Today, if you are reading this article, you must be in a classroom. Or on an island, with a coconut on hands. Never mind : for me, this back to school is special : I don’t go back to shcool and I beguin following my dreamy life.
I dreamed so much about it behind my computer in the first year of graduate school, that few obstacles could still prevent me from doing. But it was not easy to take the plunge.
In this article, I will tell you about my journey, why I stopped school, the reactions around me and about my fears.
Where I come from and why I stopped ?
Last year, after my bachelor’s degree, I decided to continue my studies in Paris, in a school specializing in sustainable development and ecology. I felt that I was on the right track, because acting on behalf of the environment is my mission. I loved what they taught and I liked being with people who share the same ideas about ecology.
But the jobs offered by the school did not interest me and I did not want a life in an office, in Paris, to wait for my salary at the end of the month and to leave two weeks on vacation in the year. I had a life waiting for me, a planet to save, and I knew how much more productive I would be in the field, doing the things I love and acting.
what I was dreaming of
I was bored and could not blossom. I lived through my instagram newsfeed. My daily life was punctuated by the hashtags : #sologirl travel, #vanlife, #surf and travel videos. I saw myself in the place of these girls, tanned and blondes by the Indonesian sun, who live in a 20 cubic meters, in their van, in a tent. Their more minimalist and freer lives appealed to me. I wanted to wake up each morning, in front of a new surf spot, a new forest, a new lake in the heart of a mountain. I saw myself in their place, living every day fully, not knowing what it will be done, or what place, or what meeting.
I lived also in a small space, but before sleep I did not have the sound of waves through my window, but the sound of cars and ambulances at 4am ^ ^. And when I left the eyes of my screen, I did not have a surf spot in front of me, but a teacher who explained to me how to count the endangered species.
Every day was alike and I was immersed in a routine that did not fit me. I dreamed of surfing, heat, salt water. And the reality was: cold, depression and exam. I was thirsty to learn new things, but in another way.
A daily life far from my values
In addition, my daily life did not respect my ecological values: I was frustrated to see the bill of my shopping when I tried to buy organic, local, seasonal, vegan and zero waste in Paris. Of course, it’s possible! But I really did not manage my money, and rather than buying simple things, I let myself be tempted by trends of the moment: spirulina powder, avocados, peanut butter. Things that were not necessary and that cost the eyes of the head. I had to be the only student to have that in my fridge.
How could I change things and be happier? What if I stopped school and started to follow why I was smiling? It was scary but it made me vibrate.
the different psychological obstacles
reaction around me
A big part of my family was against my plans, against my decision to leave school. It was difficult for me, surely because I had a lot of expectations.
When I spoke about my projects around me, I was told: “It’s beautiful to dream, but you, you were born in Moselle, not in Hawaii. You started surfing just 4 years ago and you still struggle to take your take off. And then, you have 4 years of study, after you have plenty of time to surf and have fun. It’s not serious all that, and you’re not made for that life anyway.
I was told it was way too dangerous, that I was crazy and unconscious. They assured me to continue the school because without diploma, you were nothing in the society. They told me about the murders of young girls who go traveling alone. They told me that at my age we can not know what happiness is. I have been told millions of times that I will not find work, that I am making a big mistake and that I will miss my life. I had orders, advice from people who never had these experiences before. But they were sure of them !
Should I continue school, continue my current life, even to be unhappy to please some of my relatives?
I have thought deeply, with great moments of doubt. With the support and help of my friends, strangers, inspiring people, I decided to quit my school, go on an adventure and listen to my heart.
Difficulties of autonomy
Well, it’s fine, but I will surely lie to you by saying that it’s easy to take the plunge. My goal is to financially detach myself from my parents and start getting by on my own, in real life.
By giving up this financial framework, I have put aside a lot of advantages: no more good student plans on exits, transportation, activities and services. I start to self-finance: it’s up to me to pay for my insurance, my accommodation, my food, the things I want to buy, the hobbies … Anything else. I am in transition and I am lucky, because my parents still pay me my phone package, the time that I earn enough money. I also understand that buying organic, vegan, zero waste … and much less obvious, without the help of my parents and without income. It allows me to be much more tolerant today to people who have trouble turning to these products.
What do I live and what will I live?
Leaving school overnight and wanting to earn a living is not a thing to be done. We find jobs, but it’s less easy when we have criteria. I could work anywhere, but my goal is to find a job that respects my ecological and social values. It takes more time, research and concessions.
So for now, I’m struggling a little, but the more I persevere the more ways open. I am very lucky to be surrounded by friends who can welcome me, until I find a job that suits me and allows me to live on the west coast for a while. Then, afterwards, I would like to save money to pay for my first big trip and work abroad, on my computer. But for that, he’ll have to work hard and be patient.
leave your confort zone
I am grateful to have spent this year in Paris because I learned a lot about myself. I had the chance to fly to Bali in March, after my exam and I fell in love with this island. I understood who I really was, what I really wanted. But all this requires leaving his comfort zone.
I had all these fears of the unknown, the loneliness, the danger that seem much more present when we go on an adventure. However, I understood that if I stay at home and listen to what people tell me, I’m not so lucky to realize my dreams of travel, not as many waves to surf, people to meet, cultures to discover, places to visit.
Finally, for me, it was as likely that I get stolen my stuff or spill by a car, that I die in an attack, at home or elsewhere. I even thought that it was more likely that I was violated when leaving the Paris metro than leaving the airport on the other side of the planet.
The fear of the unknown was therefore present. What would happen in a year, a month, a day? How not to be apprehensive, when you do not know what will be your future, while everyone around you, already has a friend for years, diplomas and a career plan? You look like a clown when you tell them you plan to live in Bali in the next two years.
Another fear that terrified me was loneliness. I dreamed of realizing my dreams alone, of living in a van, of traveling the planet, but I did not feel capable of it. I did not see myself experiencing difficulties alone. I told myself that at the least obstacle I would lose my means. I thought that to make my dreams come true, I should meet someone. A lover who would have the same values as me.
Then I especially understood that all that was bullshit, that it was an excuse not to take action. I understood that when you follow your intuition, that you learn to love yourself, despite your faults, you are no longer really alone: you are with yourself. So begin the inner journey, where you learn who you really are, you learn to find yourself, to know what really drives you in life. Loneliness is no longer a fear, but a way to reconnect with yourself. Thus, you can develop your autonomy, and learn, throughout your life, to manage, in the difficult moments.
On the road, you will also make all these meetings: people who will make you understand that there is more important than the diploma and that you do not need it to create your dream. You will meet people who are at the head of projects just crazy and who are happy. You will meet all those people who will help you and those who will do exactly the same thing as you: travel alone to find yourself.
I then rethought my priorities and realized that what was important to me was simply to be fulfilled and to realize my dreams, more than comfort. I want to live adventures, thrills, surf, sun … even if I was born far from the ocean, in Moselle. Thanks to this mixture of fears, I was able to get out of my comfort zone.
So I decided to leave the fog, the pollution, the undergroud for the things I like the most : surfing, sun, travel and ecology.
This is just the beginning of this new experience. And to make my dream possible, I will have to work a lot.
And you’re going to tell me, “But Anais, what are you doing now?”: So far, I’m lucky to be at my parents’ house. In the meantime, I am actively looking for work in the South West, providing services in the garden and in the house.
In two days, I go to the south west, to friends, where I will deepen my search for jobs and flats.
I do not know what my future will be, but I follow my heart and I trust him.
It’s scary sometimes, but what’s better than going farther than his fears, overtaking them.
And you, what would you do if you were not afraid ?
If you are unhappy in this coming back month, question yourself.
Ask yourself what you really like in life and ask what life you want to lead.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DO THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE US HAPPY
I hope this article, which comes from my heart, inspired you.
Do not hesitate to leave me your opinion in comment.
See you on the road 🙂