IMGP0039 Here is one of mine.

An opportunity comes my way. I grab it. I’m impulsive and carefree at the moment I say, ‘Yes’. I always believe that opportunities are presented for a reason and I rarely say no. I believe I am invincible, that I can do anything. I see the reasons why I should do the thing: always the positive, never the negative. I live for the day, so I don’t look ahead and see the pitfalls. I am optimistic and joyful. Then I start giving to the situation. I give a lot. I want to do the thing well. I want to make people happy. I start to forget about myself. I never feel I am giving enough, so I give more. I become unhappy because I see myself slipping away. I do slip away. I start to get anxious. I start to get scared. I can’t give the best of myself anymore. I get lost in the endeavour and I don’t know how to find myself again. I try to justify what I am doing and I keep doing it mainly because I don’t want to let anyone down. I am scared of not being liked. I try harder. I give more. In the end I either collapse under the strain or I wait for someone else to offer me a way out. In the worst instance, this can go on for years: a 6 year teaching job; a 16 year relationship;  a whole life even…

The hugest part of my journey in trying to build a new life in Argentina has been the revelation of my patterns. It is as if in leaving my English life I stripped away all the pretty wrappings, the cushioning, the distractions, the excuses. I have been left with the raw me and in everything that I do here in Argentina, I see my patterns emerging, in all their grim glory. I can’t hide from anything. I am having to face my demons, my character flaws, my dark side, at every turn. It is very scary. But I believe that it is absolutely the best thing for me. If I am to build the life I truly want, and live my dreams, then there is no escape from the reality of who I really am. In order to find out what I want to do, I have to know what I don’t want to do. In order to know what makes me happy, I have to know what makes me unhappy. In order to be who I want to be, I have to know who I really am, so that I can make good choices and walk a path that works with and not in opposition to who Sally is. I don’t want to always be fighting with myself. I want to be walking at ease with my inner Sally, giving her situations and experiences that help her to shine, blossom, smile and grow.

How do we ever know what our dreams really are?

Moments of truth like the first time I saw tango being danced and I felt my soul shift with longing, and I knew that I wanted to be a tango dancer?

Moments of clarity like the day I flew alone over those vast green lands of Mongolia and I knew that I was an adventurer?

Moments of obsession like the times I absolutely HAVE to write down how I feel and communicate it to others, and I know that I am a writer?

I think yes. These are the moments that speak our dreams to us.

What I must remember is that if I do not feel this resonance  of the soul in a given situation, then maybe I should be thinking twice about whether it is a situation that will be good for me. Perhaps instead it is destined to be one of those where somewhere down the line I will be searching for reasons to carry on, and beating myself up with the ‘shoulds’: I should be doing this because… because I can’t let people down, because of people’s expectations, because I need to learn to change to fit this… WHEN WILL I LEARN? There is no room for ‘should’ in a life of following the heart. And maybe I will piss people off along the way. And maybe I will let people down. And maybe I am going to be happier for it.

So yes, I’ve just been down this road, and I’ve just come to the end of it. This pattern has I hope been worked for the last time. At least at the grand old age of 45 I was able to see what was happening and do something about it. That much IS new! And I don’t regret the road I’ve taken, because along the way there have been some great experiences and in the end, I’ve got a bit closer to the truth about myself. I’ve found out a little more about who Sally is and who she is not.

I am a tango dancer, a writer and an adventurer and it is OK to walk with just that and be proud of it. I have to believe that if I stick with what I truly love, then the golden opportunities that DO resonate with my soul will come, I will be able to create new and healthier patterns for my life, and most importantly of all… I will feel free.


7 Responses

  1. You are a tango dancer, a writer, an adventurer and an inspiration. It is definitely ok to walk with just that and be proud. I think you are a fierce and wonderful spirit Sallycat and thank you for bringing all of us along:)

  2. Christine in LA
    Thank you for this comment. I needed to hear that today.
    I really really did.


  3. Learning Spanish and leaving our pasts behind can feel a lot like breaking a mirror and looking at ourselves with the jagged edges. I’m feeling your sentiments on reinvention, Sally.

  4. What you wrote in this section is the lesson that I got today, about being true to myself. You are on the right path, what you are saying feels right. Thank you for being an example of integrity with oneself.

  5. stilllifeinbuenosaires

    I love the way you put that and I completely identify with it.

    Dieudonne Dang
    Yes today I feel that I have integrity. I have been true to myself and I am proud of that. Thank you so much for your comment.

    My mum sent me an email about this post and in it she said:
    Brilliant self analysis on your blog . . . I could have written it when you were about ten!!!

    I hope you don’t mind me quoting you mum, but it made me smile this morning. Yep it’s incredible how early our patterns form… and how long it takes us (well me anyway) to actually become aware of them! But how glad I am that I see myself, warts and all. And that this blog gives me a way to share my experiences is a source of peace for me.


  6. Sallycat,

    I hope we can learn and break our patterns that hold us back (I know I try, but I’m not always successful). I think you are great at reminding us that we all can continue to move forward, at whatever pace we can.

    I’m glad you are a writer, dancer and adventurer and that you are allowing yourself to be all of those things so beautifully.

  7. Tangobaby

    ‘At whatever pace we can’ is so true and so ok I think. I find it very painful facing up to a pattern after living it for so many years. Seeing it is one thing. Accepting it as one of my truths is another. Then breaking it with new behaviour can be a long process. But at least if I can keep my eyes wide open enough to see it, and my heart open enough to accept it, then I have a chance to change it.
    Thank you for sticking with me on my journey my friend.


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