This is probably the dilemma I face in my daily life to this day and it never goes away…..I see that everyone around me also does! We are all asking ourselves if she should just do what makes us happy, even if it’s not acceptable in our society or our parents are disapproving of what we want to do in our lives, there are so many reasons to do what society says it’s right rather than what we feel happy doing….
Today my dilemma is where to live. I have lived in Mexico for a year and it is certainly the place where I can see myself living forever and ever, yet, living there as a student or a younger person is one thing, but looking for a graduate job is not the same. The working conditions there are just appalling and I know this first-hand. This is something I cannot make my peace with which is why I’ve moved back to Europe and I intend to stay here for as long as life here is so much better than in Mexico…..here we have it so good, we have a lot of holidays, benefits, high salaries, just a normal life which I couldn’t get there, so, as much as I loved the place, having a good job meant more to me so I’ve moved back. I do miss Mexico every day though, every single day….and it is a dilemma and a choice I will have to live with for as long as I stay here and I’ve accepted it!
So, this is what I mean in a nutshell about choosing the right thing or what would make you really happy….I am certainly guilty of this attitude! I remember when I was 18 or so, I was a professional salsa dancer, I was very passionate about salsa and all I wanted to do was dance! Of course, I went to university, because I also wanted to study but in my free time I kept dancing, I took part in the salsa society, in my 2nd year of uni I became a teacher, I would go to many parties not only at uni but in the nearby cities, I was definitely very much still involved in it! In my 3rd year of uni, I went to Spain for ERASMUS, and I improved my skills even further, this is where I also discovered bachata (another dance) and fell head-over-heels in love with it and never looked back 🙂 So, when I graduated in 4th year, I was so done with university, I think most people go through that process where they just get sick after so many years of studying, especially after having spent months writing their dissertations…it’s only normal! So, at that point I was so done with it that I wanted to just dance! I was taking a gap year anyway so I wanted to just move back to Spain and dance, work on my skills, hopefully find a dance partner and at that point I could see myself doing dancing professionally again, it was the only thing I was passionate about it my life! Then, I had the talk with my father, telling him that I just wanna dance, I don’t wanna get a normal boring 9-5 job etc., and, as anticipated, he couldn’t get it! He shared his realistic view with me, he said what would I do in 5-10 years when I am 30-35 and all I’ve been doing in my life was dance, an over-30 year-old’ woman still dancing is not as exciting as a young 20 year-old girl(let’s be honest, it’s not about being sexist here)….he told me people won’t take me seriously, that I will not have an established status in society etc….he basically thought it didn’t make any sense because he is a very successful businessman for whom the profession of a dancer just didn’t seem serious enough….I do get where we was coming from, however, I feel like everyone should be free to choose what to do with their life and do what makes them happy. In this instance, I didn’t take the leap and move to Spain to pursue dancing. Instead, I moved back to Bulgaria and got an appropriate job in one of the biggest software companies in the world. It was my first job, I loved it, I had a blast, I even met again an old friend from school with whom we re-kindled our school friendship and who has since turned into one of my dearest friends!!! I liked the job a lot, so I stayed on for another year, after which I went on to do my Master’s degree.
What can I say? Was I right to do the right thing, the thing that society and your parents expect you to do? Yes, should I have pursued my dancing career, my life would’ve been completely different, I would have probably become more or less famous in the dance world and travelled the world through congresses and dance festivals, but then it is the type of career that can get you only so far, then at some point when I am 35 or 40, I would probably not want to dance sexy bachata for a living anymore if you know what I mean…..instead, I did the practical thing, I got a real job, one, which later on secured me more jobs after my Masters. And, today, I am very happy with where I am, I feel accomplished and I have the financial means to travel not for work but for fun. Does this “normal” life make me happier than dancing does? No, nothing gives me as much pleasure as dancing, but then again, that is why it is my hobby. I think if you do your hobby for a living and it’s enough, that’s the best really, but, in my case, it wasn’t…..I realised I wanted more in my life, especially since starting my Masters. I am very passionate about what I studied, about the work I am currently doing, I am not as passionate as I was for dancing, but it comes as close second. And what is most important for me, I know that it will only go up-hill from here onwards because I am only in the beginning of my professional career.
So, I guess I do not have an answer for you, you have to decide what makes you the happiest but you have to also think about the future! What would be worthwhile spending your time on? I know that when I was younger, I thought differently but then I had wiser people to guide me into making the best choice and I do not regret it one bit. Nowadays, I still love dancing but I don’t even go as often, I have other exciting things I do, it is always nice to go back to it, but it is certainly not something I would want to do for a living…..so, my best advice would be to ask yourself where do you see yourself in 5-10 years, do you think it would still make you as happy what you think is your destiny now 🙂 don’t worry even if you make a mistake though, I have made many of those along the way as well, you always can get back on track 🙂
Good luck!!! 🙂