FYI : What I've Learnt , Pre Departure, To be honest

(pictured) the inspo i made for myself, the world map with my bucket list entries pegged. above my bed, to be reminded everyday of what it is i want for myself.

We all have dreams, and goals right? and if not quite that..

desires - 'a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen' ?

I once read this article by one of my favorite bloggers, Mark Manson called "no, you can't have it all" . This article talked about how with todays media people are constantly seeing all the things their peers, and even strangers are doing - and reminded of all the things they are not. This in itself can be interpretated differently for each individual - some might look at it is "I'm not doing enough, I wish I could be doing that", and some might take it as an opportunity to look at their own life, and realize too "I could be doing that" - motivating them to believe their dreams are possible, and they can follow their own too.

But something we often forget with all these aspirations is that there's also only so much we can fit into our busy lives, as much as we can dream, plan, work to make our dreams come true... there is also a sacrifice in making these dreams come true.

what I like to call - The Cost of Dreams.

In the lead up to making my 5 year dream of studying abroad in America a reality it meant I had to keep a clear vision of what it is that I wanted, and what i needed to do to get there.

First came the organizing - I had to work out what it was that was going to get me here, i.e. attending university was the first. which meant obtaining the grades in high school to get into the degree, and university of my choice - which had to offer the opportunity for international student exchange - So this also meant calling universities in advance or reading brochures online ensuring the university accommodated this opportunity.

So skipping ahead, i nerded it up in year 12 (a change from year 8 when i was getting detentions, year 10 when i was wagging classes, and year 11 when i received my first ever fail) so you see what i mean, i changed things up to get to where i wanted to be. so in year 12, i got motivated.. i worked two jobs, volunteered in the community, and was leading the events committee at the high school - all of which meant more responsibility, more time taken away from my friends, my boyfriend and my family, but of course it all was paying off, it came with being exposed to new knowledge, and a wealth of experience and opportunities.

what i'm saying is, i worked my absolute butt off. what this meant though was missing a lunch with the girls and spending my lunchtime in the art room (now, I'm not saying i had to neglect my friends, but it meant occasionally saying no). it meant i was studying until all hours of the night, and not watching as much beverly hills 90210 as i desired.

but god yes, did it pay off. i finished the year with good results, proud parents, and a scholarship for university and it meant by the time senior prom came around i was able to completely enjoy myself with friends, with satisfaction of the position i was in.

(btw just a side note, don't get me wrong this wasn't a breeze, i was lucky to have a very supportive network of people around me to pick me up when things got a little too much - its year 12, I'm pretty sure everyone experienced the breakdowns, the tears, and the want to just give up, and in the moments of weakness, calculating what type of lifestyle a minimum wage at mcdonalds could get you.. that type of thing)

anyways, i got my acceptance, i was beyond excited. i took a gap year, continued to work multiple jobs, took my first overseas trip with a friend to Europe, and continued to keep saving for what was going to be my next big adventure, America.

my gap year quickly passed, and as the end of the year (2014) was quickly approaching, i was more motivated than ever to move to the big city from the country town that i had been in for the past 6 years. my boyfriend, and best friend of 6 years was so supportive - as always, and excited for our next chapter to begin together - moving out of home, and taking on a life in Adelaide.

i made my move to the city, started university, and it was only a few months until my boyfriend was joining, but as they say all good things come to an end right? and so that relationship did...

it was a hard to thing to accept, but i guess in the end we both wanted very different lifestyles from one and other, and were just heading down our own paths in life. i would call this another form of "the cost of dreams", i wanted the big city life, years full of travel, and a bundle of new experiences, and he wanted quite the opposite, loved the small town, his close friends there and decided the city life just wasn't something he wanted to pursue anymore..

thus, in the time that i was chasing my dreams, i was little by little losing him in the process..

but on the bright side, we are both where we want to be now, I'm studying and traveling in the United States, and by no means do i plan to stop anytime soon, and he's still happy in the small town.

so, what i'm trying to get at here is, with every choice there is usually a sacrifice, or compromise, whether it's on a much smaller scale like taking an hour or two out of your free time to volunteer to land yourself the job you want, or on a bigger scale like saying goodbye to someone who no longer fits into your life. that's just all apart of it.

the next chapter was a hard adaption as a lot of my plans changed, but i did not want to lose sight of this dream of studying abroad. i pinned up University of Arizona pictures, the United States map - with lines drawings of the route i wanted to take, and other images of places to visit, like the Grand Canyon..

and when times got tough at university, and in the city in general (where at the time i did not think i wanted to be anymore) i looked upon my wall to get me back on track and focused.

finally, the time came in November, 2015 when i submitted my application to my home university for study abroad (and only just, even after such a long amount of time that had gone into planning, and dreaming about this opportunity .. i found myself in a rut, almost too scared, with a huge lack of motivation to apply) but thankfully my family encouraged me to follow through..

just another little story ... 

So a month before jetting off to the states, one of my absolute gems was giving me the biggest, and longest cuddle, while I continued to sing karaoke at my friends 21st (standard) ..

Until I soon realised she was sniffling with tears running down her face. I of course asked was she alright, did something happen (assumed the bf), she shook her head and told me it was because of me (whatttt??), and me leaving again (oh).

As well as of course, making me feel incredibly loved (like holy cow), being that this was the third time a close friend of mine had done something similar in recent weeks, annnnd not to mention my unaffectionate mother (don't get me wrong, she's a darl) too, telling me she had done the same thing only the morning after abbey had ..made me realize how bloody scared I was.

This little pattern made me realise although I was following my dream to travel, and loved that i had the opportunity, and desire to move from one thing to another, it also meant that I'll also be continuously saying goodbye in future years...i.e. the cost of my dreams.

And what a scary thought that was, It really hit me at this time, that this was and, well still is - the cost to me wanting to tick every thing off my bucket list..

but like Mark Manson once highlighted every so clearly, "NO, you can't have it all!"

In saying all this, on a much more positive note,

this moving, and saying goodbye (temporary g-byes - or rather 'best wishes' - catch ya later type thing)

,definitely taught me something so valuable .. and that is how to really appreciate being in the present

(carpe diem, yeh?)

and enjoy things for the small amount of time that they may last,

because so easily, so much can change in just the blink of an eye

and wouldn't it be a shame to waste your days away, stuck in fear.

so what i say,
seize the day and enjoy whatever it is, while it lasts!


- Paige

(pictured) The Cost of Dreams, paying off - conquered Devils Bridge Hike, Sedona with these girls from around the globe

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