow your heart. I chickened out and walk a different path.

    1. Hey Susan,
      Thank you very much for your words of condolence, and for sharing your experience. I am sure that you made the best out of your choice, and in a strange way, I genuinely think that everything happens for a reason. I really do. Even so, it sounds like this meant a lot to you, and I really feel honoured that you shared it with me.
      Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. Some times it is difficult to feel brave when you are shaking with fear, but with such great support, I am starting to get there!
      Thank you for your words of condolence as well, it means a lot.

  9. We are in a very similar place right now. It sounds like you know what you want and if you strive hard, you can’t have any regrets. You would regret not trying and giving yourself that chance more. I wish you all the luck in the work to compound your chances of succeeding in your goals.

  10. As Susan noted above, it’s often the things that you ‘don’t’ do that you regret. If you never try, you’ll never know. Sometimes losses in our lives push us forward, give us the extra encouragement we need to follow our hearts. Sounds like you are moving forward and that is all that is important. Best of luck to you. I enjoy your writing and have no doubt you’ll do well.
    Namste.

  11. Hi, I don’t know you at all but I am actually going through a similar experience, making transitions. A few weeks ago someone really important passed away and now I am at the edge of change. About your losses I can only say that sorrow is deep for those who stay in this world because we miss those that have gone. But death is not disappearing, is another part of life, a veil that everybody has to go through. Accepting and acknowledging the pain of missing someone is relieving, the story that you want to believe about their next step in the circle of life is healing, I guess.
    About following your dream, someone said to me a long time ago, that if you want to know if you are in the right road to be happy, you just have to follow your intuition and do what you like the most, then everything aligns and comes at the right time. Being happy or doing what makes you happy is the road to success. Just as you believed in following your dream and doing the right thing, now you should trust in your decision. Being confident of your actions helps you to see things clearer and receive the upcoming experiences. There are always possibilities that lead you to your dreams.

    All the best for you and please keep following your dreams and doing what is right.

  12. Beautiful post! I very much relate, I went through a similar ”dilemma” a few months ago, it left me anxious, in states of panic that I never knew I could experience before…but of course, the ”heart” won and I don’t regret it one single bit!

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