Hi there. It’s me again. A little in-depth writing this time. As you know, yoga and meditation are also a part of me besides living in Mexico. Perhaps I’ll lose the interest of some of you with this, but that’s ok. After all, we seem to live in a ‘free’ world (shaking my head while pointing at the latest happenings…)
What. If. As a writer, I love to get inspired by reading other writers’ work and by watching movies. The other day I watched a movie and I came across a beautiful passage:
What. If. Two words almost meaningless if you read them separately. However, together they create a whole different dimension. What if… What if… What if…
– Letters to Juliet (2010; definitely worth watching, if you’re into romantic movies).
Those two words together made me think a lot lately. What if can be used in a question, as in “What if I would go there?” or “What if I didn’t?”. It can also be used in a phrase without a question mark, such as “What if I go to bed early today, I will probably feel better tomorrow.”
Even though at times we intentionally try to turn it into a phrase without any question mark at the end, it is always a question. “But what if you would have done that.” “And what if you wouldn’t.” Both questions – even though it looks like they’re not.
People often ask me why I live the way I want. Why don’t I have a solid job record? Why haven’t I decided yet where I actually want to spend the rest of my life? Why on earth did I leave my family, friends and my country of birth behind? Why do I choose to live a very unstable life as a writer, not knowing whether someone will be publishing the book that I am currently writing? I’ve noticed that many fellow travelers and/or expats hear the same questions over and over again.
What if fear wouldn’t define decisions
Well dear people, this all has to do with what if. I simply can’t live with that question. Or phrase. Whatever you want to put it, name it, or call it. How could I have ever stayed in the Netherlands, having those tiny seemingly meaningless words popping up in the back of my head all the time? “What if you would have gone to Mexico?” “What future could you have had when you would have taken the big step?” “What if your fear wouldn’t define your decisions?” Because you know, I guess that fear has to do a lot with people who live life in the what-if-way.
I might even say that avoiding the what if words is sort of my life motto. Of course I have my what-if moments. My drawbacks. Doubts about life. ‘Unhappy’ days as far as they can be unhappy when you have good health, sweet loved ones who surround you and a little bit of money to buy your groceries every week. Those ‘unhappy’ moments are the ones when I start asking myself what if. When I am frustrated with some of Mexico’s bureaucracies and I ask myself “What if I would have stayed in the Netherlands, got a solid job and a house and lived happily ever after?” Well knock-knock, it doesn’t work that way. At least not for me.
And actually, avoiding this question has worked out well for me so far. Of course, it pops up in my head every now and then, but to me it’s only a reminder that I might be doing something that perhaps I shouldn’t be doing, or be doing in a different way. Instead of fear leading me (and yes – I’ve still felt fear by every decision I make), I decided to do the following things for example:
- Volunteering at a festival that completely changed my life and my perspective on life.
- Living in Indonesia for three months which also turned my life 180 degrees.
- Moving to Mexico (and made some moves within Mexico back and forth).
- Starting my own business.
- Writing this article (that’s a joke).
Basically, by not wanting to answer the what if I simply do things. I take action. And if you’re walking around with that little what-if voice in your head, I can only advice you to follow your heart and try to make the best of it. Life is so much more than just asking yourself what if.
What if my followers would actually read this… or what if they won’t? No Debbie, no. Stop. Just publish it and see what happens. See, it’s easy!
Because I have done the things I did so far I can honestly ask myself “What if I wouldn’t have gone to Mexico?” Well, then I sure wouldn’t have been able to jump towards the moon!
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. – Grumpy old men (1993, movie)
© 2016 by Debbie Vorachen – AHORITA YA. All Rights Reserved.
Photos © 2016 by Debbie Vorachen – AHORITA YA. All Rights Reserved.