The only thing that stopped me from following my dreams was fear. And circumstances. Because of hard, very hard things that happened for me. Not to me. In my life.
After 33 years teaching the piano, I made the decision to stop. I started learning piano when I was 7. When I was 16 my teacher, a very well known and respected one, asked me to substitute for her when she was busy. That’s when I learned I could teach. Then I began teaching my neighbor’s son. And another student, and another student. It quickly became my job at that young age even before I finished my Conservatory of Music degree.
Teaching became part of my life while I went through every hardship, abuse, trauma, domestic violence, divorce, single mom, immigrant, when I moved 5 times from one country to another to provide for my daughter. It helped me to pull off the impossible when I moved to the USA without a job, without the language, without the money, without friends and family, suffering from panic attacks, depression, terror and the responsibility to raise my beloved 5-year old daughter. Unfortunately things weren’t ok in my country. I wanted to give my daughter a better life. Teaching became my survival tool, my lifesaver. It meant food, a roof, clothes, education. It meant covering for the basics to be able to survive in this society.
But teaching the piano was never my plan for life. It was never my dream, my passion. And let me tell you, I gave my heart, soul, love and life to every single student. I did an amazing job as a piano teacher. But I wanted to be a doctor because my dream and my passion was to help others. So I carried that pain with me for decades. My circumstances didn’t allow me to go to Med School.
Thirty-three years passed. Fighting. Falling and getting up over and over. Never giving up. Searching. Seeking. Taking action even when I didn’t feel a bit of energy left. And for the last six years therapy. Lots of it. My mission never changed. It was floating somewhere. The chance of being a doctor wasn’t in my plans anymore. I felt empty. A failure. Lost.
I was invited to give a speech at the organization I go to for therapy. I had to share my testimony and how I was able to move from the darkness to the light, as I like to describe it. At the end people came to me crying, thanking me for what I had done for them that day. I realized my dreams were more alive than ever. That my experiences, my testimony could help others. What changed was the how!
I began writing my book that’s in the editing process. And I created this blog that’s at its beginnings, but full of love and hope to help others to heal any trauma and abuse. Because I went through all that and I know how hard it is, but I promise you. You can create your life. You can get out of there.
I married for the second time, I’ll talk about all this in another post, but to make it short, I have learned that love is freedom. Now I feel safe. Not because I married, but because I have worked very hard to heal and overcome everything that happened for me. And that’s why I’m able to say it happened for me. I learned how to choose love.
But. Even though I was safe, I wasn’t able to let go. My brain and my body were used to being in constant survival mode for decades. Ready to fight-and-flight. I couldn’t make the decision to stop teaching and follow my dream all the way. It took time, compassion with myself, therapy and a lot of courage until I let go.
I believe in a Higher Power. The Universe, that infinite, intelligent and pure love energy (I’ll talk about this in another post). I decided to surrender and trust the Universe with this. I trusted in myself, and my body and my heart to let go. I surrendered.
I also knew that by letting go, I created space for the new to come. We have to close cycles, close doors to be able to open others. So I did. I took the risk. This is my life.
But now I realized I never gave up my dreams. Life has Seasons. There’s a Season for everything. I was taking care of other Seasons. I was laying the ground with good soil. All the work I’ve done from my heart, all the fighting and surviving, all the NOT GIVING UP, education and the tears and therapy have prepared me for this. Probably your current circumstances don’t let you make a radical decision to pursue your dreams, but you can always do something towards that goal. Even if it takes years. I recommend you to see this short video where Elizabeth Gilbert explains this very well, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajBpPTEKusI. It’s so inspiring and with an important answer.
Well, that time is here for me. I took the chance, the risk. I’m deeply grateful for everything that teaching did for me, how it saved my life and gave me the fortune to meet the most beautiful people even though it wasn’t my dream or what I really wanted to do.
In January the 13th, I sent an email to all my students and parents to let them know I wasn’t going to be their piano teacher anymore. I knew I was going to go through resistance, fear and a grieving process. I had panic attacks, nightmares, anxiety, sadness, confusion. I questioned myself over and over, what am I going to do? How? What about money? What if? I almost called all of them and ask them to come back. I felt I was drowning in the middle of the ocean. I still go through some of this. I still have nightmares because teaching was my lifesaver and I let it go while feeling in the middle of the ocean.
But I don’t regret my decision at all. What I didn’t know is that there were so many islands around full of resources. Those resources were/are inside of me. I’m creating this blog, I’m in the process of editing my book, and I’m creating and illustrating my I’M ON MY SIDE inspirational Card Deck! I never imagined I could paint or illustrate, and I’m discovering that I actually can. I’m illustrating the cards! It’s like I’m digging in a gold mine that’s inside of me I couldn’t see before because I was so scared to let go.
It’s never late to follow your dreams. When you’re ready and let go, you let in new things that feel like miracles from the Universe. There’s so much inside of us we don’t know because of fear. You’re the most wonderful human being because you’re unique. You’re alive today. Now. Start doing something toward your dreams. Even if it takes years because you’re dealing with a different Season. Even if it's tiny. It will add up for when the time is right. For when you’re ready for that Season. For when you’re ready to fly.
Be patient. And. Trust. Focus on the process not the outcome. That’s your faith’s job. Mine, the Universe as I said before. Letting go the control and trusting will make you feel calm. Love yourself for that, for this process. You’ll get there. Be on your side.
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